J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and Approaching the Film as a Massive Fan of the Franchise

     March 23, 2013


With the release of Star Trek Into Darkness only a couple of months away, director J.J. Abrams is about to be hounded by countless questions about Star Wars: Episode VII as he starts to make the Trek press rounds.  The filmmaker has thus far been fairly quiet with regards to him taking the helm of the first pic in a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, but he recently opened up to Empire during what appears to be a wide-ranging interview.

Just yesterday we shared his comments with the magazine about his scrapped Superman script Flyby and how it relates to this summer’s Man of Steel, and now the outlet has unveiled what Abrams had to say about approaching the new Star Wars film as a massive fan and the similarities with his take on Star Trek.  Hit the jump to read on.

j-j-abrams-star-warsIt’s no secret that Abrams wasn’t the biggest fan of Star Trek when he took the helm of that series reboot in 2009, so Empire asked Abrams how he’ll be able to keep the same objectivity with Star Wars, a property for which he has very strong affection:

“I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.”

jj-abrams-star-trekAbrams continued by reminiscing about his feelings when he first took on Star Trek and how he’s in a similar state while approaching Star Wars:

“I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds [of Trek and Wars] could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”

When Abrams was announced as the director of Episode VII, it wasn’t entirely out of left field.  He popped up on many fan shortlists when we first learned that Disney and Lucasfilm were moving forward with a new Star Wars movie, but last November he publicly stated that he had turned down the gig.  Obviously that didn’t last, and he addressed his reversal during the interview:

“My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife and I said ‘I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.’ That was the beginning.”

Head on over to Empire to read Abrams’ full quotes.  The entire interview with Abrams will be available in the next issue of the magazine, which hits stores next week.


Around The Web
  • rodeo down

    lens flares!!!!!

    • Devin

      Wow! I’ve never heard that joke before! *sarcasm*

    • pleasegoaway

      Please shut up. That joke is lame, old and derivative. You are just another loser dwelling online trying ot draw attention to themselves becuz their lives are meaningless. You’re not funny, you’re a virgin becuz no girl or guy will ever touch you becuz you talk that way like a tool-bag-internet-bonehead. Please just get lost.

      • ed

        ummmm are you serious “pleasegoaway”, was that at all necessary? i dont think “rodeo’s” joke was that annoying for you to get angry and attack him/her personally. people need to chill and let things go.

      • GunsOfNavarone

        Well that escalated quickly.

      • Sean

        You got way more out of that than I did

      • Chad

        Anyone see the irony that complain that pleasegoaway says the OP is “a virgin becuz you talk that way like a tool-bag-internet-bonehead”… then spells because “becuz” 3 times? Practice what you preach… virgin.

      • Steve

        Why would someone’s grammar skills have anything to do with their virginity? I know plenty of stupid people who can procreate.

  • Great white hype

    I know a lot of Trekkies weren’t overly enthused by Abrams Star Trek but I thought it was a decent take and helped reinvigorate a franchise that was going stale. And he wasn’t even a real fan of Trek. You can tell he loves Star Wars and is going to give it his best shot. I’m going to hope for the best. Look at it this way. It was time for Lucas to move on and at least they didn’t give it to Ratner or Bay.

  • Truth

    “And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.”

    Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

    • Tobias Humphrey

      Yeah, I think this is why I never liked Star Trek. I wasn’t a hard core fan, but I’ve seen all of the original, and I love the style of the previous Star Trek films. I have nothing against J.J. Abrams, but I don’t think he understood Star Trek. Hopefully he does understand Star Wars.

  • jk

    As long as he doesn’t dumb down the series for 5-year-olds, I’ll be happy with anything that moves the series forward.

  • Strong Enough

    Cool article but its pissin me off there aren’t any interviews with Michael Arndt. I’m more interested in what he has to say and how he is approaching this even though i know he’s probably holed up in his apartment right now on a typewriter. Directors aren’t really that interesting. Its the writers that are fascinating

    • Afilmguy

      I feel sorry that you don’t think directors are fascinating. I think each creative position has merit to their own. None should be divided or prioritized over the other. Both the writer and director contribute visionary story-telling methods. Writers are mostly concerned with structure while directors appeal to artist thematic visuals. It’s a collaborative artistic development is what film is. :)

      • samantha

        JJ is a hack, nothing good about that.

  • J J Abrahams

    ‘So I says to Lindelof, I says, eh bro how can me wake Stars Wars like appeal to the widest audience possible? Cause like it needs to be dumbed down a couple shades so as to maximize profit. So Lindelof says, he says, ‘well I can put a bunch of like nonsensical shit into the film, ya see, and then like nerds can like add in their own back story (it saves me a fuck of a lot of time than like actually typing out a script or putting thought into the story I can tell ya that much) and then like we can like be uber secretive about it so as to give it, ya know, like mystique or whatever so as the nerds can prattle on about on message boards for months to build the hype and shit, ya dig? I said I totes dig brah but I have like a super homogenized, sanitized ‘vision’ of how this shit’s suppose to unfold so we dont like offend any investors right? So I says to Lindelof, the heart of this trilogy is about da search for like this mythic, awe-inspiring force-fueled lens flare right? Like the fucking mother of all lens flares shining right in your face from the heart of the galaxy giving everyone da force power and shit. So Luke is all like “I’m of to find out what up with this lens flare”. See we got to keep it like as bone fucking simple as like fucking possible, right? Like so simple a kid with a syphilitic monkey brain implanted in his skull can like tease out all the subtle shit, right? Anyways, so Luke gets to da lens flare and Pow!: Luke’s been dead the whole time. Lindelof was like, But what about the lens flare, like what’s the purpose of it? I was like fuck dat shit brah, we don’t have to explain dat shit. Peace out, woot! We high fived and snorted rails of each others jimmy poles right then and there to celebrate banking a million. Raise da roof!

