O Captain, My Captain: You will be missed

“Death is nature’s way of saying ‘Your table is ready.'” – Robin Williams.

They say you always remember where you were for certain events. “Where were you during 9/11?” “Where were you when Michael Jackson died?” We can now add another to that list: “Where were you when Robin Williams died?”

I know where I was and I’ll never forget it. I was lying in bed, watching my eighth consecutive episode of Community, when I refreshed Facebook. The first post was a picture of the great man with the caption “RIP Robin Williams”. I was taken aback, but the Internet has a habit of pulling death hoaxes (Jim Carrey and Jackie Chan have both been victims, the latter twice), so I remained cautious. I scrolled further down my feed and my hand clasped to my mouth in a shot. It was real. Robin Williams is dead.

Reports began to filter through on Twitter from the usual suspects, Variety, ABC, BBC etc. The outpouring from social media was incredible. Within minutes he was trending #1 in the world on Twitter and everyone was in shock. No one had a bad word to say about him, not least his daughter, Zelda, who put out this heartbreaking tribute to her father.

On 11th August 2014, the world had lost a genuinely funny, talented and downright fantastic person. At just 63 years old, Robin Williams committed suicide.

The man who seemingly had it all couldn’t cope. Despite a successful 40+ year career, Williams suffered from depression. Severe depression. Mental health is serious business but it is still an issue that people don’t like to talk about. It’s not an easy thing to admit to, but it’s so important. If you’re struggling, talk to someone. Anyone. If you think you know someone who may be depressed, talk to them. That may just be the kick-start they need to get help.

Visit this link for more help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the USA is open 24/7 on 1-800-273-8255.

Or for UK readers, phone Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or go to your GP.

The master in of his most famous roles, Mrs Doubtfire

The master in of his most famous roles, Mrs Doubtfire

I now feel it’s important to acknowledge Robin Williams’ work a bit more. He was an absolute one of a kind who was brilliant in just about everything. His standup is almost unparalleled and his improvisation is second to none. From his first big TV break in Mork and Mindy to his last TV role in The Crazy Ones, Williams owned every role he played.

Good Will Hunting (which saw him win his only Oscar). Mrs Doubtfire. Aladdin. Good Morning Vietnam. Dead Poets Society. The list of films in which he shone is ridiculous. Unashamedly, I will always look fondly at his turns in the movies RV and Night at the Museum. Whilst not the best films he was ever in, these were the first features I really saw him in and he was just awesome.

His standup from his first specials in the 70s and 80s are still relevant and funny, with his more recent efforts being equally as hysterical. I took to YouTube to cheer myself up, and it so worked.

You inspired a generation and more, and you will live on forever in your films.

Thank you, Robin.

Ben Affleck – Daredevil, The Joker principle, Replacing Bale

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 hours, you’ll probably be aware that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in the conceivable DC Cinematic Universe future, starting in 2015 in Superman vs Batman.

His latest directorial effort, Argo, which he also starred in, won Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. Not bad.

DAREDEVIL

Of course, Mr Affleck is known in the superhero world for his God-awful attempt at Daredevil. In fairness, he was decent in the role, but the script and the plot were awful and the film was critically panned.

That was in 2003. More recently, the man himself said: “Daredevil I didn’t (like) at all.”

Sums it all up, really. It takes some serious bat-balls on his part to agree to take the role of the Caped Crusader, considering he became somewhat of a laughing stock of the genre.

THE JOKER PRINCIPLE

You probably know where this is going, and I like to call it the ‘The Joker Principle’.

In July 2006, a man by the name of Heath Ledger was cast to play arguably Batman’s greatest adversary, The Joker. A man who, by that point in his career, had some good films to date (10 Things I Hate About You, A Knight’s Tale, Brokeback Mountain), but nothing to suggest he would dip into the superhero genre.

This was barely a percentage of the reaction – http://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2013/08/Heath-Backlash-610×1050.jpg

Of course, we all know the rest – Ledger went on to put in possibly one of the best performances in film history, and won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and probably every other accolade possible.

