Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters in just a little over six months, and yet many important details regarding its plot remain unknown. Still, new illuminating tidbits have surfaced here and there, ensuring that antsy fans continue to foam at the mouth. Our latest revelation comes courtesy of Vanity Fair’s latest issue — the same Star Wars-centric edition that gave us yesterday’s rather huge collection of exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos.
In an interview with the magazine (via IndieWire), director J.J. Abrams talked about how the highly-anticipated film, which takes place some three decades after Star Wars: Episode VI — The Return Of The Jedi, will feature numerous references to earlier movies. However, he noted that he made a conscious effort not to include too many.
“…We’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing,” he told Vanity Fair. “So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to.”
The reason for cutting down on those references all boiled down to whether or not they were necessary to the story at hand. “We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is — and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience — but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason,” he explained.
“That, to me, has been the constant struggle: to make sure that none of these things are treated like either they’re a museum piece and we’re trying to honor them or they’re gratuitous and thrown in because, well, it’s a ‘Star Wars’ movie so you’ve got to put these things in,” he noted, adding, “Everything has got to be essential to the characters in the film.”
Come December 18th, 2015, we’ll see if Abrams succeeded in his mission.
The Star Wars issue of Vanity Fair will be available digitally on Thursday May 7th and on newsstands Tuesday, May 12th