January 11, 2016
'Star Wars' Director J.J. Abrams Defends Film Against Fans Who Say It Was A Ripoff, While Unanswered Questions Remain

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams responded to criticism from fans that said the latest movie relied too much on plot elements from the original Star Wars trilogy. As reported in the Verge, Abrams spoke about the plot line in a podcast with the Hollywood Reporter. He said that the plot line could come off as a ripoff to some fans.

"I respect every reaction. I completely see that is a problem for some people... It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards in some ways to go forwards in the important ways."
Abrams said that the original Star Wars movies were based on classic storytelling themes used by George Lucas.
"Those simple tenets are, to me, by far the least important aspects of this movie. They provide the bones that were well proven long before they were used in Star Wars. What was important to me was introducing a brand new chapter, brand new characters, using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new."
J. J. Abrams attends Star Wars Fan Event in Shanghai China on December 27
[Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images Entertainment]As previously reported in Inquisitr, the fan reaction has been largely positive. Although some fans have said that critics have given the movie a free pass, many critics said that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was worthy of the original Star Wars trilogy. It contains many of the elements of the previous trilogy, and the look and feel of the movie is very similar to the originals. The latest movie transitions well from the old series to the new with the introduction of new characters while bringing back fan favorites Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca.

In a similar report from Inquisitr, J. J. Abrams commented on the new script for Episode 8 in the Star Wars Trilogy, which has already been completed, and he gave it a thumbs up. Although Abrams will not direct the next episode, he is the executive producer. The Star Wars Episode 8 script was written by Rian Johnson, and Johnson is scheduled to direct the next episode. Fans were left with many questions, including who Rey is, as well as why Kylo Ren joined the Dark Side.

In Aljazeera America, author and professor Joseph A. Howley compared the storytelling in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the storytelling used in The Aenid by Virgil. Virgil relied heavily on The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer for many of the plot elements he used as well as the quotations, and included repeated or inverted scenes.

Howley said that Star Wars: The Force Awakens relies heavily on elements from the Episode 4. Star Wars: A New Hope is about a plucky orphan who makes new friends and becomes embroiled in a galactic conflict. The difference is that in Episode 4, the rebels fight the Empire and Darth Vader, and the protagonist is male. In The Force Awakens, the heroine of the story, Rey, is a young girl. The story takes place 30 years later, and the rebels have now become the resistance, while the Empire has fallen. The Empire has been replaced by the First Order. Since it is a family saga, there has been much speculation as to who Rey really is.

J. J. Abrams greets fans at Star Wars Shanghai Event
[Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images Entertainment]Where the openings of The Aeneid and Homer's works breed similarity with their opening lines, Star Wars Episodes 4 and 7 do the same with the same opening musical score and scrolling narrative to open the story. The original trilogy also offers a shorthand guide for fans to the new story with the use of the lightsaber. Whenever a character grabs a light saber, it becomes immediately apparent whether or not the character is one of the good guys or one of the bad guys.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become the highest grossing film in history in less than a month, and has been well received by both critics and fans alike. Episode 8 premieres in May, 2017.

[Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images Entertainment]