The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams says that Star Wars is more than a movie, that it's a religion. There is no denying the passion of Star Wars aficionados and the impact that the franchise has made on the lives of the fans. There is even an unofficial philosophy called Jediism that is based on the myth of Star Wars and the fictional Jedi way of life. Jediism reportedly instills a belief in peace, justice, love, learning, and benevolence (No today is not April 1st...).
The Wrap reports that Abrams spoke to the Miliken Global Conference in Beverly Hills along with Jon Favreau to discuss the pressures of taking over franchises as well as other topics. When speaking about Star Wars, Abrams told a story about Harrison Ford inside the Millennium Falcon while filming The Force Awakens, where Ford noticed that there was some equipment in the spaceship that wasn't there originally because of the low budget. Abrams brought this up because the lack of authenticity was actually seen as an improvement this time around. It's that type of attention to detail that both Favreau and Abrams attribute to taking over a franchise in a successful manner.
For Abrams, jumping onto another established franchise was coming to terms with a lot of sometimes-unreasonable expectations that come along with the rabid fan base of Star Wars. Abrams went on to compare the Star Wars franchise with a religion. Read what he had to say below.
"'Star Wars' isn't a movie, it's a religion. But this religion people have, they don't always know how fungible these things are."
In addition, Abrams spoke of the future of the movie theater, hinting towards a premium pay on demand idea, stating this.
"People do want to see movies, and can't always get to the theater, it seems like an inevitable thing that movies become available at a premium."
Abrams also went on to talk about how the bottom line can stifle creativity in Hollywood, which is something that Abrams takes to heart. The attention to detail that he puts into his projects is evident.
The Force Awakens was the third movie in Hollywood History to gross $1 billion dollars worldwide, and there's no doubt that Abrams attention to detail was a huge factor in the movie being so successful. The tremendous pressure of taking over a Star Wars film is immense and a lot of times fan expectations are almost impossible to keep up with. The Last Jedi recently came under fire when fans accused director, Rian Johnson, of rehashing The Empire Strikes Back after hints that the film would be darker than its predecessor.
Johnson had to take to social media to shoot down the fan rumor and assure the fan base that he was attempting to do something original while staying true to the original trilogy. One can definitely see the correlations between a religion and Star Wars aficionados. The Last Jedi opens on December 15th, 2017 in theaters everywhere. May the Fourth be With You.