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Star Wars The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams (sort of) decodes that cast photo

Sort of.

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David James/©Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has said before that he thinks of stories as “mystery boxes” filled with limitless possibilities — and every good mystery has to have a few clues. So when Abrams and Lucasfilm unveiled the first Force Awakens cast photo last year, snapped during an early script read, fans were quick to scour the image for any hints of what the highly anticipated sequel has in store.

During a Sirius XM Town Hall on Monday, Abrams was finally grilled about what arcane secrets the photo held. According to the filmmaker, not as many as one might think.

RELATED: An Exclusive EW Gallery of New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Photos

“We’d just began to work together and we knew that fans were curious about what was going on, and we thought we’d put out a little picture,” Abrams said. He added, “This was not a posed photograph.”

David James/©Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved

 

But what about Mark Hamill’s angry, some would say dark, expression?

“He might have just had a bad moment, I don’t know,” Abrams demurred.

What of Abrams’ gesturing toward Harrison Ford in the photo?

“I don’t think I was about to hit Harrison Ford,” Abrams said with a laugh.

After being peppered with a few more conspiracy theories — including one about a key character’s parentage — Abrams finally said, “None of these things that you’re describing were intended, but [they’re] wonderful to hear.”

In other words, Star Wars fans will just have to wait until Dec. 18 for Abrams to take the lid off his latest mystery box.

The Sirius XM Town Hall with J.J. Abrams, hosted by PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle, will premiere Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. ET on EW Radio Sirius XM 105. Find out more about Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the video below.