    • spongefist

      Your hired !

    • Steve

      The funniest part about this joke is that it comes across as if Lucas hadn’t already dumbed down Star Wars to the lowest common denominator. JJ can only elevate it at this point.

  • GunsOfNavarone

    So what would you suggest? Maybe get Lucas back in? Jesus. He hasn’t signed on forever but I think people should be grateful it is a step in the right direction, at least.

  • mcdoom

    JJ Abrahams you are an idiot.

  • Kal

    George Lucas directing would be fine with me. I like Star Wars 1-6. Dual Of The Fates scene in episode 1 saved the movie, so did the effects, music. Either Lucas or Dave Filoni (guy behind the awesome Star Wars – ‘The Clone Wars’ series)

    JJ is an egotistic idiot who thinks he knows how to make movies. Super 8, Misiion Impossible 3 were awful. Cloverfield was produced by him, that was bad. Star trek remake was horrendous and the sequal remake looks equally bad. Lost was boring and laughable and awful.

    Choosing jj is not the right direction, disney, Kathleen kennedy, lucasfilm already messed up!!

    • Hunter

      Funny I enjoyed every single one of those movies you just named. They weren’t amazing by any means, but were all critically successful, so I’m not sure they really messed up because of your simplistic opinions. It could always be worst.

      • Kal

        Funny how you clearly have no argument. Saying ‘simplistic’, really? I said enough as to why those movies are shhiit, you on the other hand said zilch, you are a hypocrite. It is worst with jj involved you are brainwashed and to stupid to realize it.

      • Kal

        Funny how you clearly have no argument. Saying ‘simplistic’, really? I said quite enough as to why those movies are shhiit and tripe and seeing them is enough to know why they are fluff, you on the other hand said zilch, you are a hypocrite. It is worst with jj involved you are brainwashed and too stupid to realize it.

      • Mellisa M

        Funny how you clearly have no argument. Saying ‘simplistic’, really? Enough was said, quite enough as to why those movies are shhiit and tripe, you on the other hand said zilch, you are a hypocrite. It is worst with jj involved you are brainwashed and too stupid to realize it!

      • Whodey17

        I think we can all agree its pretty clear Kal and Mellisa M are the same person. Which is pretty fucking pathetic if you comment a second time to agree with yourself and cannot even do it correctly.

      • Hunter

        @kal/melissa, you gave enough reason as to why those movies are bad? you “simply” said they are awful. picking a synonym for bad doesn’t justify why it was bad, but lets see what one of your alter egos has to say about this one

      • Kal

        Whodey 17, you know nothing, I posted once and the site chose otherwise, melissa took my post and used it you dumb azz! How about not spouting shiit when you know nothing.

      • Steve

        When you and Melissa spell “sh*t” the same, it’s a dead giveaway. Nice try though. Way to stick to your guns.

  • Mellisa M

    hey Hunter, funny how you clearly have no argument. Saying ‘simplistic’, really? Enough was said, quite enough as to why those movies are shhiit and tripe, you on the other hand said zilch, you are a hypocrite. It is worst with jj involved you are brainwashed and too stupid to realize it.

    • Mellisa M

      Soory Kal, I agree with your statement, so I edited it to contribute to the discussion. I agree with Kal, only thing abrahms has done well is Alias and writing ‘The Rocketeer’, that is all, everything else is a hack job. Plus, star wars is dead with jj involved.

      • Steve

        This is comic gold.

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  • Funkerthedoodles

    Those who are giving their comments here are just sore losers. Yeah, there are some JJ films which are not that great but not that bad. But there are also brilliant films. He’s no Nolan but he’s one of the better directors or producers out there. Fringe is a good show. Ghost Protocol delivers. It gained almost $700M. Star Trek has some loop holes, but it was good though. It made $390M. Yes he had a Razzie but he also had so many awards! Let’s wait and see if he can deliver a better Star Trek and an even better Star Wars!

    • no

      no, nolan is a hack and so is jj. The dark knight returns was preachy and so are jj’s films and shows.

      • Funkerthedoodles

        Hack Job? I think to each his own then (or if he has the money and resources make a film). Some people here are fans of Ed Wood perhaps, Joel Schumacher, Brian de Palma, Francis Ford Coppola, John Derek, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Tim Burton, James Cameron or even Brad Bird (etc.). Some have good films, some didn’t, some made good films during their best times, and some made bad films during their worst times. But I think none of these directors are a “Hack” (including JJ). . . I think they tried to do movies, because they love to do it. And we as fans, support them by watching their films. . . or not watch them because we did not liked how it was made (to our own liking) (or because we hated their guts more than their works). So, I think to each his own then.

  • Ben Kabak

    JJ is a total hack.

    • Sean

      Yeah one of those hacks that keeps being apart of critical and financial success. Total hack!

  • Melissa M

    Whodey and hunter or the same idiot. Your itelligence is non existant, all you jj fans are idiots, especially when you think that my messages were done by Kal. I do not like Superman, why the hell would i USE THE WOERD KAL!?

    • Steve

      Maybe you were both home schooled in the same house. You both type with the same grammatical “flair”.

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