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If J.J. Abrams Screws Up ‘Star Wars,’ There Will Be Hell to Pay

(Our childhood memories are at stake here, dude. Don’t eff around.)

By Dustin Seibert

Well, there’s no turning back for J.J. Abrams now.

With filming on the new Star Wars sequel underway, the legacy of the nerd magnum opus lies in what many would assume are capable hands. Here’s hoping such is the case, because if Abrams blows it and gives us another “Episode I,” there’s a chance that he might not make it to age 50.

I’m sure the main reason most people are excited about the new film is because Abrams is the nerd messiah, having created the cult classic TV shows Fringe and Alias, co-created Lost and managed to make the Star Trek series interesting. Since Star Wars is a serious labor of love for Abrams, he can’t seriously screw the pooch, can he?

Well, one thing he has going against him is that he’s the first director to helm the Star Wars cinematic universe outside of franchise creator George Lucas in 31 years, since Return of the Jedi. If anyone other than Lucas was responsible for Jar-Jar Binks and the rest of the cinematic abortion that was the sequel trilogy, they probably would’ve been strung up, jammed in the ass with several Magic: The Gathering playing cards and beat Private Pyle-style with early-model laptops.

But watching Lucas botch his own franchise is like watching a parent leave their child locked in a car on a sunny day while going grocery shopping: That shit ain’t right, but it is their child. J.J. blowing this would be like a babysitter leaving the child to drown in a tub of running water.

I think the main reason Abrams has a steep mountain to climb is that, contrary to popular belief, the original trilogy was more memorable and iconic and less actual quality filmmaking. That wooden, stunted dialogue and slapstickiness was the stuff of a Nickelodeon show, not a serious sci-fi series like subsequent classics in the Alien and Terminator franchises. And since movies by and large sucked more in the 1970s than they do now, Abrams has the tall challenge of making Star Wars palatable for a new generation of consumers that demand something better.

It helps that he cast the only good thing about the HBO show “Girls,” and it also helps that the main cast from the Holy Trilogy are all on deck to reprise their roles, which will be awesome as long as Mark Hamill does a few push-ups to get back to lightsaber-wielding fighting weight and Carrie Fisher doesn’t even attempt to squeeze in that metal bikini again.

I’ll certainly embrace my nerd pedigree by being one of the first at the show to catch the new film next year. And if Abrams delivers a turkey, I’ll bring the rope myself.

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