From J.J. Abrams’s new TED Talk "Let Them Eat X-Wings":
Hi, I’m J.J. Abrams. You might remember me from “Felicity”? I used to be all about this concept called “The Mystery Box,” which is basically the same idea as “The Prestige” but if I called it that people would know I just stole it from Christopher Nolan.
Anyway, after directing “Super 8” and the “Star Trek” films, I realized that my target audience for me and any other popular filmmaker right now consists solely of emotionally crippled man-babies who just want a comforting feedback loop of shit they liked when they were kids.
Once I realized this, I decided to focus less on “mystery” and “surprise” and more on “promotion” and “hype.”
Allow me to demonstrate.
Here I am definitely standing next to an X-Wing. Which means there will definitely be at least ONE X-Wing in the next “Star Wars.” No mystery there. No, if anything it’s just soothing reassurance and that’s appropriate since we are in fact dealing with adult babies who were betrayed by their last pop culture idol/surrogate father figure:
No, no, the other one.
There you go!
That’s part of the reason why I only make subtle changes to iconic designs. That and so that they’re still recognizable when lit like a Black Eyed Peas video.
Still, it’s better than all available alternatives. I mean, could you imagine if Michael Bay was rebooting the ‘Star Wars’ franchise? That X-Wing would probably have spinning rims, truck nuts, and a Confederate flag! Christopher Nolan? He’d make it work, although then the X-Wing would have to be painted black or gunmetal gray and end up looking like something out of “Starship Troopers.” At least Paul Verhoeven’s fascism was ironic, right?
Anyway, my time is almost up but before I go I want to leave you with this:
Check it out! It’s R2-D2! And he looks the same! No worse and certainly no better. So relax, all you man-babies. Papa Abrams isn’t going to give you anything that’ll upset your little man-baby tummies.
Come on, people: that is CLEARLY a Z-95 Headhunter, not an X-Wing!