‘The Force Awakens’ Links Back To Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy, But Is Not A Remake, J.J. Abrams Says

'The Force Awakens' links to 'Star Wars' original trilogy

Fans assume The Force Awakens will be at least loosely related to the Star Wars original trilogy, since we will see several of the cast members that started it all.

However, it may not be as closely linked as many expect, especially after director J.J. Abrams cut out several obvious references to the first series of George Lucas films. It is clear that Abrams is trying to bring a completely different storyline in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and fans should be open to that fact.

While everyone seemed to be more than excited with the trailer that Lucasfilm introduced at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, last month, it is plain that there will be a lot of new characters (human and alien) that we will meet in the kick-off of a new trilogy. However, The Force Awakens is also expected to be the send-off of those beloved characters from the original trilogy and the establishment of fresh ones.

In a piece from Vanity Fair, which is promoting the much awaited film with a spread that includes new, on set stills captured by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, Abrams discussed how his film will tie with the originals.

“We’ve obviously had a lot of time (during the development process) to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to.”

Abrams is conscious of how things have change from the 1970s and 1980s, when the original Star Wars trilogy was first released. He has the very difficult task of pleasing die-hard fans who want to bring back that “feel” of the first trilogy, while introducing new and exciting characters with an interesting storyline.

“There are a few specific references that are kind of my own little stupid, secret ones. But I will say that because the world is a different place now than it was when that movie came out, we can’t come out with the same thing and expect people to react as if they hadn’t seen it before. I’m not sure we could count the movies that have, since 1977, tried to embrace a similar mythic quality and in some cases a similar aesthetic or even humorous approach to a space adventure.

“So on the one hand, you’re tempted to turn this into a meta–Star Wars, but that feels like you’re taking, by default, an ironic approach, which feels anti–Star Wars. So to me it’s not about trying to remake exactly what we’ve seen. It’s about inheriting and embracing the elements of Star Wars that are the tenets of what is so powerful. If this were a Western… well, there are the plains, there’s the saloon in town, there’s the bad guy who probably wears dark clothes, there are probably horses, there might be a stagecoach. I mean there’s the list of things that you know every Western must have.”

One of the burning questions Star Wars fans have is whether we will bid farewell to the original cast members in The Force Awakens, after all they’re no spring chickens and at some point we must.

[Image via Lucasfilm]