11:47am PT by Graeme McMillan
J.J. Abrams Describes Screening Unfinished 'Star Wars: Force Awakens' Cut for Disney Execs
As if the pressure from fans to make Star Wars: The Force Awakens the very best it could be wasn't enough, director J.J. Abrams has revealed that the first screening for Disney executives was a "horrifying" experience.
"We showed the first cut — which was still incomplete, a complete version of the movie but not the finished version — and we showed it to Alan Horn, Bob Iger and Alan Bergman, the three people at Disney who sat with me in the theater, and we screened the movie. And it was horrifying," Abrams told Howard Stern during an appearance on his SiriusXM station Monday. "I'm nervous beyond words, I'm showing this movie that is so far from finished, there's not an effect in it ... It was a lot of me giving excuses before the screening."
The response from the executives was favorable, Abrams went on to add, something he described as "the biggest relief of my life" — although he admitted that after the initial relief had worn off, his cynicism returned. "Their response was so kind, [I thought] they were just being nice," he joked.
The director also addressed the absence of Luke Skywalker from the movie's promotion to date. "Here's the thing: I really want to make sure that we're not ruining the movie for people, that they're not seeing too much of it before it comes out," Abrams said. "I hate when I go and see a trailer and think that I've just seen the movie in encapsulated form ... I'd rather be asking questions than feel like they'd been answered for me."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18. Maybe then, audiences will get to discover Luke's final fate.