Star Wars: J.J. Abrams Explains Why ‘The Force Awakens’ Felt Like ‘A New Hope’

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Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

We recently learned that George Lucas was disappointed in the ingenuity and creativity of  The Force Awakens, due to Disney Cheif Bob Iger’s recently released book, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company.  Giving up something creative and allowing another person or entity to take control has to be especially difficult.  Yet, Lucas feels that there is a distinct lack of originality.

Iger, in his book: “[Lucas] wasn’t wrong, but he also wasn’t appreciating the pressure we were under to give ardent fans a film that felt quintessentially Star Wars. We’d intentionally created a world that was visually and tonally connected to the earlier films, to not stray too far from what people loved and expected, and George was criticizing us for the very thing we were trying to do.”

J.J. Abrams agrees with Lucas sentiment but explains the reasoning behind his decision and approach to the new trilogy in the Star Wars saga.

“There are a number of things that we obviously intentionally did in a kind of ‘history repeats itself’ mold, to say we are introducing this brand new cast of characters,” Abrams said on Popcorn with Peter Travers when asked about Lucas’ feelings.

“This Stormtrooper (John Boyega) who runs from the First Order. This scavenger (Daisy Ridley) who is living, literally, in the wreckage of the history of the movies that we know. And this hotshot pilot (Oscar Isaac), we don’t know his history, but he’s joined the Resistance to find Leia (Carrie Fisher), years later, sort of unable to give up the fight because she can smell smoke from miles away. Where’s Han (Harrison Ford) at this point, what is he up to?”

He continued, “Which is to say, it’s not just about going to new lands and meeting new characters, it’s about embracing what’s come before so that the characters that you meet in Episode VII — imagine chapter seven of a book. It’s not about having entirely brand new, rebooted [characters], it’s a continuation of the one story.”

“And look, is there a big, giant, planet-sized weapon in Force Awakens? Yes. And does it blow up? It does blow up,” Abrams said. “And so there are undeniable parallels, but in a way, because there had not been a Star Wars movie in a long time — the prequels were the ones that preceded it — I very purposefully wanted to sort of revisit the old in order to start and tell the new. And that was the challenge.”

“For those who hate it, I could not respect your opinion more. And for those who love it, I question your sanity,” he added. “It just, it felt right to us at the time, as does this one [The Rise of Skywalker] now.”

Ultimately, J.J. Abrams Star Wars legacy will be judged on the final film of his trilogy and the final film of the Star Wars saga. All books and films are judged by their ability to close the story.  Will The Rise of Skywalker be the ending that all fans are seeking or possibly one they will love but didn’t even fathom?  We’re just days away from finding out!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, 2020.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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