It was undoubtedly a risk by Chris Nolan et al. to cast Ledger, but because of the backlash, the size of the risk was blown wildly out of proportion. The Aussie actor wasn’t the first risk ever taken by a studio, and it was certainly not the last.

On the flip side, there have been somewhat safe bets by studios that haven’t paid off. An example that springs to mind is Pierce Brosnan being cast as James Bond in 1994. He had shows like Remington Steele behind him, and was pretty much proven in the genre.

He started well, GoldenEye was brilliant and hugely successful, but the films went downhill very quickly after that and it was clear a new 007 was required.

Basically, my point is that studios take risks all the time, Affleck and Ledger included, but they shouldn’t be singled out.

REPLACING BALE

In a slightly related follow-up point, whoever was cast as Batman for the DCCU (DCU? DC-CU?) was going to face this response. Even if a geek God like Nathan Fillion had been cast, I would strongly wager there would have been complaints saying he was too well-known, or maybe he was too old.

Why? Because Christian Bale superbly portrayed Bruce/Batman in one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Following the Brit was going to be a tough ask anyway, but playing him just three years after The Dark Knight Rises just makes it even more difficult for Affleck.

THE TWELFTH DOCTOR

If you’ll be so kind as to cast your minds back to just a couple of weeks ago, the BBC announced that Peter Capaldi would be replacing Matt Smith as the Doctor in Doctor Who.

Capaldi, best known for his role as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, wasn’t an obvious choice for the Time Lord. But cast he was, and unsurprisingly faced some backlash from hardcore fans and casual viewers alike.

The Scotsman was also in the wonderful Torchwood: Children of Earth series, and he was bloomin’ excellent in it.

Once again, this was going to be a tough act to follow because Smith was so popular, but he’s still months from playing the Doctor and already people are judging him. Which leads me on to my next point…

WHY?!

Why? Why is everyone judging people before they’ve even got close to stepping into the role.

Yes, he (Affleck here) might turn out to be an awful Batman/Bruce Wayne. But just as easily, especially with the crew they have behind the DCCU (Zack Snyder, Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas etc.), he might be the best thing since sliced bread.

Young actors in Hollywood and beyond

stand-by-me-cast1
A mere 27 years since the release of Stand By Me, and I’ve finally gotten around to seeing it. Although in fairness, I’ve only been alive for 19 of those years.

This came about because I was listening to an old Nerdist podcast the other day, with host Chris Hardwick interviewing geek favourite Wil Wheaton, and he talked in detail about the making of the film.

About two-thirds of the way through, just after the famous leech scene, I realised how engrossed I was in the film. Like with all good drama films, I was taking it seriously and going through the trials and tribulations of the characters.

It then hit me – these guys are kids. The youngest (Jerry O’Connell) was 11, with the oldest (River Phoenix) 15. When I was those ages, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Meanwhile, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, River Phoenix and Corey Feldman are acting like they’ve been doing it for 50 years.
The young stars confidently led the film for probably 90% of the time, ranging all kinds of emotions that many adult stars could only wish to have.

In fact, the rest of the screen time was mostly taken up by a brilliant Kiefer Sutherland (20 years old at the time).

My point is this: there is no way a film today could star four 12-year-old kids and actually be any good.

In the 80s, kids could act.
Not only that, but all four in Stand By Me continued their acting careers forth very successfully (with the obvious exception of Phoenix, who tragically died at the age of 23, but still had a good career until then). Here is what I consider to be their most notable roles since Stand By Me:
Wheaton played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven years, and now is a legend amongst geeks.

O’Connell was in the impressive Sliders for five years, and played Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire (he has since made some questionable film choices, including Scary Movie 5).

Feldman starred in various movies, including Gremlins and The Goonies. He is also the singer in a rock band, Truth Movement

Phoenix starred in Explorers, as well as playing young Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

So they’ve all done stuff, is the second point I’m trying to make.

I’m now going to compare this to a highly successful franchise spanning ten years of movies – Harry Potter.

Now, I love the Harry Potter films. I’ve seen them all countless times, and often find myself quoting them.

