As part of a new interview with USA Today for their "Innovators and Icons" column, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy--George Lucas's hand-picked successor and regular collaborator with Steven Spielberg--compared incoming Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams to her famous partners, saying that the message of hope that comes through Abrams's films is much the same as you'd see in films like E.T. and Star Wars. "J.J. has, in his own way, some of the same qualities that I always saw in Steven and George," Kennedy told the newspaper. "What all of these men have is the ability to combine a real seriousness about what they do with a sense of humor. So there's a buoyancy, a lightness, a feeling of aspiration to their storytelling. Of hope." "I find that a lot of directors are attracted to the dark side," she added. "That's not Steven or George or J.J. They all can explore darkness, but they're not nihilistic." You can check out a piece of the interview in question in the video embedded below.