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J.J. Abrams: One director to rule them all?

Reports from Hollywood suggest J.J. Abrams may direct the forthcoming 'Star Wars' film. He's already got the next 'Star Trek' coming out this fall. This is like crossing the sci-fi streams.

George Lucas and new 'Star Wars Episode VII' director J.J. Abrams.
Joi Ito

Since 1977, there's been "Star Trek" and there's been "Star Wars" and never the twain shall meet.

It's not that fans of one franchise couldn't be fans of the other. But for the most part, if you were involved in the production of one, you weren't involved in the other. But now, with word out of Hollywood that "Star Trek" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" director J.J. Abrams may helm the forthcoming "Star Wars Episode VII," we may have an unprecedented mixing of the tribes.

Will this create the sci-fi film equivalent of the famous crossing of the streams in "Ghostbuster?" In other words, galactic armageddon? Likely not, but there's bound to be people who freak out at the notion that the reins -- at least the directorial reins -- of both franchises are in the hands of the same man at the same time (at least until a new director for the next "Star Trek" film is named).

Of course, there's already no shortage of people finding humor in the situation (see more amusing tweets here), and some of them have created all kinds of imagery that will make purists cringe, but probably make those who are a bit more flexible laugh out loud.

Witness the image of Captain Kirk in a deep kiss with Princess Leia:

Or, how about the expertly crafted Federation Death Star:

And someone even came up with their imagined version of what the opening crawl image would look like in the new "Star Wars" (with Abrams' trademark lens flare, natch):

Interest in "Star Wars," always high, has reached a fever pitch in the weeks since Disney bought Lucasfilm -- and its signature franchise -- for $4 billion and announced it would be making more "Star Wars" films.

Of course, neither Lucasfilm nor Disney have confirmed Abrams' involvement in the next "Star Wars" film -- neither immediately responded to a request for comment -- so all this may be for naught. But it's certainly worth seeing how people would respond to the very idea that the two projects could be forever linked when, after all these years, they've co-existed in the sci-fi pantheon without ever really blending in any way.

Of course, there's also the question of whether Abrams would be a good fit for "Star Wars." The answer, naturally, is something we'd have to wait several years for. But many people would agree that Abrams' 2009 "Star Trek" brought new life and vitality to that series, and though the addition of "Toy Story 3" and "Little Miss Sunshine" writer Michael Arndt as screenwrite for the next "Star Wars" is a good start, any hints of adding successful creative types to that project is almost certainly a positive thing.