Exclusive: JJ Abrams talks the future of Star Wars and the new Star Trek trailer

You’ve probably already heard about this, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now actually out, in actual cinemas. Directed by JJ Abrams, it’s the seventh Episode in the space franchise that has proven itself surprisingly popular over the last 40 or so years.

We’re kidding. Of course you already know about the new film, and that it picks up the stories of Han, Leia and Luke while also passing on the baton to a new generation of heroes who’ll front a new trilogy.

We recently got the chance to chat to Abrams about taking on such an iconic franchise. As well as talking about how much freedom he had when shaping the new story (“there was really a blank slate”), he also spoke about mapping out the stories for Episodes VIII and IX: “It was incredibly exciting to see where [Rian Johnson] is going… It wasn’t like we were dealing with someone who needed our help, but it was great to see the way he took what we had started and where he’s gone.”

And we also asked him how it felt to watch the new trailer for Star Trek Beyond, given that he’s no longer directing that franchise he similarly restarted. “It’s sort of out of body,” he told us, “and definitely I feel jealous of Justin that he gets to work with these amazing performers…”

And, if you need any more reason to watch, Abrams also pitches the Star Wars spin-off he most wants to see. It’s R-rated, and it involves Jawas… Yes, really!

Watch our interview with JJ Abrams below now:

Directed by Abrams and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in UK and US cinemas now.

Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.