J.J. Abrams Discusses His Approach to 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

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Even though J.J. Abrams latest effort, "Star Trek into Darkness," is set to be released in a few weeks, he's likely to be answering for his next film during that time. Such is the peril of jumping ship to "Star Wars," and the director recently discussed that decision and his approach to the upcoming "Episode VII."

In an interview with Playboy, Abrams obviously couldn't get into plot specifics since "it would be insane" to do so at this point. However, he also revealed that he's not exactly out to set the record straight or right the "Star Wars" ship.

When lobbed a softball by an interviewer's joking insistence that Abrams do away with much-reviled Jar Jar Binks, Abrams shied away by refusing to "give [his] opinion on the original movies and characters." As such, he's not going to approach the new film with such baggage and instead approach it "for what it's asking" and "what it needs to be."

He then went on to admit that "one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn't" and that "there are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy-things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something."

However, Abrams has no intentions of getting hung up on such an "outside-in approach" and will instead use the film's eventual script as the "key" that will unlock what type of movie "Episode VII" will be.

The director also discussed the difference between the two franchises and agreed with the interviewer's suggestion that the two should be aesthetically different. Again, though, Abrams isn't looking to apply an aesthetic to a movie that doesn't exist.

He admitted that such an approach with "Star Trek" would have "paralyzed" him thanks to his unfamiliarity with that franchise. In this regard, he seems a little comfortable with "Star Wars," having grown up as a fan of the series. Abrams also points out that he still has George Lucas himself to lean on, which is something that may rile up a contingent of fans with little love for the franchise's creator during the past fifteen years.

Of course, Abrams also had to answer for his original reluctance to take on "Episode VII," a task he considered to be "an almost fatal sacrilege" last year before he eventually took the job.

"I meant if I viewed this from a fan's point of view-and no one's a bigger 'Star Wars' fan than I am-or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me," he explained. "But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I'm just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I'm working with."

Before the interview concluded, Abrams also reaffirmed the difficulty in attempting to establish his own personal vision on the project so early in development. Calling it "disingenuous" to discuss "big themes" and "ideas" at this stage, he did hint that he "naturally has a big say in how this gets put together" and that he will "own" and "carry the responsibility of the job."

Finally, he also teased that he might not be done with the "Trek" universe just yet either; when asked if his "Star Wars" duties would preclude him from helming a third "Star Trek" film, he replied that it's "still a possibility" that he could return. Right now, he and his team are just "trying to figure out the next step with that franchise," which naturally involves finding the story.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" will be released around the world over the course of the next couple of weeks, at which point Abrams will have to put his "Star Wars" efforts into hyperdrive if "Episode VII" is to meet its 2015 release date.

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