Today, Vanity Fair has their J.J. Abrams interview, where The Force Awakens director talks about not overexplaining things, his weirdest moment, and capturing the tone of Star Wars. Also, a horrible Max von Sydow pun.
Now, what sparked a lot of discussion today was this bit:
Well, what’s cool is we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason.
Earlier, they talks about how A New Hope just dropped in references to things like the Clone Wars, and as someone who’s experienced great anvil fatigue over the past decades, I greatly appreciate a return to that, whether it be random whatevers that happened between trilogies or old stuff we already know.