News that JJ Abrams Will Direct Star Wars Episode 7 Leaves a John Carter Fan Feeling like he’s not one of the cool kids

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Ever get that feeling that you’re just not one of the cool kids in school?  As someone who deeply loves Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom and has always been a bit “meh” about Star Wars, I got that feeling yesterday when Disney announced that JJ Abrams will direct Star Wars Episode 7 and sent a huge buzz wave through the entertainment blogosphere and twitterverse.

“Star Wars: Episode VII,” the first of a new series of movies to be released from Lucasfilm under  producer Kathleen Kennedy.

“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new ‘Star Wars’ movie,” Kennedy said in a statement. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the ‘Star Wars’ experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettablemotion picture.”

Now don’t get me wrong — I wish Abrams and Star Wars well . . . but it surely brings home just how far off Disney’s radar John Carter is.  And if that’s not enough — Daniel Presnell on the John Carter Back to Barsoom Facebook Group pointed out that Disney has not updated their John Carter Facebook Page since July 2, 2012.  I did some examining (and will probably write in more detail about it at some point) and found that John Carter is alone among, for example, the group that includes Avatar, Hunger Games, and Avengers to not be updating its Facebook page anymore.  All of the other ones named have multiple posts in January.  Each post (which takes an intern about 30 seconds to create and can be as simple as  “Woola would follow John Carter Anywhere” with a pic of Woola) appears on hundreds of thousands of Facebook feeds of people who have “liked” the page . . . .and keeps the movie “alive” . . . .sells Blu-rays, DVDs, etc.  So if Disney was the least bit interested in anything to do with John Carter, this would be about the minimum — a simple, free task that takes two minutes,  costs nothing,  and has a meaningful impact.  If there was even the remotest possibility Disney was interested in keeping the franchise alive, they would at least do this much.  But they have abandoned it.  Ah yes.

But we had John Carter before Disney came along, and will have it afterwards.

Meanwhile, congrats to JJ Abrams . . . . a good choice for Star Wars Episode 7.


  • I guess I am destined to see all my favorites ruined. First Ron Moore turns BSG into a convoluted soap opera. Then Abrams trashes Star Trek, Then stanton guts and stomps on A Princess of Mars and now Abrams again, with Star Wars.
    I have a bad feeling about this.

  • When I saw the first Star Wars movie, I thought of how much it owed to all the science fiction and fantasy that preceeded it. I loved the first three and was really involved in the fandom. The prequels were not worth the ‘space’ it took to film them.

    I am also a longtime fan of Star Trek. I didn[t hate the reboot that Mr. Abrams did but I am not even sure I care if there is another Star Wars movie.

    I still want a Stanton sequel for John Carter.

  • He can’t do both Star Trek and Star Wars. It’ll cause some sorta nerd paradox that’ll rip the universe in half.

  • Needless to say I vote YES for “”!!! (says the guy who would be unable to maintain a blog) 🙂

  • Pascalahad, yeah — I’m being a bit of a curmudgeon, which isn’t like me (at least I think it isn’t). I totally agree that JJ Abrams is a great choice and will quite probably breathe a whole lot of new life in the Star Wars franchise, and I’m all for that. And I like Star Wars okay . . . maybe MCR is right when he says I have some resentment because of the lifting of ERB without attribution and that becoming a success, when the actual ERB (as interpreted by Stanton) was not. On the other had, I never really got that much of an ERB feel from Lucas. There were moments, yes . . . .and I know that in some of the later films there was more ERB flavor. But it kinda lost me with Episode 4. I went into the theater thinking — all right, the great sci-fi I’ve been reading has finally arrived, according to the critics. But then I just didn’t feel it. And what I did feel had more in common with Heinlein and (maybe) Asimov than it did Burroughs. In fact I wasn’t all that fixated on Burroughs when I saw Ep 4 for the first time. Just from the trailers I could tell that with all the Death Star stuff, the robots, the starfighters, Wookie — none of that seemed remotely like Burroughs to me. Nor did Luke Skywalker feel like a Burroughs hero — much more like a Heinlein hero from one of his young adult titles.

    I’ll get over it and by the time Episode 7 is here I’ll be excited to see it. But I don’t think I’ll be starting “The Star Wars Files” . . . . 😉

    (But I did buy and am thinking about taking the plunge on that one.) 😉

  • From what I read about your decription about Star Wars, Michael, it seems to me that you were really anticipating science-fiction, but Star Wars has always been more akin to fantasy, more than to sci-fi. Well, nothing is for everybody though, nothing wrong with that.

    I’m a Star Wars kid, definitely. I started from the toys (they were just the coolest at this time) to the comics, to the actual movies… Anyway, I was also among those who were desperate to see the universe falling into the limbos of lousiness, from the Extended Universe to the prequels, to this final slap in the face named Kinect Star Wars. There was not one ounce of dignity left in the franchise.

    So I couldn’t be more happy now to see someone taking Star Wars seriously again… which means having fun with it. Abrams reinvigorated life into the Star Trek dead franchise (I’m a trekker too and despaired to see the post-Next Generation series slowly diluting the main concept). I have great hopes (too great perhaps?) of him making Star Wars cool again for people of all ages. And hopefully Michael Giacchino will be part of the trip too, if John Williams doesn’t want to do it. 🙂

  • John Carter cannot be allowed to make more money. A profitable Mars film was not predicted by Disney’s magic 8ball, and Rich Ross made the executive decision to make sure the movie did not exceed expectations, No marketing, no licenses, no merchandise, no money. They had a financial plan in place before the movie was released, and they are following it, even down to no Facebook updates. This was a planned failure, and the plan is still active.

  • Look that’s fine if you’re “meh” on Star Wars. But I’m sure there is some aggravation there or anger that Lucas turned out a film that only used ERB as inspiration, not a full on adaptation and it became a popular film yet Stanton delivered his so-called “real” adaptation and it flopped. You’re rooting for your guy and not only does he fail he gets upstaged by a guy who uses the same footwear and similar uniform. It is annoying and I empathize.

    That said if I had a choice between JJ Abrams’ Episode VII and Andrew Stanton’s John Carter sequel I’ll go with Abrams. At least he has shown skill and a joy of movie making. Plus he’s been honest: He loves Star Wars, warts and all. Compare that to Stanton’s constant nitpicking and belittling attitude towards ERB and his work. It’s a big difference there.

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