‘The Force Awakens’ Director Talks Fan Influence On Franchise, Keeping Secrets

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director, J.J. Abrams, discussed how fans influence the legendary franchise and shared his thoughts on keeping the plot a secret.

It is no secret that Abrams likes to be as tight-lipped as possible about his films, but it is also well-known that Star Wars fans are among the hardest to please. The filming of the next installment of the saga has had scrutiny on a level Lucasfilm has not experienced before, in this, the age of the Internet.

During production, aerial shots of the some of outdoor set locations were discovered by intrepid photographers, showing the extent to which people would go to get any footage of the much awaited blockbuster. So, how does The Force Awakens director feels about sharing more information than is his wont?

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens JJ Abrams directing Daisy Ridley

In the continuous revelations on the Entertainment Weekly fall issue, Abrams discusses how fans have had an important role in developing this next phase in the Star Wars saga and how he’s had to adjust his usual behavior.

“One of the great things that Lucasfilm has done over the years is embracing the community of Star Wars fans, and it’s because they realize that it’s really the fans’ story.

And that understanding, that sharing of information and engaging with the fans is something that I really admire. My instinct is to typically keep things quiet – and if I had my way, perhaps we would be showing less – but the truth is, I want to make sure that the fans aren’t feeling like we are holding back for the sake of it.”

'Star Wars" The Force Awakens' set in Abu Dhabi

And that’s a good thing if you’re a fan and probably better than having to worry even more about leaks. The Force Awakens director has shared a great deal of information in public appearances, such as the Star Wars Celebration in April, and San Diego Comic-Con, but there are a lot of things he will not reveal before the film is released in December.

For example, The Force Awakens director is keeping quiet about the last names of new characters Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) purposely. We can assume their heritage is one we will recognize once the Star Wars movie comes out.

Abrams is also aware of not spoiling the fun for those who don’t want the film ruined, and it’s a “tightrope” to balance the need for information from eager fans and the need to keep most of the plot a secret. Not an easy task for The Force Awakens director, who says everything that has been released is part of the puzzle, and some theories are correct while others are not. If you have enough free time, you could probably figure things out.

[Photo by Michael Buckner / Getty Images]