But until around film five, the Order of The Phoenix, it was pretty clear that none of the main three cast could actually act.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson were all-but plucked out of obscurity at the age of 11 to play the heroes in the most commercially successful film series of all time.

This was a bold move by the producers, but in fairness, there aren’t exactly many established child stars by that age. It just turned out they picked the three children in Britain who couldn’t act.

Watching them back, it’s a little cringeworthy. I’ll give them the first one because of the scenario and the pressure surrounding them (however Hermione is just so pretentious at times and I have a serious love/hate relationship with that).

But the following three contained some seriously awful acting, and the bolstered roles of young supporting stars like Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) didn’t help their cause.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) matured very quickly as an actor, as did Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan).

However, it was really the supporting cast of adults that made the films as good as they were. Stars like Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter and David Bradley, to name a few, were absolutely brilliant in every film they were in.

At times in the first four films, it just didn’t feel like the danger was real because the acting wasn’t very good. I didn’t expect Harry to lose to Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets, nor did I expect him to lose to Voldemort in the graveyard.

I suppose the seventh film should be the one compared with Stand By Me, since it required the three stars to lead the film without much help from adults.

Even at this point, whilst the acting was a lot better, it still didn’t feel like they had the confidence to be the film, to be the people who were going to be on screen nearly all the time.

Of course it’s hard for young stars who are just breaking into the business to steal the spotlight away from established stars, but they should have been able to. They were the faces of the franchise for ten years, but yet it always just felt like an ensemble piece.

In fairness to Radcliffe and Watson, they have both matured into decent actors, with the former starring in Broadway plays and continuing to make films. Watson, meanwhile, whom I consider better at acting, starred in the brilliant Perks of Being a Wallflower last year and is in the forthcoming Bling Ring.
Grint is on the brink of disappearing into nothing though. Having done very little since the final Potter film, he may end up starring in indie flicks and TV movies. But I have no idea what he’s got lined up, so we’ll see.

I do hope he has more, because he was by far the best actor of the three.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that young actors are becoming a thing of the past. Aside from people like Chloe Grace Moretz being outstanding in Kick-Ass at the age of 11, it’s practically impossible to find a young actor who can do what they claim they are able to do.

It could be argued that this is a good thing since not all young actors deal with it well (it’s common knowledge that Daniel Radcliffe drank heavily for nearly two years, and River Phoenix died of a drug overdose), but I’m not going to go into that.

RED 2 – Spoiler-free review

“What happens in the Kremlin, stays in the Kremlin” says John Malkovich halfway through the film. If only the entire film had stayed in the Kremlin where no one could have seen it.

Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Dame Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker return for the sequel to the brilliant RED, but fail to capture the essence, or comedy, of the predecessor.

Retired, and Extremely Dangerous, CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) and girlfriend Sarah Ross (Parker) are looking to settle down after the wacky events of RED, but paranoid Marvin (Malkovich) is back to convince them otherwise.

Thanks to brilliant physicist Dr Edward Bailey (wonderfully played by Sir Anthony Hopkins), a bomb was smuggled into the Kremlin at the height of the Cold War with the intention of detonating it if the Soviet Union attacked. Now it needs to be taken back before someone decides to clear Frank and Marvin’s names.

Of course the film wouldn’t be complete if the main characters didn’t have a bounty on their heads; Mirren and newcomer Lee Byung-hun are assigned to kill them before they can retrieve the device.

The plot takes our four heroes all across the globe, from Los Angeles to Moscow via London and Paris, where they meet Frank’s old flame, Katya (unconvincingly portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones).

However the sights of some of the world’s most famous cities isn’t enough to make this a good film, especially during the scenes based in and around the Kremlin involving the Papa John’s pizza chain.

It’s almost like the film makers decided to cram in as many famous sights as possible, when they should have been using that time to make the jokes funny and the action scenes better.

I think the underlying reason the film didn’t work was Bruce Willis. Don’t get me wrong, I love Willis in most of his stuff, but here it just seemed he was trying too hard to make a failing script work.

