With his Star Trek sequel less than two months away from hitting theatres, director J.J. Abrams is beginning to field questions about his next highly anticipated project: Star Wars Episode VII. Abrams recently chatted with Empire about how he plans to tackle the franchise’s first film in eight years, telling the magazine that at this point, there are a lot more questions than answers.
Empire asked Abrams of there were any similarities between the way he treated Star Trek and how he’ll approach Star Wars. “I don’t know because we’re just getting started,” admitted the director. “There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar,” he explained. “Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.”
Abrams elaborated on some of things he sees are being the same for both projects: “How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it–all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars,” he said. “I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”
But his enthusiasm for taking on Episode VII wasn’t always there (despite the fact that he’s a big fan of George Lucas’ creation). “My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it,” Abrams admitted to Empire, talking about initially turning down the job. “But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation.” Abrams credits Steven Spielberg with urging him towards signing on to the film. “Steven was very encouraging of Star Wars. It’s funny because I talked to him about it and it turned out he knew all about what was going on.” Hmm…