J.J. Abrams: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Is A Self-Contained Story
Despite a promotional campaign that leans heavily on invoking the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, director J.J. Abrams says that he went into Star Wars: The Force Awakens intending to make a movie that stands on its own.
"We wanted to tell a story that had its own self-contained beginning, middle and end but at the same time, like A New Hope, implied a history that preceded it and also hinted at a future to follow," Abrams told WIRED in an interview that will be part of the magazine's next issue. "We’ve been able to use what came before in a very organic way because we didn’t have to reboot anything. We didn’t have to come up with a backstory that would make sense; it’s all there. But these new characters, which Force is very much about, find themselves in new situations — so even if you don’t know anything about Star Wars, you’re right there with them."
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Abrams said that he drew on personal experience in order to ensure that The Force Awakens was all it could be. "For example, I didn't want to enter into making a movie where we didn't really own our story," he explained. "I feel like I’ve done that a couple of times in my career. That’s not to say I’m not proud of my work, but the fact is I remember starting to shoot Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness and feeling like I hadn’t really solved some fundamental story problems."
Describing working with Lawrence Kasdan as "like taking an extended master class" in filmmaking, Abrams said that "the only requirement Larry and I imposed on each other" was that The Force Awakens be "delightful. It was not about explaining everything away, not about introducing a certain number of toys for a corporation, not about trying to appease anyone. This has only ever been about what gets us excited."
The full interview can be read here. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released Dec. 18.
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