With less than a month to go before release, the anticipation around Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens continues to grow exponentially. The upcoming film has the full power of Disney's marketing machine behind it, with a new TV spot seemingly launching every other day. Yet the brilliance of the commercials is not what they reveal, but what they don't. The official plot of the film remains largely a mystery, further building up the hype and fueling endless fan speculation.
While most fans are free to enjoy the anticipation for Episode VII, J.J. Abrams is still hard at work on the final cut of the film. The pressure is on, possibly even moreso than when the director worked on the Star Trek reboot. Abrams is confident that he's learned from those projects, but until the film opens across the world, all fans can do is hope that's the truth.
As reported by Variety, the Star Wars director recently took part in the Montclair Film Festival's Celebrity Nerd-Off fundraiser, where he had the opportunity to answer some questions about making Star Wars. It was during this Q&A that the director revealed he was almost finished with the final cut:
"We were working on the final mixes at 2:30 this morning. I left with six very small, but important things that [still] need to be done because I said, 'I have to get to the Montclair Film Festival.'"
Abrams also had the opportunity to briefly touch on the three year process behind The Force Awakens and his desire for the project to finally be complete:
"The truth is working on this movie for nearly three years, it has been like living with the greatest roommate in history for too long. It's time for him to get his own place. It's been great and I can't tell you how much I want him to get out into the world and meet other people because we know each other really well. But really, 'Star Wars' is bigger than all of us. So I'm thrilled beyond words [to be involved] and terrified more than I can say."
Abrams' trepidation-tinged excitement is more than reasonable, considering the scope of this project. The Star Wars fanbase only continues to grow and the canon of the universe is sacred. It's something the director is acutely aware of, being a longtime fan himself. That he takes the enormity of the task seriously is a good reason to be optimistic about the final version of the film.
Finally, after the crowd was treated to the latest Star Wars trailer on the big screen, Abrams expanded a bit about the title of the film. The Force is central to the film, as well as the structure of the universe's canon, and it's an idea that the director's fond of.
"It is such a powerful idea. It's a religion without a god. It's a nondenominational, powerful idea that was very important to us, in this film, to bring back."
How the Force makes its return has been the source of much of the speculation about the film, with nearly every character being rumored to be a Force-user or Force-sensitive at some point. In less than one month, fans will finally have their answer. For now though, the one sure thing about the Force and its depiction in the film is that it will have nothing to do with midi-chlorians.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.