JJ Abrams Star Wars

J.J. Abrams Opens Up On Directing Harrison Ford In ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

J.J. Abrams had some huge shoes to fill with taking over the Star Wars franchise. Recently, Abrams sat down with People to discuss his experience working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

According to Abrams, working with Harrison Ford, who has played the iconic character Han Solo in the first three Star Wars films, wasn’t as daunting as one might assume.

“It’s funny, because it was a little weird — just the idea of doing that, but it ended up being shockingly easy because he was so cooperative and so hungry to do the work. What was weird was how it wasn’t weird.”

Of course, Abrams has a fresh set of eyes directing the first of the new Star Wars franchise, but he still has the built in nostalgia being that he remembers when the first Star Wars film opened back in 1977. For Abrams, this worked to his advantage.

“I think we all feel like we’re still the same kid we were. It’s not like there’s this moment when you stop being that kid. So for me, I was aware of certain feelings I had and wanted to try and give the audience that sense that anything was possible.”

As for Harrison Ford, he had nothing but nice things to say about director J.J. Abrams. “Nine times out of 10, J.J. was dead-on with it… You know, it doesn’t feel right in your mouth, and you try a couple of other things, and then you say, ‘You know what? You’re right.’ And ‘Chewie, we’re home’ is manifestly better than ‘We’re home, Chewie,’ or a couple of the other options that I tried.”

So far, it seems like Abrams got it right with fans and critics alike. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been screening for select cities for critics, and now we’re finally receiving word about how the film plays out, and to some fans’ surprise, it looks like it’s better than what people were anticipating.

Vanity Fair said the film was “sturdy,” while saying that it was a “rousing” addition to the franchise, and the only thing a fan may yearn for being “the more innocent pleasures” of the original films, but they argue that it has more to do with nostalgia of fans’ pasts than a reflection of J.J. Abrams’ new movie. In the end, they said that, “Abrams’s film exists as a captivating, heady mix of nostalgia and evolution.”

Time Out gave Star Wars: The Force Awakens an outstanding five out of five stars. “J.J. Abrams’ rousing, pitch-perfect triumph—a feast of nostalgic blockbustering.”

“It seems like everyone is falling in love with the newest droid in the Star Wars universe, BB-8.” Time Out gave that droid a shout out in a big way. “BB-8, a whirling soccer-ball-like droid that plays like WALL-E’s mouthier cousin, might be best of the bunch—he’s a new high for cinema’s expressive machines (and a nod to Lucas’s love for gearhead invention).”

Even if Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t received well by critics, Disney and Lucasfilm were bound to make a killing either way. As stated through multiple reports, Star Wars’ advanced ticket sales are breaking records left and right.

The latest report from CNBC states that it has already surpassed the $100 million mark. It’s said that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to make between $170 to $240 million during its opening weekend. As of right now, Jurassic World holds the largest opening weekend ever, with $208.8 million, but it looks like the seventh Star Wars installment might give it a run for its money.

[Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International]

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