A common critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that it borrows too much from previous Star Wars films, with a structure too similar to A New Hope and too many nods and homages spread throughout its story.
Director J.J. Abrams acknowledges that criticism, and explains that was kind of the point.
"I can understand that someone might say, 'Oh, it's a complete rip-off!'" he said on the THR Awards Chatter podcast. "What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new — to go backwards to go forwards."
Of course, Abrams is a franchise film veteran who always knew there’d be a vocal group of critics when the film came out, no matter what he did.
"I knew that, whatever we did, there would be a group of people — and I was just hoping and praying that it would be smaller than not — that would take issue with any number of things," Abrams said. "But I knew we weren't making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people's time."