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‘Star Wars’ Director J.J. Abrams Knows ‘Quite A Bit’ About Rey’s Secret Identity, Talks ‘Episode VIII’

J.J. Abrams isn’t directing “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” but he knows a lot about it.

Questioned about the theory that new “Star Wars” heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) could be a Kenobi or a Skywalker, Abrams teased, “I know quite a bit.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour where Abrams was present to support his upcoming Showtime series “Roadies,” the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director was tight-lipped, but did make it pretty clear that Rey’s backstory has been written.

“Obviously, it’s not for me to talk about in this moment because this is Rian’s story to continue now and the last thing I’m going to do is reveal something that he would be upset about. I want to make sure that Rian gets the courtesy,” Abrams said of his successor Rian Johnson, who will direct “Episode VIII.”

Asked if it’s hard to hold onto such a big secret, knowing Rey’s identity, the all-knowing Abrams joked, “Not for me!”

Though he’s not directing “Episode VIII,” Abrams is excited for the next installment of the franchise, despite a recent interview in which his friend (and “Force Awakens” actor) Greg Grunberg said that he’s regretting his choice to step away from the director’s chair for the upcoming sequel.

“Here’s the thing about Greg,” Abrams said with a laugh. “You put a microphone in front of him and you never know what you’re going to get. I love my friend Greg, he’s been my best friend since kindergarten and I think that my enthusiasm for ‘VIII’ is enormous. I think he also might have invented a couple of the quotes that he gave.”

Addressing Grunberg’s comments on “Episode VIII” further, Abrams added, “I am very much excited for and very jealous of anyone, especially Rian, who gets to work so close to this extraordinary cast and crew — truly an amazing group. So in that regard, sure. But honestly, I’m also relieved to have gotten that chance to do a ‘Star Wars’ movie.”

“Force Awakens” star John Boyega recently opened up about “Episode VIII,” describing the next film in the franchise as “much darker” than “Episode VII,” calling his role as Finn “more physical” in the sequel.


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