Friday, January 8, 2016

J.J. Abrams Addresses 'The Force Awakens' "Rip Off" Criticisms

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By: Benjamin Hart

Even though Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens has garnered almost universal praise among critics, one big complaint from some fans has been haunting this movie ever since it's release. Many have pointed out several glaring similarities The Force Awakens has with previous Star Wars films, such as the introduction of a new hero living on a desert world and a superweapon capable of destroying planets, both of which can be compared to elements seen in A New Hope. (We discussed this extensively in the latest SWU Podcast.) The online chatter has been so strong lately that director J.J. Abrams himself has responded to the critics.

Abrams was a guest on a recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter Podcast where he talked about the criticisms and revealed that he saw at least some of the complaints coming beforehand:

"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."

He also directly addressed the criticisms that The Force Awakens is too similar to A New Hope:

"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."

He also discussed his decisions to not return to the director's chair for Episode VIII:

"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,"

But he added that he still had some say in where the story goes in future films:

"Larry [Kasdan] and I had a bunch of thoughts of where certain things could go and we shared those things with Rian Johnson, who's directing VIII. He had things that he came up with where he asked if it was possible if we could make some adjustments with what we were doing at the end, most of which we did — there were just a couple that didn't feel right, so he made adjustments — but it was just collaboration."

Of course, you can listen to the full interview by clicking here!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.

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