J.J. Abrams first came to my attention back in 2001 with the success of Alias. The Metaphysical Journey of Sydney Bristow caught my imagination, and so it was only natural that I was curious about her creator. About the same time Alias became a runaway hit, I rediscovered Felicity. The chronicle of this sensitive young woman’s personal growth during her college years moved me as well. Then Lost came along and I realized that J.J. Abrams was a kindred spirit and someone I needed to meet!
My Lost quest most defiantly led me back to Buoyant Billions, which leads me to Star Wars and Ethan McMillan. While watching the Lost bonus disk I was happy to find out that Damon Lindelof showed up to his first meeting with J.J. Abrams in a Star Wars T-Shirt. J.J. Abrams commented, “How could I not be friends with him [Damon] before?” The two share similar views and interests, including a love for Star Wars. It is their philosophic views that run as an undercurrent to the show. They have, at least in part, orchestrated this whole hypertext and intertextual adventure.
I picked up Island by Huxley after discovering a reference to it that was hidden pretty well. Since the public library lost their copy and no one else had one, I was forced to roll change to buy my own copy. I dug into the novel Island as soon as I got it. That excited feeling of grasping a connection rose inside of me. Huxley’s book is very much a dialogue driven novel of ideas, not that much unlike the play Buoyant Billions by George Bernard Shaw, which I wrote and published a paper on. I have yet to find out if Huxley was influence by Shaw, but they seem to hold some similar views. Huxley’s Pala people are one step beyond Junis’s world betterer. The parallels are close enough to write a whole other paper on. I thought that I might draw up a draft on that, but first I had to tackle documenting my sources properly in my “Lost in Hypertext” paper.
Anyway, while doing some digging, I discovered that J.J Abrams and I share the same birthday—June 27th. He was born in 1966, while I was born 10 years later in 1976. Coincidence? I think not! When the numbers 6:27 popped up on a clock in the first season of Fringe, I knew very few people would realize that that was a reference to his birthday. I smiled when I saw it, feeling a subtle sublime connection to this him.
Abrams and I have been influenced by many of the same things it seems. From Star Wars to The X-Files to a love of literature, we seem to be on the same page. His book S. demonstrated the Intertextuality and Reader Response Literary Theory that I identified in my paper about Lost. A theme that seems to run through his work, and mine as well, is that everything and everyone is connected in a sort of Neverending Story. Our response and personal references to a piece of work is what completes that work and makes it infinite.
The force is strong with J.J. Abrams. Who else could have ever dreamed up a universe in which he could continue living, working and creating in the worlds that both Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas first created? The nerdy debate on Star Trek vs Star Wars has become infinitely more complicated now that Abrams has dabbled in both worlds. He has connected two major influences in a way no one saw coming!
Along the way he has continued to capture my imagination with shows like Fringe, Person of Interest and Revolution. Like all visionaries, he is tapping into some sort unseen cultural current. It wouldn’t surprise me if his Science-Fiction became Science Fact in the same fashion that Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 have.
I hope that I can have J.J. Abrams as a reader of my own work one day. It would be wonderful to see how he response to my writing and see if he feels a connection to me as well. Sitting at table and discussing science-fiction, humanity and philosophy would be a very stimulating experience I should think. And if our fates should bring us together to work on a mutual project, I would think myself the luckiest woman in the world.