Throughout all the incessant chatter regarding Star Wars, director J.J. Abrams has been characteristically silent, preferring to let rumor drive anticipation to a point where anticlimax is inevitable. But now that Abrams has to go out and promote Star Trek Into Darkness, there’s no more hiding from burning questions such as “Does J.J. Abrams like Star Wars?” and “If J.J. Abrams loves Star Wars so much, why doesn’t he marry it?” and “While the romantic flush of just getting to know Star Trek helped him bring fresh perspective to that franchise, will J.J. Abrams’ longtime love for Star Wars, like so many marriages, fester into barely concealed resentment, until one day he steps out in the middle of the movie for a pack of cigarettes and never returns, and the movie just ends right there?”
Empire posed these questions to Abrams in a far less hyperbolic way—because it is so, so naïve about love—and Abrams had this to say:
I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.
How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it — all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.
So it seems Abrams is still caught up in those early, heady days of “guttural passion” and “hunger” for Star Wars—even though he confirms again that he initially turned down the offer from Lucasfilm, and says it took some encouragement from Steven Spielberg before he'd even accept the job. Still, lasting relationships have been built on far less, and it seems there’s a decent chance Abrams can maintain that passion for Star Wars through the production, and not have his head turned by some other sexier, younger spaceship with wings all the way up to here.