Someone Finally Asked J.J. Abrams About That Weird ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Lightsaber
Ever since the first trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ descended upon the world with the force of a Death Star beam obliterating Alderaan, the ‘Star Wars’ fandom has found no shortage of things to complain about. Chief among them: the strange, hilted lightsaber wielded by Kylo Ren, the mysterious baddie briefly glimpsed in the footage. Since everyone from Stephen Colbert to Ewan McGregor to your great aunt has expressed their opinion on this impractical/totally awesome weapon, it’s now time to hear from the man behind the madness, co-writer and director J.J. Abrams.
Collider caught up with Abrams at the Visual Effects Society Awards, where he was receiving the Visionary Award. Although Abrams is a notoriously secretive person who likes the keep every detail about all of his projects away from prying eyes for as long as possible, he actually had a lot to say about this whole dumb controversy surrounding a fictional weapon in a fictional fantasy universe. In fact, he’s awfully good humored about the whole thing:
I will say that what’s been funny is, since the lightsaber’s come out, I cannot tell you how many contradictory emails I have received from people who have both defended it with unbelievably detailed graphics…I’ve gotten things that are nuts, and I’ve gotten people who’ve shown how it’ll kill you and how it doesn’t make any sense. It’s been the funniest thing to see the arguments that have developed over this thing.
He even goes on to admit that the film’s designers had similarly nerdy debates, so he totally gets why we’re all being such weirdos about this.
Thankfully, Abrams also spoke about other aspects of the film. Especially noteworthy is his comment about how ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will utilize IMAX footage. Unlike other major blockbusters that have filmed several major sequences to fill the massive IMAX screen, Abrams confirmed that the new movie will only feature one key sequence presented in this format:
It’s really one sequence so it’s not a ton [of IMAX footage], but it’s a good sequence.
And since this was the Visual Effects Society Awards, Abrams also chimed on of the film’s VFX, beating the same drum that everyone involved in the production has been beating for a year now. Yes, there will be CGI, but there are also going to be a lot of sets and robots and puppets and practical make-up. If you’re going to beat a drum, that’s a mighty fine drum to beat:
There are obviously an enormous amount of CG effects in the film, and I can’t wait for you to see the combination. But it was very important that we build as many sets as we could and that the film have a tangible, sort of authentic quality that you believed that these things were actually happening in a real space with real sunlight, if it was an exterior scene, or if we could build a big portion of a scene and not have anything be blue screen, do it where we could. It was a very important piece of work.
For other details (including Abrams’ statement on Rian Johnson taking over the reins of the saga with ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’), make sure you check out the full interview. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is set to open on December 18, 2015.