In the coming months, in a galaxy not so far away, a media corps will boldly go where many will go: they will ask J.J. Abrams about Star Wars.
Abrams's Star Trek Into Darkness comes out in May—and of course you know this from the endless string of trailers—but it looks like that movie might have to compete for attention in the media circus with that other franchise Abrams will be directing as well. It's still early, but we can't help but wonder whether the Star Trek press tour is going to be all about the next episode of Star Wars.
Take, for instance, the frenzy on Monday over Empire's tease from their May issue. The magazine has the Star Trek cast on the cover for what's billed as their "J.J. Abrams Issue," but the big news from the interview is Abrams saying some vague things about Star Wars. Of course, Abrams talks about the franchises in relation to one another. And Empire did frame their line of inquiry as: "While he was able to approach Star Trek with a detached objectivity, how will he, as a huge Star Wars fan approach Star Wars' bold new era?" But the news is that Abrams actually started talking about Star Wars. And he didn't even say much:
I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.
It's not the only example we've run across so far. ShortList felt they had to address Star Wars in their Abrams interview, even though "Stormtroopers are on hand to shut down any addressing of the Death Star-shaped elephant in the room." Following a screening of footage from Star Trek in Australia, Abrams's producing partner Bryan Burk discussed the early Star Wars pre-production: "It's very early in the process of Star Wars, but it feels like we are on the precipice of jumping into that world."
That's not to say the hunger for Star Wars from fanboys and the outlets that serve them will cause lasting damage to the Star Trek franchise. Undoubtedly the sequel is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and is sure to be a box office hit. Nobody is crying for Star Trek. But the franchise does have a slight problem of not being the most interesting kid on the J.J. Abrams block anymore. A Star Wars scoop from the director, however minor it may be, will likely hold more weight in the coming months than anything coming out about Star Trek.