Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
July 10, 2015 at 05:00 PM EDT

Last year, Kevin Smith was invited by J.J. Abrams to visit the set of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and told fans on Instagram that what he saw that day moved him to tears.

Now, the filmmaker is sharing a few details from that visit, including what exactly made him turn on the waterworks — standing inside the Millennium Falcon.

“They took me on set, and what I saw was not only beguiling but spellbinding. And also it was real, it was tactile. You could walk around on the set and feel things. There were constructs, real people and stuff, not just a sea of green [screen] like, ‘Well, this is goona be this, and this is goona be this.’ So he’s kind of taking it back to the roots, if you will,” he told the Los Angeles Times during an interview Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con. “And I got to walk on the Millennium Falcon, which I cried after I did that. His assistant Morgan takes me to show me, and J.J. [Abrams] was like, ‘Take him to Stage M.’ And so Morgan takes me to Stage M and I turn on the lights, and there’s the Millennium Falcon. And I was like, ‘That’s nuts.’ And Morgan was like, ‘Do you want to walk on it?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, yeah.’”

“The moment I stepped on the Millennium Falcon, like 10 years dropped off my life. Suddenly I was in my 30s, and I hadn’t done Cop Out, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is awesome.’ And then another 10 years dropped off, and I was in my 20s again, making all those movies people like, referencing Star Wars like crazy and stuff. And then another step up the ramp, and I was in my 10s and lower, when I fell in love with this stuff, when it was my religion, when I was a kid,” he added. “Long before I made movies. I was a Catholic school kid; this mattered more than Jesus. They get mad when you say it, but when I was a kid, it was absolutely true — probably more so true now than when I was a kid. So by that third step, that fourth step up the landing ramp, I got so emotional. Suddenly I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this was my whole life before I had a life.’ These were my dreams. When I was a child, this sparked my love affair with movies. Just Star Wars and Jaws. So I get real emotional and I just start crying, and Morgan is like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry —everybody who comes here usually likes this.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I like it. I like it. … You just gut-punched me in the heart.'”

Smith also bet $10,000 that Disney will show new footage at Friday’s Comic-Con panel. Head to the Los Angeles Times to see his full interview. 



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