It’s almost too obvious to point out the Star Wars Universe and its rabid fanbase’s comparisons to theology, given the inherent nature of faith with regards to the Force.
But with fandoms growing more and more prominent and having a greater affect on the productions and developments of their favorite movies, shows, and other media, one can’t help but call it like it is.
While speaking at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills alongside Jon Favreau and Apple VP Eddy Cue, Abrams talked about how sometimes fan expectations can be unreasonable, and sometimes they don’t even notice when things are changed.
“Star Wars isn’t a movie, it’s a religion. But this religion people have, they don’t always know how fungible these things are,” Abrams said (via the Wrap).
Abrams told a story about Harrison Ford sitting in the Millennium Falcon while filming “The Force Awakens” and immediately noticing that two yokes on the dashboard weren’t there on the original “Star Wars” spaceship. Abrams said that was because the first movie was made on such a low budget, they couldn’t afford actual yokes with springs that stayed put — which the “Force Awakens” production budget could now accommodate. So the lack of authenticity was actually an improvement.
That kind of example doesn’t really illustrate Abrams’ point, considering it was an actor on set who noticed the change. Fans are likely to notice the change to the Millennium Falcon satellite dish more than they’d notice a workable yoke being placed.
But that doesn’t negate the fact that Star Wars is comparable to a religion with how dedicated and rabid the fanbase is. It’s why they’re able to hold events like Star Wars Celebration, sell billions of merchandise, and see children and adults dress up as characters year round.
Abrams wasn’t insulting the fans of the Star Wars Universe, just adding insight to their lofty standards. He probably could have done with a better example, but the fact that the production of The Force Awakens diligently tried to recreate the set of the Millennium Falcon says a lot about his intention to do right by them.
The Millennium Falcon, sans Han Solo, will be seen next in Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15.
If you’re waiting for another chance to see the smuggler pilot his famous ship, Alden Ehrenreich will have to do in the Han Solo spinoff movie, set to to premiere May 24, 2018.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017 release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.