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Creator / J. J. Abrams

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"What's a bigger mystery box than a movie theater? You go to the theater, you're just so excited to see anything — the moment the lights go down is often the best part."

Jeffrey Jacob "J.J." Abrams (born June 27, 1966) is an American director, producer, writer, and composer.

He's known for his work on Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield, Armageddon (1998), Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek (2009), its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy (directing, co-writing, and co-producing its first and third films in addition to being an executive producer on its second). He has won several Emmys and Golden Globes during his career.

Along with Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan, he is considered one of the most prolific modern "genre" TV/film creators since Steven Spielberg, including by Spielberg himself, who produced Abrams' tribute to '70s/80s Spielberg sci-fi films, Super 8.

He likes red balls and playing with the perception of time, in addition to having a well-documented thing for Lens Flares. He also hates airplanes (both Lost and Fringe have had more than one airline-related disaster—and the other stuff on the list of credits also have had aviation-related incidents).

Contrary to popular belief, Abrams' involvement in Lost was marginal; Abrams and eventually Damon Lindelof were asked to help flesh out a concept for the show when American Broadcasting Company chairman Lloyd Braun rejected Jeffrey Lieber's treatment, but by the time the first season started to take off, Abrams had already left to direct Mission: Impossible III. Lindelof, suddenly left alone with the burden of being showrunner, considered quitting as well, but was convinced by former co-writer Carlton Cuse to stay. Cuse then joined the show as a second showrunner. Abrams remained an executive producer, and later briefly returned to write the season 3 premiere together with Lindelof, but as he and others stated in numerous interviews Lindelof and Cuse ran the show entirely without him.

He has a similar "shepherding" role to most TV series he is involved in, including Fringe and Person of Interest, with his most hands-on projects being his movies. He also developed the concept for the novel S, which was written by Doug Dorst.

Abrams has the notable distinction of being the only director (so far) tapped to helm both a Star Trek and a Star Wars movie — with his involvement in the former series happening because the latter series had, at that time, ended. As of 2019, he's gotten to direct two of each.

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    Works Abrams has creative credits in: 

    Other works Abrams has credits in: 

His works frequently contain examples of:

  • Action Girl: Occurs quite frequently. Alias and Fringe both star iconic women in action roles, Sydney Bristow, Olivia Dunham, Michelle and Rey respectively.
  • Author Appeal: In addition to the aforementioned Action Girl, lens flares. Both Star Trek films and Super 8 made extensive use of it and his usage of it is a prime source of parody.
    • He also seems to love depicting scenes where the protagonists explore the massive metallic wreckage of giant vehicles, which usually dwarfs the characters in scale. The train crash in Super 8, the debris field of destroyed Starfleet vessels after a battle with Nero in Star Trek, and the wreckage of Imperial war machines scattered in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker are only a few examples of this.
    • Several of his movies also feature scenes where the characters get attacked by large, nasty, frequently multi-limbed alien creatures with varying degrees of relevance to the plot. The entire plot of Cloverfield, the rathtars in The Force Awakens, the alien in Super 8, the giant red squid-shark monster that attacks Kirk on Delta Vega in Star Trek, etc...
    • Daddy Issues. Whether it's Alias with the lead's dad's Face–Heel Revolving Door, killing off James T Kirk's biological dad to introduce an abusive stepfather to his backstory, to Rey and Finn's antagonistic parental surrogates in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Creator Thumbprint: His films and shows feature the name "Kelvin", in honor of his grandfather.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Another common occurrence in his science fiction movies. Star Trek (2009), The Force Awakens, and The Rise of Skywalker all depict at least one planet being blown up by the Big Bad.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: His "Mystery Box" concept is built around keeping secrets and raising questions so that an audience will keep guessing. This approach has garnered some criticism. The problem is that according to critics, he always forgets to put something interesting, satisfying or impactful in said box or anything at all, essentially leading audiences like donkeys with a carrot on a stick. That is not counting the possibility of The Chris Carter Effect happening, or his tendency to make it up as he goes along and insist that any solution to a mystery is always a letdown so there's no point trying to make a good one anyway.
  • Kill and Replace: Tends to happen at least once per show with regards to a prominent side character, notable in the second seasons of both Alias and Fringe.
  • Lens Flare: A stylistic trope more prevalent in his movies than his TV shows, with Star Trek (2009) being the biggest offender thus far.
  • Magic Realism: Alias, Felicity, and Lost all have elements of this. Lost is probably the best example.
  • Mood Whiplash: His works have elements of quirky comedy and lots of quips. But they can also get into very dark territory, with intimidating villains who carry out cruel and brutal acts.
  • Parental Abandonment: Common for his protagonists.
    • In Alias, Sydney grew up with a dead mother and a distant father. She repaired her relationship with her father during their CIA work, though not without some hiccups along the way. Her mother is actually still alive and is a major villain, having deliberately abandoned Sydney as part of her mission.
    • The Point of Divergence for Abrams's Star Trek timeline is the untimely death of George Kirk at the hands of the Romulan Nero. James Kirk grows up with a mean stepfather, leading him to be an angrier and more rebellious man than in the original timeline.
    • Both of Abrams's Star Wars films focus on Rey's parentage. In The Force Awakens, Rey is introduced as a slave of Unkar Plutt after her parents left her on Jakku, and the major unresolved mystery in the film is who her parents are. The Rise of Skywalker then reveals that she is Palpatine's granddaughter and that her parents abandoned her to keep her safe from his plot to steal her body.
  • Production Posse: He's worked on a number of projects with writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, cinematographer Dan Mindel, and composer Michael Giacchino. When he can, he will always try to fit Greg Grunbergnote  or Simon Pegg in either a cameo or supporting role, while Felicity star Keri Russell also appeared in Mission: Impossible III and The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
  • The Reveal/Teasing Creator: His frequent use of the Jigsaw Puzzle Plot in his works involves keeping one element of a project under wraps during marketing to keep audiences guessing. After Star Trek Into Darkness took this approach with Khan, a backlash started to emerge against it.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: His forays into space opera have shown that he has little concern about the scale of interplanetary and and interstellar distances, preferring to decide his visuals via Rule of Cool.