The man at the helm of The Force Awakens
What were the challenges of working with both the new and original casts?
It was incredible fun to work with the original cast, for obvious reasons. But it was sort of a wonderful thing – maybe even the best part – working with all of them, with the new young cast as well. Partly because they brought such energy, and the only baggage they brought to it was they knew of Star Wars, and were fans in their own ways. Of course when you imagine almost 40 years going by since you’ve played a part, that’s almost a lifetime of experience to have coming into this. So it was wonderful to have the mix of the brand new and the veteran actors come together. That was really fun.
Did you find yourselves creating an entire mythology necessary for future Star Wars films, or were you just concocting a story for The Force Awakens?
Well, when [co-writer] Lawrence Kasdan and I were working on the story, we had a sense of where we thought things would go. So of course there are a number of things we use and set up. And it’s wonderful to see how [Episode VIII director] Rian Johnson has taken our story. Of course we had meetings and stuff beforehand, but he’s taken it and really made it his own and continued the story his way. But there are, of course, many things in this film that are very clearly part of a continuum.
As a Star Wars fan, did you have any “pinch me” moments on set?
I am not joking when I say that every day there were multiple “pinch me” moments [laughs]. Joseph McCabe
Careful JJ, Wookiees watch their figure.