What can Stars Wars fans expect from Episode VII?

Director J.J. Abrams says a key component will be a sense of authenticity.

We had the chance to ask Abrams a couple super quick Star Wars questions Thursday at his Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica while discussing his upcoming sci-fi action series Almost Human, which gets underway Nov. 4 on Fox (trailer here). The famously secretive filmmaker has been very quiet about his plans for the legendary big screen franchise since he was announced as the film’s director eight months ago. We keep hearing the stars from the original trilogy (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill) are on board for Episode VII, which is expected to hit theaters 2015 (though some have dared to suggest the actors may be too old to reprise their characters). We know there’s other spin-offs in the works. And not a whole lot else. Since Abrams tends to avoid spilling story details or castings, we asked the following:

Which of the previous Star Wars films best exemplifies what you’re aiming to do in terms of the spirit or tone of Episode VII?

“Impossible for me to say because it’s going to be an evolving thing. I would say we are working really hard to make a movie that feels as emotional and authentic and exciting as possible. Whatever your favorite Star Wars movie is and how to compare it is really sort of subjective.”

Media and fans have been offering you a ton of unsolicited advice about to how to approach the film. Is there any particular thing they’ve said that you’ve taken to heart?

“It’s been nice see that how important it is and to be reminded how important it is to so many people. We all know that [creator George Lucas’] dream has become almost a religion to some people. I remember reading a thing somewhere, someone wrote about just wanting [the new film] to feel real; to feel authentic. I remember I felt that way when I was 11 years old when I saw the first one. As much of a fairy tale as it was, it felt real. And to me, that is exactly right.”

So that’s certainly an encouraging perspective for longtime fans who felt the franchise became less grounded and more artificial-feeling in the prequels. And though Abrams declined to cite a specific film in the first question, it’s hard not to think from his second answer that he’s aiming more toward fan favorites A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, which (along with, to some degree, Revenge of the Sith) were probably the most real-feeling of the saga. What do you think of Abrams’ plan?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)Carrie Fisher as Leia
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
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