The main question director JJ Abrams was faced with as he took on the challenge to helm the seventh Star Wars movie was this: How do you make it “delightful?”
“That was really the only requirement Larry and I imposed on each other: The movie needed to be delightful,” Abrams told Wired, referring to Lawrence Kasdan, the film’s co-writer.
“It was not about explaining everything away, not about introducing a certain number of toys for a corporation, not about trying to appease anyone,” he added in the latest issue of the monthly magazine published Monday.
“This has only ever been about what gets us exited.”
The latest installment of the much-anticipated Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, opens in US theatres on December 18 and fans are snapping up any tidbit of information about the film ahead of its release.
On Friday, fans went wild as a new version of the film’s trailer with new footage was released with no prior warning on the Japanese version of the Star Wars website, prompting speculation about the plot and analysis of each picture frame.
Abrams said the fact that he was making the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy allowed him some leeway in how he approached the project.
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“It’s not very often that you get to work on something where you know there is a continuum,” he said.
“And it’s kind of great. It unburdens you.”
He also hinted that he realized he had big shoes to fill given what George Lucas was able to do with the first Star Wars movie, “let alone the next ones.”
“Forget how incredible it looked, forget the technology, forget the humour of it, the heart, the romance, the adventure -- all the amazing moments that made us love it,” he told Wired.
“Think about what he was able to stir up,” Abrams added. “This, to me, is one of the greatest things about Star Wars.”
The director also said he could not fathom not releasing any trailers until just before the movie’s opening given the wide appeal of the sci-fi series.
“I... pushed to have a teaser come out a year before, just because it felt like, as a fan of Star Wars, if I could see even the littlest thing, I’d be psyched a year out,” said Abrams, whose directorial work includes Star Trek and Mission: Impossible III.