His chemistry with Parker, which was so brilliantly established in the first film, appeared to have completely disappeared, and the supposed history with Zeta-Jones’s character seemed to be non-existent.

The main thing I did like about the film was the fact it stuck to the comic book element, but that was only used as an excuse to change cities.

Overall, I just couldn’t like this film as much as I wanted to. An almost humourless first scene set the tone, and it just couldn’t pick itself up from there.

The World’s End – spoiler-free review

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright return after six years apart to complete the final part of ‘The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ – with mediocre results.

After the rip-roaring success of the first two films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it only made sense to finish the trilogy in the most British way possible.

Five friends. 12 pubs. 60 pints. In the sleepy town of Newton Haven, fictional home of the UK’s first roundabout, this is the ‘Golden Mile’.

The five childhood friends in question, played by Pegg, Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan, have not seen each other in nearly 20 years, and Gary King (Pegg) decides this is far too long.

In 1990, they attempted the ‘Golden Mile’ to celebrate their last day of High School. They failed. In 2013, they attempt it again.

The problem for the immature King is that everyone has grown up. Andy (Frost) is a corporate lawyer, Oliver, or O-Man, (Freeman) is an estate agent, Peter (Marsan) is a car salesman and Steven (Considine) is a construction manager. We aren’t told what King does, but we’re lead to believe it’s not a lot.

This leads to an almost painful first act, which involves Gary ‘getting the old gang back together’ by any means necessary. The phrase ‘less is more’ would have gone down well during the writing process, especially during the first encounter with Peter.

The film gets considerably better after the cringey start, mostly because we meet Oliver’s sister, Sam (Rosamund Pike), and Basil, played wonderfully by David Bradley. Basil is probably the best character, closely followed by Steve, who was quite underused.

It almost feels like we’re drinking along with the film, as Gary gets a lot more tolerable as it goes on. In fact, you’ll find yourself agreeing with him in the final act.

Gary’s main trait is persistence, which is good when it’s done subtly, but it begins to get old quickly as they insist on thrusting it in your face most of the time. After a while, his jokes become predictable and the serious lack of chemistry with Andy, though justified, is boring.

The chemistry between Pegg and Frost as actors obviously exists, as it has done since Spaced graced our screens in 1999, but it takes Andy to cut loose before we really get the comedy flowing.

The story itself is good, and the ending somewhat bizarre but it works. Also near the end we see the inevitable Cornetto joke, but blink and you’ll miss it.

Overall, it’s the full circle of the story that makes it good, and it’s a good enough way to (probably) end the trilogy. I just can’t help but think if Pegg’s character had been dialled down a touch, this could have been a better film.

This is the End – spoiler-free review

This is the End is the first directorial effort of long-time collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express, and here’s hoping it won’t be the last.

Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride team up to play (hopefully) fictionalized versions of themselves in a wacky comedy with heart.

Most of the film is primarily set at James Franco’s housewarming party, to which he has invited some of the most well-known Hollywood faces such as Michael Cera, Rihanna, Jason Segel, Kevin Hart and Emma Watson.

Things start to go awry when Jay, dragged to the party by Seth, and Seth walk to a shop, only for an earthquake to disrupt their plans. Soon after they rush back to James’s house, things take a turn for the worse.

Most of the celebrities at the party don’t make it home, with especially hilarious deaths from Kevin Hart and Michael Cera. Soon the six aforementioned stars are left to fend for themselves in a world they suddenly know nothing about.

Of course that’s not the whole point of the film, and there’s plenty of heart, mostly based around Jay and Seth, that really gives it the Rogen/Goldberg hallmark.

Whilst most of the jokes come off an absolute treat, especially the self-parody scenes, some of them are quite weak and make you wonder why they’re in. The pick of these unneeded scenes would be one involving Danny and James having an argument about the former masturbating all over the latter’s house.

The absolute highlight for me were the final two songs. Despite some of the hilarious jokes, the last two songs capture the essence of the film and bring it full circle in a fantastic way.

Overall, it’s a classic Rogen/Goldberg film that will have you laughing from start to finish.

