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Abrams Explains How Star Wars Inspires Him — Way Back in 2007

J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII, and the pairing seems like the perfect fit. His films and television series have frequently been influenced by George Lucas’ epic space saga, and the director has felt so inspired by the Star Wars movies that he even lectured about them at a 2007 Ted Talks conference.

In the clip, which can be watched below, Abrams talked about how he gains inspiration for his TV shows and movies. “It’s like mind-blowingly inspiring to me. I realized that that blank page is a magic box. It needs to filled with something fantastic,” he explained.

Considering that’s basically the premise for Lost, it’s easy to see where Abrams’ inspiration comes into play. He uses Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as an example for the “mystery box” formula, and gets really passionate about it — not knowing that six years later he’d be tapped to helm his own movie in the series.

“In terms of the content of it, you look at stories, what are stories but mystery boxes? There’s a fundamental question; in TV, the first act is called the ‘teaser,'” Abrams explained. “It’s literally the teaser, it’s the big question, so you’re drawn into it. Then of course there’s another question and it goes on and on and on.”

He continued, “Look at Star Wars: You’ve got the droids, they meet the mysterious woman. Who’s that? We don’t know. Mystery box. Then you meet Luke Skywalker, he gets the droids, see the holographic image, you learn, ‘Oh, it’s a message! She wants to find Obi Wan Kenobi, he’s her only hope.’ But who the hell’s Obi Wan Kenobi? Mystery box! He meets Ben Kenobi, Ben Kenobi is Obi Wan Kenobi — have you guys not seen that? It’s huge!”

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