A response to the critics who say that JJ Abrams has taken Star Wars's best bits to make a reboot of the original franchise. Si, si. I agree!
There are many similarities between TFA and Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. From [SPOILER] little droids with important data, and fathers and sons, to big ships swallowing up the Falcon and a weapon of mass destruction, that is what JJ did. And he did it very well. I'd prefer he did that than George spawn a new mess. Lucas has been throwing shapes about the lack of originality. I'm sorry, but have you seen The Phantom Menace? #Formula
Phantom's a mashup of Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, with JarJar and the Gungans replacing Wicket, Logray and Chirpa of the Care Bears of Endor.
JJ's mashup of Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back is - firstly - a stronger choice of template and secondly, a far better movie than the first prequel.
According to some critics, JJ Abrams hasn't yet earned his stripes with the original movies he's made - so there's a touch of ad hominem shtick going on. They say he'll never rise to the heights of Spielberg. But is JJ Abrams an auteur? A creative genius? Is he a visionary? Is
he a family-friendly postmodern magpie, an antidote to the NSFW
Tarantino? You could argue that he is. And his movies - such as Super 8 - are characterized by nostalgia for an earlier cinema age. Cloverfield was a high-budget Blair Witch type thing that was probably more costly than it should have been.
What was some of the stuff he was responsible for before he was given the Trek and Star Wars franchises?
Felicity, Alias, Alcatraz, Person of Interest, Fringe.
The only watercooler series he's arguably had his hands on was Lost, and he didn't stay hands-on for long. The storytelling dynamic of Lost shook up the syntax of TV drama in a very in-yer-face way.
By golly, the multi-arc storytelling, with long gaps of three or five eps between picking up the same plot again, was terrific. What's more, fans were happy to pick up that last thread after a cliffhanger the previous week, which would be all but forgotten till we joined that thread again four episodes later. All very commendable entertainment. That's not even mentioning the in-episode flashback etc concepts, the creative bluff of the first flash-forward, and much else. They sorta dropped the ball at the end of Lost, and what's more, signing up for a crashed airplane on a tropical island does not necessarily mean you want to watch time-travel sci-fi with electromagnetism and huge dollops of New Age kook.
But whatever he is, JJ Abrams has at least reasonable form at collaborative film-making, harnessing talent, and apparently directing with a rare generosity for all the participants in his projects. Whether his work stinks or smells of roses, he tends to get people talking and he generates revenue for the studios. And whether behind or in front of the camera, I imagine people would prefer to work on an Abrams set than on many another director's.