Iron Man 3 spoiler-free review

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Tone, spot on. Tony, spot on. Writing, spot on.

This is the 5th stand-alone film in the current MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) after Iron Man 1&2, Thor and Hulk, and it just blows them all away. I would even put it on par with The Avengers. It’s that good.

Robert Downey Jr was once again fantastic as the irrepressible Tony Stark, combining his serious moments with comic relief in that way that only he can do. Gwyneth Paltrow is still brilliant as Pepper Potts, bringing, or at least doing her very best to, Tony down to Earth whenever she can. And she puts on a suit!

Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian puts in a performance almost on par with Loki in The Avengers. Starting out as a guy who just wants Tony’s help, he realises he can do better and sets up his own company, and eventually teams up with The Mandarin, leader of the terrorist group The 10 Rings. Which brings me to my next point: Sir Ben Kingsley.

Mr Kingsley steals the show as The Mandarin. He’s not the same traditional character you know and love from the comics (which may upset a few fanboys), but he sums up the movie brilliantly. And when you think about the history of MCU, the character fits in very well.

When the film opens with that classic Marvel flipbook opening, you just know what’s coming for the next 130 minutes or so. Director Shane Black absolutely nails it, and the absence from the chair of Jon Favreau, who directed 1 and 2, gives him license to roam a bit more as his character Happy Hogan. He does this wonderfully, and that is portrayed so well in the film. He basically plays a version of himself, feeling freer and doing more of what he wants.

I have 2 gripes with the film, neither of which are major at all. The first is that it’s possibly *too* funny. I know, I know. But there is one occasion where Tony and his new friend, 10 year old (or thereabouts) Harley (who is excellently played by Ty Simpkins), are talking and Tony makes a joke that funny that there is an unnatural pause one would expect in a comedy film. You’ll be laughing so hard you won’t care, but it’s there. The whole comedy aspect can sometimes make it feel like Stark is never in any danger, but that’s just Downey Jr being Downey Jr and doesn’t really affect the film an awful lot.
My other one is The Avengers, or lack of. There is no real explanation as to why Tony doesn’t just call them and say “help”. They sort of gloss over it a bit, but it’s not a good explanation. There is part where he claims it’s just “him vs The Mandarin” but, once again, not a great get-out by Black.

There is, of course, the traditional Marvel post-credits scene which you simply must hang around for. It has no bearing (probably) on future films, but it’s just superb.

Quick word on the 3D. Does what you would expect it to, really. If you’ve seen any other MCU film in 3D, it’s very similar. Only particularly noticeable during the fight scenes when shrapnel is flying everywhere, but doesn’t hinder the movie in any way.

Don’t take the film too seriously.

Very Good Writing – Why Loki Won in The Avengers

The Mask of Reason

Spoiler Alert!  Avoid reading this post if you haven’t seen The Avengers.

No really, look away!

O.k., let’s talk about The Avengers, the highest grossing movie so far this year, and the movie on track to potentially unseat James Cameron’s Avatar as highest grossing movie of all time.  Specifically, I want to talk about the writing and Loki, the film’s key villain.  More specifically, I want to explain how Joss Whedon managed to write the perfect Xanatos Gambit.

For those who don’t know or didn’t click the link above, a Xanatos Gambit (named for the villain Xanatos from Disney’s Gargoyles cartoon) is a plan that literally cannot fail because win or lose, the villain wins.  This is one of those “I wanted you to beat me all along” scenarios, where defeating the villain somehow means the hero still loses.  This isn’t changing your plans to compensate or getting lucky…

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Can J.J. Abrams balance the Stars?

Self-confessed nerd J.J. Abrams has agreed to take his seat in the Director’s chair for the upcoming Star Wars VII, VIII and IX movies. Yes, the same man who is currently directing his own Star Trek saga is directing the new Star Wars trilogy. With Star Trek Into Darkness being released in May 2013, Star Wars Episode VII slated for a 2015 release, and 2017 release rumours flying around his third Star Trek movie, it sounds like Mr Abrams will have a busy few years. And just for good measure, he’s signed up to direct films based on the Valve Corporation games Portal and Half-Life.

