With his work on Star Trek Into Darkness now complete, bar some last minute tweaks and the obligatory press tour, J.J. Abrams can truly start pouring all his brainpower into making Star Wars Episode VII. Playboy tracked him down for an interview and got him to talk about taking on the challenge of a galaxy far, far away.
A big Star Wars fan, Abrams is applying all that he’s gleaned along the path so far to making the new movie. “I try to approach a project from what it’s asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With Star Wars, one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn’t. There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy — things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it’s not how I work. For me, the key is when you have a script; it’s telling you what it wants to be.”
He’s also pleased that he has the man who created the Wars universe in the first place to answer questions. “The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With Star Trek it was harder because I wasn’t a Star Trek fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to.”
But what of Star Trek’s own future? Surely his commitment to the Force will mean he’s out of the running to make any likely Trek film? “No. I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step. But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story.” So there you have it, folks: he may yet return to Kirk and co. The full interview can be found over at the Playboy site (be aware of possible, though mild NSFW content and remember: if anyone asks, claim you’re there for the articles.)
Star Trek Into Darkness lands here on May 9. The most recent trailer is lurking below. If you’re after more Abrams goodness, check out Empire’s J.J. Abrams issue, which is still available via the iPad.