J.J. Abrams went from leading one huge science fiction franchise to two, leaving a lot of nerds happy. While Star Trek was widely beloved and fans quickly became comfortable with the future of that franchise, the Star Wars future is still foggy to see. A confidence was found when Lucas let control go over to Disney and then Disney landed Abrams to direct but many are still uneasy. It isn't an unfounded uneasiness after every Star Wars fan left Episode 1 feeling duped and hurt. Would this new direction and new movie really be good? Or should we all expect another racial stereotype alien for our comedy relief?
Recently Abrams has been mostly silent after being named director to Star Wars, probably focusing on his work on the Star Trek sequel. Now as that movie is about done and Abrams is making some marketing rounds he has finally begun to open up about his next career step. In an interview with Playboy, Abrams is asked point blank if we can expect old cast members or characters to show up. And he's asked what kind of timeline we can expect from the new film. Of course he answers neither.
He admits that the films are still too early in the planning stages to truly have any definitive answers to some questions, but that could be an artful dodge since I'm sure something is known somewhere. Abrams does talk about looking back into a film franchise's past and learning from mistakes which bodes well. He also mentions the resource he has in Lucas who, no mater your opinion of him, still is the guy who gave us Vader, Luke, and Yoda in the first place. He also mentions letting Star Wars have it's own feel and aesthetic, different from that of the Star Trek films.
Do yourself a favor and read through the entire Playboy interview here. It made me, as a big Star Wars fan, lots of hope about Abrams.