Abrams didn’t have the best start to a film career, co-writing poorly-received films such as Armageddon and Regarding Henry. Fortunately, his TV career took off almost before it began. His first three shows, which he created, wrote and directed, Felicity, Alias and Lost, are all widely regarded as some of the best TV shows ever, and rightly so.

This led him to be given a shot at directing his first feature film, the somewhat bizarre but entertaining Mission: Impossible III. Hollywood clearly liked it and soon he was producing the smash-hit Cloverfield. Around this time, he was back to dabbling in TV, producing various shows that never really took off. Then he had his fourth master stroke in just 10 years when he created the outstanding Fringe in 2008. This propelled him back into the big time. And he’s still there.

2009 marked the release of the first Star Trek film since 2002’s poorly-received Star Trek Nemesis. The film, merely titled Star Trek, featured an all-star cast including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Simon Pegg. Overall, the film was a resounding success and took just shy of $400 million at the box office. Trekkers and newbies alike took to this stunning piece of cinema, so it was no surprise when a sequel was announced.

Before starting work on Star Trek “2”, as it was known at the time, Abrams directed the fantastic Super 8. The film, produced by the great Steven Spielberg, was set in 1979 and was essentially a homage to Speilberg’s films in the 70s and 80s. Watch it carefully enough (sometimes the references are far more obvious though) and you’ll see references to The Goonies, ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

In 2011, Abrams produced Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the 4th instalment of the series, which was the live action directorial début of one of Pixar’s main men, Brad Bird.

Around this time, with Fringe still going strong, Abrams became a producer on Jonathan Nolan’s (brother of Chris) sci-fi drama Person of Interest, and also on the post-apocalyptic drama Revolution. The fact that Abrams was producing 3 shows at the same time is almost a foresight of what is to come.

January 2012 was a busy month for J.J.. First he was trying to negotiate the saving of Fringe, which, despite a cult following, was still struggling for viewers. No one was willing to take a chance on it again, so it was announced then that Fringe’s next season, its 5th, would be the last. Also in this month, Star Trek “2” began filming. And still, no one outside of the film knew anything about it. Not even a subtitle.

Then the big news. On 25th January 2012, it was confirmed that Abrams would be the director of Star Wars Episode VII. Cue hysteria in the sci-fi community. “He should stick to Star Trek!” “He can’t do both” were just 2 of the comments batted about.

Filming of Star Trek “2” finished in May 2012, possibly around the time Revolution started filming (the pilot was ready for San Diego Comic-Con, which took place in mid-July). So he’ll have been getting ready to enter post-production for Star Trek “2” and starting production on Revolution, Fringe and Person of Interest. I’m surprised he even found the time to breathe.

Now we enter today. We know an awful lot more about Star Trek “2”, now titled Star Trek Into Darkness, than we did a year ago, but still not a lot compared to most other films. Fringe has sadly finished, Person of Interest is still running strong, and Revolution is currently on a mid-season break. With Into Darkness being released in 2 months or so, this welcome break probably couldn’t come at a better time. Post production will be coming to an end on Star Trek Into Darkness and Abrams may finally be able to concentrate on developing the story of Star Wars 7 with writer Michael Ardnt.

So can J.J. Abrams balance the stars? Having seen all the evidence, I do not think there is any doubt he can. He’s balanced 3 TV shows and a film at the same time, so there is no reason why he can’t do this. The Portal and Half-Life movies may take a severe back-seat until he is finished with Star Trek, but there is no feasible reason why he will fail. He, first and foremost, is a Star Wars fan. He knows what needs to be in the film, and he knows what needs to be omitted.

Obviously this will be new for him, trying to direct films in two franchises that have had sparring fans since the dawn of time, and there will be fanboys who will refuse to like Star Wars VII. That will be their loss though. The film will be better than the prequels (Episodes I, II and III), and there is no logic behind the suggestion he won’t be able to manage both films.

May you live long and prosper with the force, J.J..