J.J. Abrams on Rey’s Lineage, Episode VIII, and ‘The Force Awakens’ Success

     January 12, 2016


Spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may not want to read on.

J.J. Abrams made his first appearance at the TCAs to promote his Stephen King project with Hulu, 11.22.63, and returned today for Showtime’s panel on Cameron Crowe’s Roadies. Afterwards, he answered some more Star Wars questions (of course), including about Rey’s lineage, and what he knows about it:

I know quite a bit, but obviously, it’s not for me to talk about in this moment because this is Rian [Johnson]’s story now and the last thing I want to do is reveal something he’ll get upset about.


Image via Disney

Completely fair, and unsurprising. Speaking of Episode VIII though, he also addressed those comments that his pal, actor Greg Grunberg, made off-handedly about Abrams “regretting” not directing Episode VIII, saying:

Here’s the thing about Greg. You put a microphone in front of him and you never know what you’re going to get. I love my friend Greg. He’s my best friend since kindergarten. I think that my enthusiasm for VIII is enormous, I think he also might have invented a couple of the quotes that he gave. I’m very excited for it and jealous of anyone, especially Rian, who gets to work so closely with this extraordinary cast and crew. Truly an amazing group. In that regard, for sure. But honestly, I’m also relieved to have gotten the chance to make a Star Wars movie.

Abrams the followed that up by fan-boying out over the excellent composer John Williams (you can actually watch him in action here), saying he was bowled over whenever Williams would ask his opinion on something, praising his collaborate nature.

Oh my God, it was unbelievable. First of all, he was a hero since I was a little kid, before Star Wars came out, I listened to his albums. He is the most generous and gentle and sweet and thoughtful person I think I’ve met. He’s really just – he’s like a dream human being who doesn’t quite act lie he’s accomplished anything. Meaning his modesty is so true and pure. He talks just like anyone might, but he’s also had maybe the biggest imprint or impact on American film than anyone, period. He’s so sweet and modest, and it’s so genuinely who he is, it just shows you how you can accomplish extraordinary things and not walk around like you’ve accomplished extraordinary things. That alone is inspiring, and then of course, his music is just otherworldly and fantastic.


Image via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty for Disney

Abrams was also asked again about his reaction to the success of the film, to which he replied,

I’m just incredibly relieved that the movie’s out and it was well received. I’m more excited when I hear that people went with their parents, who took them to the original movie when they were kids, or took their own kids who maybe never saw a Star Wars movie and who fell in love with Rey or found Finn to be someone they want to be for Halloween. Those kind of stories are frankly infinitely more impactful and gratifying than the numbers, which are wonderful and I’m very grateful everyone went to see the film, but it’s most exciting to hear that people actually went and had an experience.

To wrap things up, one journalist asked Abrams if he was told he had to kill Harrison Ford, which Abrams replied to by saying, “First of all, I didn’t kill Harrison Ford. Just for the record, but we knew we needed to do something that was bold and maybe unexpected.”

Late last week, Abrams also commented on Person of Interest likely ending after Season 5 as well as the fact that there will not be an extended edition of The Force Awakens. You can stay up to date with all of our ongoing coverage of the TCA 2016 Winter Press Tour here. (Not familiar with the TCAs? Read our handy explainer).


Image via Lucasfilm

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