Abrams explains why he wants to keep us guessing on Star Wars VII

As he preps to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, J.J. Abrams is trying to figure out exactly what makes the franchise so awesome to begin with. His best guess?

The fact that the original trilogy left us hanging, planting seeds and taking risks with each subsequent sequel to expand the world in unexpected ways. Even better? It kept some mysteries intact, from the motivations of the Empire to the characters we hear about but don’t actually meet until later.

Here’s how Abrams describes the approach to the Times of London:

“If you watch the first movie, you don’t actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They’re going to rule by fear – but you don’t know what their end game is. You don’t know what Leia is princess of. You don’t yet understand who Jabba the Hutt is, even though there is a reference to him. You don’t know that Vader is Luke’s father, Leia is his sister – but the possibility is all there. The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went.”

Hey, if the secret sauce is all about mystery — then they definitely hired the right guy. Abrams built his career on mysteries with Alias and Lost; he just couldn’t really figure out how to pay them off in a gratifying way. Here’s hoping he’s worked out the kinks by the time this one rolls around in late 2015 (or bust).

What do you think made the original Star Wars trilogy so “cool”?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)