J.J. Abrams Says ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Left Him ‘Thrilled Beyond Words And Terrified’

J.J. Abrams announced that Star Wars: Episode VII was finally completed and, as Abrams alludes, not a moment too soon. As his chat with Stephen Colbert revealed, J.J. is ready to move on from the film that took up much of his life over the past three years, though not before revealing his thoughts on lens flares, the force, and BB-8.

J.J. Abrams Says The Force Will Play A Greater Role In Star Wars: Episode VII Than Lens Flares

Star Wars, The Force Awakens, Episode VII
The force plays an important part in 'Star Wars: Episode VII.' Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

As is the case with many Star Wars fans, J.J. Abrams says that the Force is an important part of the Star Wars legacy, which was why Abrams set out with the idea that the Force would play a major role in the story of Star Wars: Episode VII. Abrams added in the interview with Stephen Colbert that he loved the idea that the Force was a great, nondenominational power and that he wanted to create a story that centered around the Force.

Another concept important to J.J. Abrams and one that has been lost on many audiences is J.J. Abrams’ trademark lens flares. Before Abrams tackled Star Wars: Episode VII, he took on two Star Trek films and it seemed to many that the actual cast took a back seat to J.J.’s signature lens flares.

It has been reported that there are a total of 721 lens flares in Star Trek (2009) alone and, while Abrams shies away from that number, he does admit his use of lens flares did get a bit out of control.

“There was one scene where Alice Eve was so obliterated by a lens flare that I was showing the scene to my wife, Katie, and she was like, ‘OK You know what? Enough. I can’t see what this scene is about. Who is standing there?… I can’t see her.'”

J.J. Abrams promises that he’s learned his lesson, following that experience with his wife.

“As you’ll see in the Star Wars movie, I’ve allowed lens flares to take a very back seat,” the Star Wars: Episode VII director said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “There are a couple [moments] where you have to have them.”

J.J. Abrams Admits His Star Trek Failures Better Late Than Never

Star Wars Episode VII, The Force Awakens, BB-8
J.J. Abrams was inspired by original 'Star Wars' concept art for creating BB-8. Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

As the release of Star Wars: Episode VII draws near, Abrams seems to be taking the time to look back on his past successes and failures, with particular attention being paid to Star Trek: Into Darkness. The film in question was voted to have been the worst Star Trek film in the entire canon and even the non-Trek film, Galaxy Quest (1999) scored higher among fans, so it comes as no surprise that Abrams would feel compelled to admit his errors to fans.

According to Rolling Stone, J.J. admits “we got in trouble on the second Star Trek film with some of the fans. There were too many nods to The Wrath of Khan. I’ll cop to that.”

Abrams also revealed that he had worked with R2-D2 several times in the past, making his appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII a reunion of sorts. In addition to the Star Wars droid seen floating amid the debris in 2009’s Star Trek, Abrams revealed that R2-D2 can also be seen in Mission Impossible III (2006) and Super 8 (2011).

Speaking of droids, Abrams reflected on his inspiration for BB-8, which came from viewing concept art from the original Star Wars artist, Ralph McQuarrie. After rummaging through the Lucasfilm archives, J.J. says he was inspired with the idea for BB-8.

“When I was thinking about what the droid would look like, I had this idea that was almost a snowman kind of shape, and I drew a picture of BB-8, with little antenna and stuff and I gave it to Neal Scanlan, who’s our creature guy, and I didn’t know what we would see and what we would get.”

[Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images]