Simon Pegg Helped Shape ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ J.J. Abrams Reveals

It has been known for some time that Simon Pegg will be playing an alien in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but director J.J. Abrams has now revealed that the Star Trek actor and writer contributed far more to the franchise than fans previously believed.

Abrams made the revelation as part of a wide-ranging interview with EW, in which he discussed various aspects of The Force Awakens. Regarding Pegg, Abrams noted that the actor, with whom he has been friends for years, played a much larger role in shaping the direction of the seventh Star Wars movie than fans have yet realized, as Cinema Blend notes.

“[Pegg] was a sounding board. He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.”

Of course, Pegg is currently involved with the Star Trek franchise, having been instrumental in writing and developing the script for the series’ 50th anniversary film, Star Trek Beyond, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Despite that fact, Pegg is well known as a massive Star Wars fan, and a critical one to boot.

In a recent interview with MTV News, Pegg ranked the Star Wars films from worst to best, placing Attack of the Clones at the bottom. As the Independent notes, Pegg ranked The Empire Strikes Back as the best of the six films, ahead of even the original Star Wars, which isn’t overly controversial among many fans. Pegg was forthright in expressing his feelings regarding the prequels, however, saying he “hates” those Star Wars films.

Last month, fans finally got their first look at Pegg in costume on the set of The Force Awakens, and while they still aren’t sure exactly how he will appear in the finished film, they can turn to Abrams’ words to see that it likely wouldn’t be the same Star Wars without his influence.

“I will say this in terms of Simon: while he won’t be recognizable in the movie, in all honesty, his role in this – not the performance or the character – but his support and friendship has been massively important and helpful in the process.”

While Simon Pegg continues his work on Star Trek Beyond, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.

[Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images]