J.J. Abrams Responds to Claims That THE FORCE AWAKENS is Just "A Rip-Off" of The Original STAR WARS Trilogy

I loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but even in my initial review, I mentioned how director J.J. Abrams seemingly recycled and updated a ton of familiar moments from the original trilogy. There were just enough of these moments where it didn't distract me too much, and I was still able to mostly enjoy the film on its own terms, but I've seen a lot of people get hung up on that to the point where they couldn't enjoy the movie at all and just called it a glorified remake of the original trilogy. Abrams has seen those comments, and he's responded to that criticism to THR:

"I knew that, whatever we did, there would be a group of people — and I was just hoping and praying that it would be smaller than not — that would take issue with any number of things," Abrams says in the latest episode of THR's Awards Chatter podcast, admitting that everything about the project initially scared him. "But I knew we weren't making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people's time."
"I can understand that someone might say, 'Oh, it's a complete rip-off!' What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new — to go backwards to go forwards."

To those who still think Abrams and company relied too much on the beats from the original trilogy, I ask: what would you have done differently? I feel like Abrams did the absolute best he could considering the monumental pressure not only from a corporate standpoint (there are billions of dollars on the line), but from a story perspective. This movie is 100% a step in the right direction for this series after three faceplants of the prequels, and though Abrams is taking some heat right now, I think in the years to come it's going to become even more clear how insane it was that he managed to get the series back on track while introducing new characters that audiences love.

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