Less than three weeks before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens'” theatrical debut, writer/director J.J. Abrams stopped by “Howard Stern” for an extensive chat on everything from the Harrison Ford hydraulic-door incident to the “black Stormtrooper” controversy to the time William Shatner called him a pig. Here are 10 major highlights from this morning's interview, with relevant soundclips embedded.
1. He gave a perfect political answer when asked why Luke Skywalker has been left out of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailers.
Telling Howard that it drives him “nuts” when trailers give away the entire movie, Abrams responded simply: “Here's the thing. I really want to make sure we're not ruining the movie for people.” So, keep speculating, I guess.
2. He put William Shatner's “pig” dig in its proper context.
“First of all, badge of honor,” said Abrams of the time the original Captain Kirk called him a “pig” for taking on both the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” film franchises. “Secondly, I just feel like — I think that he was saying in a semi-joking way — and he may be 100 percent right, too many 'Star' titles for one person to work on. And I get it. If I cast him in 'Star Trek' he probably wouldn't have said that.”
3. He also put the John Boyega “black stormtrooper” controversy in its proper context.
“I think the people who are complaining about that probably have bigger problems than 'there's a black Stormtrooper.'”
4. Daniel Fleetwood, a terminal cancer patient who died just days after screening “The Force Awakens,” isn't the only “Star Wars” fan who has seen the movie.