J.J. Abrams Responds To George Lucas’ Critique Of The Force Awakens

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Nearly all of J.J. Abrams’ attention is currently focused on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but a new interview with Rolling Stone gave him a chance to offer fresh perspective on the film’s two immediate predecessors. For one, he shared his take on George Lucas’ critique of The Force Awakens—and he chose to steer clear of conflict.

“I’ve only had gratitude for George,” Abrams said. “It’s probably a complicated thing for him. To decide you’re going to sell this thing that you created, that was your baby, to anyone—that must be more complicated than signing a check and smiling about it. But he’s been incredibly gracious… do I wish that [Force Awakens] had been his favourite movie of all time? Yes, I only wanted to do well by him. I would just say that I have nothing but profound respect for the guy and am still truly, even more so now, working on these movies in awe of what he created.”

As for The Last Jedi, Abrams also shows respect for writer-director Rian Johnson, but it’s clear they had some differences of opinion. “When I read his first draft, it made me laugh, because I saw that was his take and his voice,” he explained. “I got to watch cuts of the movie as he was working on it, as an audience member. And I appreciated the choices he made as a filmmaker that would probably be very different from the choices that I would have made. Just as he would have made different choices if he had made Episode VII. I felt the biggest surprise was how dark Luke was. That was the thing that I thought: ‘Oh, that was unexpected.’ And that’s the thing The Last Jedi undeniably succeeds at, which is constant subversion of expectation.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theatres on December 19. Check out the trailer below.