J.J. Abrams To Direct New Star Wars Movie

With the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney complete, the rumor mill is filled with Star Wars rumors, and the latest is quite interesting:

Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will be helming the next Star Wars movie. “It’s done deal with J.J.,” a source with knowledge of the situation told Deadline today. Argo director Ben Affleck was also up for the gig, the source says. Abrams was courted heavily by producer Kathleen Kennedy to take the Star Warsjob. Expected in 2015, Episode VII will be the first new Star Wars movie since 2005-s Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. Michael Arndt is writing the script for the first installment of the relaunch of George Lucas’ franchise by Disney. The company bought Lucasfilm in October for $4 billion,  with the Star Wars franchise the jewel in the crown. At the time, CEO Bob Iger said three more Star Wars films were in the pipeline.

Abrams, of course, is the guy responsible for Alias, Lost, and the reboot of the Star Trek franchise, the latest edition of which will be released in May. Interestingly, Abrams’ production company will remain involved in the Trek franchise after this year’s movie, although he has said he likely won’t direct a third Star Trek film. So, basically, Abrams will be at the helm of both Star Trek and Star Wars. That’s the Science Fiction equivalent of being both the Pope and the Archsbishop of Canterbury.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. stonetools says:

    Through Damon Lindelof, with whom he co created Lost, he is also connected to the Aliens franchise/universe. His tentacles are everywhere!

    H’mmm, suppose the Engineers in Prometheus were in reality Star Wars Sith Lords….

  2. michael reynolds says:

    His tentacles are everywhere!

    Wait. Am I crazy or is JJ Abrams Cthulhu?

  3. Peacewood says:

    I suppose we can look forward to our lightsaber battles loaded with lens flare.

  4. “That’s the Science Fiction nerd equivalent of being both the Pope and the Archsbishop of Canterbury.

    There….fixed that for ya.

    Can’t really say I’m surprised….or that impressed. Seems like Hollywood’s backed themselves into a corner by creating only a few marketable name directors. They seem to think that If Del Toro, Whedon, Abrams or Jackson isn’t directing it, no one will see it.

    That’s bull.

  5. aFloridian says:

    @James Pearce (Formerly Known as Herb):

    If Del Toro, Whedon, Abrams or Jackson isn’t directing it, no one will see it.

    I think Del Toro and Jackson are somewhat overrated, but would have loved to see Whedon direct the new films (his Firefly/Serenity was great Sci-Fi). None of them are as overrated as Quentin Tarantino though. Just watched Django Unchained, and what a waste of my time. I haven’t seen a movie of his I’ve liked since Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

    As for Abrams, I think it’s a decent choice. They did a pretty good job with the Star Trek reboot, so I have hope. The new Star Wars will at least have great visuals (and maybe good dialogue, since Lucas’ hand isn’t in it!).

  6. Rob in CT says:

    Jackson has gotten into the Lucas I’m full of myself phase, I think. Sadly. I base this on The Hobbit.

    I’d love to see more Whedon sci-fi/space opera. I loved Firefly/Serenity.

    Abrams is ok. The Star Trek reboot was fun, though it had plot holes bigger than The Enterprise.

  7. @aFloridian:

    “would have loved to see Whedon direct the new films”

    I hear ya. I’ve enjoyed Whedon’s work immensely, and have come around to Abrams. (I didn’t like Super 8 the first time I saw it, but found much to love the 2nd time.)

    I just think if a guy like Irwin Kershner can direct Empire (arguably the best in the series) and a nobody like Richard Marquand can do Jedi , a big name director is not really necessary. Star Wars sells itself.

    I’m with you on Tarantino, though. He has this strange knack for making films that are simultaneously under-developed and over-developed. I suspect if his films stop making money, someone will finally get the guts to tell him that.

  8. matt bernius says:


    I think Del Toro and Jackson are somewhat overrated

    Jackson suffers from the same problem as Lucas — too much money and no one willing to tell him “no” because he’s a brand. As Michael Reynolds can probably attest to, editors and friendly critics are really important collaborators.

    Del Toro on the other hand is anything but overrated. Though it will be interesting to see what happens if Pacific Rim is a HUGE success.

    Likewise, Whedon could be a good choice. But I think he’s another one that works better when there’s top-down pressure and constraints.

    The big problem (or perhaps not so big problem) with the Star Wars films is that they almost require a certain generic direction style. Abrams can bring that.

    Still I would love to have seen either David Lynch’s and David Cronenberg’s Jedi.

  9. Jeremy says:

    All he needs to do now is Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica and he’ll be all set.

  10. Jeremy says:

    @Rob in CT:

    The Star Trek reboot was fun, though it had plot holes bigger than The Enterprise.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. They were so bad for me I had to give the movie only five out of ten warp nacelles.