When considering accusations that the film copied plot elements found in the original Star Wars trilogy too much, Abrams acknowledged the film could come off to some fans as a “rip-off,” in Abrams’ words:
“I respect every reaction. I completely see that is a problem for some people. It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards in some ways to go forwards in the important ways.”
Abrams then explained that the original movies themselves were based on tried and tested story themes that had influenced George Lucas.
“Those simple tenets are, to me, by far the least important aspects of this movie. They provide the bones that were well proven long before they were used in Star Wars. What was important to me was introducing a brand new chapter, brand new characters, using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new.”