Why I hate JJ Abrams (nothing to do with lens flare)

Expect spoilers for SW7 so here is some mouseover space.

He has now raped and pillaged TWO SF universes. First was Star Trek where he sets out to reboot the movie series and he starts out by throwing out everything in Star Trek. We can argue whether it is a bit extreme but most of my criticism for ST1 and ST2 is the lazy writing. Yes I know that Abrams did not write either Star Trek but as producer/director he has to look at the scripts and say “Are you fucking kidding me? These scripts crap all over everything established in the movie universe.” And the writing was soooo lazy. Need to get onto the ship? Scotty invents a transporter that can hit a ship half a galaxy away traveling at warp speed. Kirk is a cadet but the senior officer Spock gets talked out of his duty because he’s a little sad since his mom died. Oh and this cadet (at the beginning of the film considered for being thrown out of the Academy for cheating) is IMMEDIATELY promoted to Captain and given command of the Enterprise to be later revived from death in ST2 by Khan Cumberbatch’s miracle healing blood. Serious Abrams?! As producer/director you didn’t burn the scripts AND the writers?

Instead he must have said, “THAT’S how you make a film.” He takes on SW7 and in the ultimate hubris throws out the Expanded Universe because of course he can do better (he can’t). The worst part is he didn’t have to. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is the Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus of the EU. Rey? That’s Jaina Solo. Finn could have been Ben Skywalker or Ben could have been off training with his dad.
But the worst is how bad the writing is (blame him this time for learning script writing from Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof). I cannot excuse lazy writing. For example:

Rey knows how to fly a spaceship
Abrams: She has a feeling. It’s a force thing.
30 seconds of fanwank thinking
Since she is obviously mechanically inclined, the scavengers have her fix and test fly the ships. Obviously she’s working on the MF.
NB: In keeping the EU, she would have learned how to fly the MF from her dad.

Finn can hold his own against a trained force-user in a lightsaber duel.
Abrams: He’s Finn. Also Ren was injured.
30 seconds of fanwank thinking
Ren (being an evil asshole) is toying with Finn trying to find out where Rey or BB8 is.
Another fanwank I read on line: We see a stormtrooper use a shock baton so Finn can use melee weapons - EXCEPT how much training did he really get since this was his first mission. Enough to not be killed by Ren in three seconds?

How did Luke’s lightsaber he lost in Bespin end up in some backwater tavern?
Abrams: I’ll tell you later. $5 says she got shot in the face with a blaster so we’ll never know.
30 seconds of fanwank thinking
Anything else would have been better. Ummm… she was a putzfrau on Bespin which is how she met Han. It may be weak but it is better than Abrams.

Feel free to add your own.

tl;dr version: Twice now has eliminated the universe his movie is set in because he is an arrogant asshole that thinks he can do better. Not only tolerated lazy script write but has taken it to a whole new art form.

It was always going to be something like this regardless of Abrams. Disney wanted a New Hope remake to give the fans what they wanted and they got one. Can’t fault Abrams for being a yes man because if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have been chosen in the first place.

That said, his direction was solid and his narrative smooth and the whole thing could have been much, much worse. It HAS been much worse in the past.

I blame Abrams for the silly third act in the second ST movie, but this? Nah. He was a pro in this one.

All your fanwank thinking does not contradict what is on the screen or what you claim JJ Abrams has said. Each are both those things.

I think he had a difficult job, and he did it amazingly well. Not just any director could have managed this. The best part that he got right, and this is definitely due to his talent, is he made every character compelling, likeable, and fun. He is fantastically adept at doing that, and that is enough for me to heap praise upon his work.


George Lucas didn’t consider the Expanded Universe canon either. He’s said that he only considers the 6 films and the cartoon as canon “in his universe”, so not that much changed when Disney acquired the franchise. As Go_Arachnid_Laser said, it seems odd to blame Abrams for a decision that was likely made long before he joined the project.

What’s an Eu?

Comb the SweetTart crumbs out of your neckbeard and stop calling everything “Worst. Thing. Ever.”

It’s the chemical symbol of Euphonium.

Not really. It’s the Expanded Universe, the additional stories found in novels, comics, and games.

I say good riddance to the EU. Did you really expect the new movies to be adaptions of a bunch of comic books? Leaving things unexplained was what made the original trilogy so interesting, especially ep4. The Emperor, the Senate and the Republic were only mentioned in passing, leaving the suggestion that there was a lot more to be explored later. Do we now have to have a ten part novel explaining C3PO’s red arm?

Knowing J.J. Abrams is shit at his job hasn’t been hipster since Lost ended.

What did the end of Lost have to do with JJ?

The two-part pilot, which he wrote and directed, was awesome. That was also pretty much the end of his involvement with the show.

Same thing with the Star Trek movies. After the poor box office performances of the last few Star Trek movies, there was no way that new ones were going to be made unless they were a sure thing. And the way to do that was to make them big action movies. Abrams brought his specific style (and lens flare) to them, but the fact that they exist and that they are somewhat Star Trek in name only is because of the studio, not Abrams.

This is the important takeaway. People look for reasons to blame Abrams even when the decisions they’re complaining about weren’t his.

Abrams didn’t decide to drop the EU, Disney did as a corporate entity. They concluded - rightly, in my opinion - that the weight of the last 20+ years of material would be too confining going forward so they elected to drop it and move forward with a new, fresh canon that they control. Disney - again rightly, in my opinion - have confidence that their production and writing people can do a better job of universe and story building than the hodgepodge that happened in the past. The movies will be the better for it.

That some fanboys will be upset and complain about it? Pure gold, Jerry. It means they’re involved with the process and the product. That translates into money.

Get over it. Force Awakens was a good movie. So was the first Star Trek movie in 2009.

I really liked the movie and I like J.J. Abrams. I guess I’m not one of the cool kids. I’m ok with that.

From Wikipedia, citing the Season One DVD:

The reason the end of Lost sucked is because it revealed the series as a whole to be a bounced cheque. The ending was bad because the series was bad, and the series was bad because the series bible was bad. That the series was only revealed to be bad when it came time for it to pay out on all the mysteries it set up is why it has been described as ponzi storytelling.

No, buying their product translates into money. If you don’t buy their product, they don’t make money.

Count on this marketing fact, my friend. The more people are involved and engaged - even in a complaining way - the more product will move. Keeping it in the forefront of people’s minds? That’s money.

Seems to me that the phrase “X is a good movie” means nothing more than “I enjoyed watching X.”

I absolutely hated the 2009 TREK, and it’s sequel even more, because I disliked every character except for Amanda Grayson, and even her I only found pretty. TFA by contrast was entertaining in large part because I found the characters amusing. In both cases my opinion has no objective validity.

You do realize “The Force Awakens” was written by the same guy who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back,” which is ranked as the greatest of the Star Wars films by some.

(He also co-wrote “The Return of the Jedi,” but I don’t hold that against him. :slight_smile: