Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has responded to accusations his film ripped off the original 1970s and 80s trilogy.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams said he understood why some fans were quick to point out similarities to the original plot, but that the creators had intentionally borrowed from a “tried and true” structure.
“I respect every reaction,” says Abrams.
“I completely see that that is a problem for some people.
“It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards,” he said of reverting to the original’s structure.
“We inherited Star Wars. The story of history repeating itself was … an intentional thing, and the structure of meeting a character who comes from a nowhere desert and discovers that she has a power within her.”
Abrams said the classic structure had been used many times before the franchise existed.
“Yes, the bones of the thing we always knew would be a genre comfort zone, but what the thing looks like — we all have a skeleton that looks somewhat similar, but none of us look the same,” he said.
The director also addressed fans’ criticism of newcomer Daisy Ridley – who plays Rey – being omitted from some of the franchise’s new merchandise.
Fans have used the #WheresRey Twitter hashtag to demand why Rey is notably absent from various Star Wars toys manufactured by Hasbro.
“It doesn’t quite make sense why she wouldn’t be there. She’s somewhat important in the story,” said Abrams of Rey’s absence from the film’s Monopoly tie-in.
The young female character was also missing from figurine packs which featured up to six characters – all male.
“I will say that it seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well represented,” said Abrams.
— Erin Gilson (@ErinKGilson) December 23, 2015