These days, it seems like Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams can’t take a breath without making big news. It’s no surprise, then, that several storylines have emerged from his recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show. Here are a few takeaways for those who missed the interview:
He was terrified when he showed an early cut of the film to Disney execs
The director showed a cut of the film to Disney’s Bob Iger, Alan Horn, and Alan Bergman before any visual effects had been added, and was a complete nervous wreck before, during, and after the screening.
“We screened the movie, and it was horrifying,” said Abrams. “I’m nervous beyond words, I’m showing this movie that I know is so far from finished, there’s not an effect in it.”
Despite Abrams’ reservations, however, the three men were supposedly very happy with what they saw.
He hates spoilerific trailers
Abrams has fielded the Why isn’t Luke in the trailers? question countless times, but he gave Stern as straightforward an answer as we’ve heard from him on the subject: “I hate when I go and see a trailer and I feel like I’ve just seen the whole movie in an encapsulated form, it makes me nuts,” he said. “I’d rather be asking questions and feel that they’d been answered for me [by the film].”
He has no patience for the Boyega bashers
When asked about the backlash he’s received for casting a black man (John Boyega) as a stormtrooper, the director had this to say:
“All I know is that John Boyega is extraordinary in the movie … I think the people who are complaining probably have a lot bigger problems than [that] there’s a black Stormtrooper.”
He loved the idea of turning the original trilogy’s heroes into myths
This is the closest the conversation got to revealing any plot details. Abrams was psyched about the idea of turning the heroes from the original trilogy (Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker) into legendary figures that younger generations would mythologize. We get a bit of this in the trailer when Han is assuring Finn (Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) that the stories they’ve heard are true, but judging by Abrams’ enthusiasm on the subject, we’re guessing this will be a consistent theme in Episode VII.
“That question of this young woman asking ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?’ I don’t know why, but it made me feel like ‘f–k, that’s so cool,’” Abrams said. “These would be essentially kids who didn’t see Star Wars themselves, in this movie, who would be in this universe … the idea of discovering or rediscovering this world that had been created.”
All in all, this was a pretty interesting conversation. It seems like the director can discuss the film a lot more freely than he could a few months ago, and we’re beginning to form a picture of what the end product might look like.
Of course, we can speculate all we want until December 18, 2015 rolls around. Until then, may the force be with you.