Ever since Disney bought LucasFilm from him for $4 billion, George Lucas' role in the making of future installments in his 'Star Wars' series has been something of a mystery.
'Episode VII's director J.J. Abrams has revealed however that he will be involving the Hollywood legend when he embarks on his journey into the galaxy far far away.
Abrams talked about 'Star Wars' as well as other aspects of his career and the possibility of directing the third in his rebooted 'Star Trek' series in an interview with Playboy.
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"The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do," he said when asked about the difficulties of making 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' films.
"With 'Star Trek' it was harder because I wasn't a 'Star Trek' fan; I didn't have the same emotional feeling, and I didn't have Gene Roddenberry to go to."
Notoriously protective of his projects and a big fan of keeping an air of mystery around his films, Abrams refused to answer questions about plot points, story ideas or returning characters. That doesn't mean he was shy however.
"It's so early it would be insane to discuss details or get into plot points about what this unfilmed movie will be," he said.
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However when pressed further on his connection to the series as a fan and the amount of criticism levelled at Lucas for his prequels he did have plenty to say.
"Here's the thing. I try to approach a project from what it's asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With 'Star Wars', one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn't.
"There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy - things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it's not how I work.
"For me, the key is when you have a script; it's telling you what it wants to be."
Abrams was then asked about what he had said late last year before getting the gig. He had said that directing a new 'Star Wars' would come with the burden of "almost fatal sacrilege".
"I meant if I viewed this from a fan's point of view - and no one's a bigger Star Wars fan than I am - or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me. But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I'm just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I'm working with.
"I've known Kathy [Kennedy, LucasFilm President] for years. I've worked with the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, for a long time. I've known George for a number of years and he's now a friend. Even if this wasn't 'Star Wars', I'd be enormously fortunate to work with them."
You can read the complete interview, in which Abrams admits he may direct 'Star Trek 3' and also talks about 'Cloverfield 2' and a possible 'Alias' movie, here.
'Star Wars: Episode VII' is due for release in 2015.