J.J. Abrams ‘Terrified’ to Let ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Out Into the World

J.J. Abrams Stephen Colbert
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX Shutterstock

Stephen Colbert and J.J. Abrams swapped stories about a range of topics including Jennifer Garner, lens flares and of course, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” during a Q&A held Saturday in Newark, N.J., held as part of a Celebrity Nerd-Off fundraiser for the state’s upcoming Montclair Film Festival.

Colbert, a Montclair resident, has long been a booster of the event, which is going into its fifth year in April. More than 2,800 people turned up on Saturday for the benefit at New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall.

“This is about 2,700 more people than I thought would be here,” Abrams quipped before adding, “I don’t know much about Montclair, but I’m learning and it makes me just want to move here.”

With perhaps the most important job in entertainment right now, the director informed Colbert that he had completed “The Force Awakens” just hours earlier.

“We were working on the final mixes at 2:30 this morning,” the helmer said. “I left with six very small, but important things that (still) need to be done because I said, ‘I have to get to the Montclair Film Festival.'”

Later in the evening when a fan asked if he wanted the project to “just be over,” the director got candid.

“I wish you could zip line down here and hug me,” Abrams said to the fan. “The truth is working on this movie for nearly three years, it has been like living with the greatest roommate in history for too long. It’s time for him to get his own place. It’s been great and I can’t tell you how much I want him to get out into the world and meet other people because we know each other really well. But really, ‘Star Wars’ is bigger than all of us. So I’m thrilled beyond words (to be involved) and terrified more than I can say.”

The duo touched on several achievements in Abrams’ prolific career, including his first writing credit “Taking Care of Business” in 1990, which was originally written as “Filofax.” Turns out Colbert auditioned for the film, but eventually lost the role to Jim Belushi.

Abrams apologized with the caveat “I will say that I think it worked out for you.”

Colbert went on to also reveal that Jennifer Garner used to babysit for his daughter before getting an agent and moving to Los Angeles.

“(My wife and I) thought, ‘Oh poor thing. She is just going to disappear.’ Then a couple of years later, I’m going to work at “The Daily Show,” and I see like an eight-story poster of her in a cat suit for “Alias” and I nearly drove up on the sidewalk.

When he later showed his wife the Time Magazine cover of Garner as Sydney Bristow, she had no idea who it was until Colbert revealed her identity.

“But she wasn’t hot,” my wife said. And I said, “Yes, she was!”

“Well, you never said anything,” his wife replied.

“What am I supposed to say?” Colbert said. “Have you noticed how unbelievably hot our babysitter is?!?”

After the room filled with laugher, Abrams touching on “Lost,” “Felicity,” “Armageddon,” “Mission Impossible 3,” “Star Trek,” and his fondness for lens flares. Then fans got to see the latest trailer for “The Force Awakens” on the big screen.

Afterwards, the director spoke about the ‘the force.’

“It is such a powerful idea. It’s a religion without a god. It’s a nondenominational, powerful idea that was very important to us, in this film, to bring back.”

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  1. Bob Parr says:

    Really. I am Australian. Have been to USA for holidays 3 times in the last 4 years. I am astounded on how dumb Republicans are. Obama may not be erfect but he at least restored the image of USA to the rest of the world. Go Star Wars.

  2. BeckyJ says:

    I will not support this film because Abrams supports the losers Obama and Clinton. Just like liberal Hollywood can decide where to spend its money based on politics, so can I and others like me.

  3. David Ben says:

    “It is such a powerful idea. It’s a religion without a god.”

    Really, JJ? Have you never heard of Buddhism?

    And both Spielberg and Lucas were open proponents of eastern religions in the early 80’s.

  4. HPR says:

    As long as it is better than the prequels, that’s about as high as you could aim. Nothing can touch the lightning in a bottle of the originals. I doubt this one does.

  5. Youth says:

    Don’t worry, JJ, if you did your best that’s all you can do. It’s probably going to be terrific.

  6. Matt says:

    If only Abrams was as reverential of ‘Star Trek’ as he clearly is of ‘Star Wars’, then perhaps the ‘Trek’ films would have been better, particularly ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. He never would have gone with the Orci / Kurtzman script for ‘Into Darkness’ if he had understood the now obvious implications of riffing off ‘The Wrath of Khan’. That said, I think the dude will totally nail ‘Star Wars’.

  7. Get Some Sun. says:

    Now there are two mugs who need some sun. How can you live in CA and have a sun deprived face? I guess they just go from meeting to meeting, but man, they should head to the beach and get some sun.

    • You’re disgusting. First of all, they aren’t models or movie stars – they make a creative contribution. Second, I completely reject your paradigm of beauty – with sun exposure and mild burns being appealing to you. That age is over. In 5-10 years there shouldn’t be a tanning bed in this country. Countless 20 year old girls with melanomas. Your sister, your daughter. In the East paleness was beautiful and noble, like you don’t have to toil away in the sun. Then in Europe fatness was grand and a sign of wealth. Now we burn ourselves to a fucking crisp and think we look sunkissed. Go sit at the beach and shorten your life.

    • Wazoo says:

      You must not work in this business. There is no free time to get any sun, and all your outdoor time is spent in travel getting from set to set.

      • Wazoo says:

        Oh, I’m not complaining about being in the business, I am merely explaining why the two in the picture, and myself, can’t get good tans.

      • David Ben says:

        Wazoo, if you work in the business count yourself privileged. Anyone in the world would wish for the privilege of working in the business.

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