Is Picking J.J. Abrams to Direct 'Star Wars: Episode VII' the Equivalent of Political Drafting?

Yahoo Contributor Network

We no longer have political drafting in America, even if it may have to resume once the Presidential candidate pickings become slim and one person overwhelms as a favorite. Hollywood hasn't seen cinematic drafting yet, but there isn't any better parallel to picking a new U.S. President than becoming the director of overly anticipated "Star Wars: Episode VII." With J.J. Abrams now the choice to direct, he'll have as much riding on his shoulders as the leader of the free world.

The only question is whether Abrams pushed his own way in to direct "Episode VII" or if he was essentially cajoled into doing it. Much like the U.S. Presidency has devolved into, the best candidates simply don't want an awesome responsibility of doing something that proves more than slightly Herculean. Evidence was mounting that every other A-list director didn't want the steep responsibility of directing a new "Star Wars" sequel, possibly out of fear of their vision being rejected by fans or tainting cinema history.

In that regard, politics and movies may separate in similarity. A politician may not always want the responsibility of being President, but political ideas and their repercussions are always transparent. Whether such a thing will happen with J.J. Abrams' personal creative ideas is another story. Any idea of cinematic drafting comes in the media announcing how Kathleen Kennedy of Lucasfilm did everything in her power to land Abrams into signing on the feared dotted line.

Perhaps Abrams is the Zen type who can take a monumental task and make it smaller in his mind. He'll need that, because he's now the cinematic equivalent of being President of the United States. Such a scenario means that you can't necessarily work under your own accord without having a cabinet of advisers with you.

And if there's any advice from "Star Wars" fans, they should suggest Abrams allow a team of experts who can advise him on the right directions to appease the loyal followers. As with the Presidency, you have to please your constituency, or it won't mean re-election to a new term of directing the sequels. Plus, whether he likes it or not, he may need a Vice Presidential co-director who doesn't resemble someone who looks like George Lucas in disguise.

The above is only for getting an "Episode VII" in the can by 2015 when it may be the most ambitious film project in the history of movies. If you're the cinematic analogy to the U.S. Presidency and have other projects in your chute, your sense of focus could easily be muttered. Abrams should expect long days and nights, which sounds painful when already tired from campaigning for your "Star Trek Into Darkness" sequel.

After it's all filmed and on the big screen, "Episode VII" will have possibly aged Abrams, just like the Presidency does. Those dark locks may have a few gray streaks, and everything he does afterward could be judged on how great or middling the film was. Therein lies the danger of cinematic drafting, or also why political drafting went away.

Eventually, we'll find out for sure if Abrams was or wasn't drafted for the "Episode VII" job. Without such evidence, we have to expect seeing Abrams under intense pressure and scrutiny for the next couple of years. It turns the industry of filmmaking into the parallel of a world leader that can only be overcome by Abrams telling overly serious fans to stop taking it so seriously.

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