If you’re looking for spoilers, J.J. Abrams is not the man to ask.
We know The Resistance will fight The First Order (formerly known as The Empire) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) will be of the lead character and will still pilot the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca. Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) will wield the lightsaber of her late father, Darth Vader. And somehow newbies Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) will end up on the Falcon with the rest of the gang. But those are the only juicy morsels of plot scoop Entertainment Weekly was able to get out of the director when they interrogated him on all things Star Wars.
Abrams did divulge some more details on The Force Awakens’ big bad, Kylo Ren (Girls’ Adam Driver). Like, that Kylo Ren isn’t even his real name. “He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren,” Abrams teased.
Ren is apparently a Darth Vader obsessive, hence the Vader-inspired outfit. “The movie explains the origins of the mask and where it’s from, but the design was meant to be a nod to the Vader mask,” he continued. “He is well aware of what’s come before, and that’s very much a part of the story of the film...The lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.”
That said, he won't just be Darth Vader 2.0. “He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy,” Abrams explained. “He isn’t as fully formed as when we meet a character such as Darth Vader. I think that there are two sides to the Force. Both sides, arguably, would see themselves as the hero of their story, and I think that applies here.”
Ren won't be alone fighting for The First Order. When ET visited Comic-Con last month, we learned that Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma and Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux will be part of the dark side too. (Gleeson additionally let slip that his character's base is called the "Starkiller!" Cool!)
Abrams' vision of the galaxy far, far away almost didn't come to pass. EW reveals that after rebooting the Star Trek franchise, the director initially wanted to turn down the Star Wars offer to focus on original projects. That is, until Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy asked him one crucial question: “Who is Luke Skywalker?”
“He said, ‘Oh my God, I just got the chills. I’m in,’” Kennedy recalls. “I mean, it really was almost that quickly.”
Abrams’ first Star Wars film will also be his last though. “I am the temporary captain of this ship that George [Lucas] built,” he said. “No, I’m not going to direct Episode IX, as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters Dec. 18.
Now, find out how Abrams broke his back trying to help Harrison Ford: