Bringing back the Star Wars saga has got to be one of the biggest undertakings in the history of the movie business. The original trilogy is held in the highest regard, even 30 years later. An attempt to recapture that magic 15 years ago was not nearly as successful. J.J. Abrams may be absolutely mad for even trying. He’s trying to make a movie that isn’t just a success at the box office, but one that can hold up among some of the most revered films in history. To that end, the director says he really only had a single goal while creating The Force Awakens: the movie needed to be fun.
While that may sound like the simplest thing in the world, the Star Wars universe has become about so many things over the last three decades that it would have been easy to get caught up in all of it. Abrams tells Wired that he and his co-writer, Lawrence Kasdan, instead focused on what they needed to do to make the movie "delightful."
That was really the only requirement Larry and I imposed on each other: The movie needed to be delightful. It was not about explaining everything away, not about introducing a certain number of toys for a corporation, not about trying to appease anyone. This has only ever been about what gets us excited.
If the early impressions from the trailers have been any indication, then they look to have succeeded in their endeavor. Fan reaction to the trailers have included cheers and tears and even the film’s cast has been freaking the hell out over all of it. Everybody looks to be having fun. That’s the point, right? The simple enjoyment of Star Wars cannot be overstated. Abrams insists that the entire movie will feel like the teasers so that feeling of excitement will persist through the film. That’s quite a statement, but it’s one we hope to be true.
This feels like the right philosophy. Lawrence Kasdan, as one of the screenwriters behind The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, understands Star Wars in a way that few others actually do. Whatever excites him will likely excite other fans, as well. J.J. Abrams himself gives Kasdan much of the credit for the script, saying that he learned quite a bit from the veteran.
There are so many things this movie could try to be but if it isn’t fun then it won’t work. Ultimately we just want to get lost in the galaxy far, far away. It sounds like Abrams and Kasdan have tried their best to make that happen.