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J.J. Abrams has some thoughts on those The Force Awakens rip-off critiques

01.08.2016

J.J. Abrams was simply hoping he could make a movie that would do it for most STAR WARS fans when he made THE FORCE AWAKENS. He knew it was impossible for everyone to embrace it, but, as some criticize THE FORCE AWAKENS for following the story of STAR WARS a bit too closely for something that should have been advancing the saga forward, Abrams let the Awards Chatter podcast know what he hoped the film would accomplish.

I knew that, whatever we did, there would be a group of people — and I was just hoping and praying that it would be smaller than not — that would take issue with any number of things. But I knew we weren't making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people's time.

I can understand that someone might say, 'Oh, it's a complete rip-off!' What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new — to go backwards to go forwards.

In addition, Abrams also explains why he chose not to sign on as the director for EPISODE VIII, a job Rian Johnson then took, and, while we could all say we would never give up STAR WARS if it was put in our hands, there is a lot of time and energy that goes into making these happen on the new timeline to which Disney and Lucasfilm are committed.

I realized when I was working on [THE FORCE AWAKENS], the amount of energy that was required to tell the story, and do it justice, knowing when EPISODE VIII would start shooting, there was no way — if I wanted to still have my children talk to me in my old age — that doing that would make any sense. If THE FORCE AWAKENS worked, it was be the perfect place to say, 'I got to make a Star Wars movie,' and not be a greedy bastard. If it didn't work, no-one would want me doing it anyway.

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