One of the most promising things about the promos for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” so far have been how spare it is. There’s much more of a reliance on practical than most modern blockbusters, and the style certainly harkens back to the classic trilogy in more ways than the prequels did.
In a new feature piece for Empire (via SW News Net), director J.J. Abrams said he looked at John Ford westerns, several Terrence Malick works, and Akira Kurosawa’s classic “High and Low” to try and adopt specific qualities for the film – confidence, stillness, and choreography and composition respectively. The aim was for a spare visual style, a less-is-more quality partly seen in the original trilogy (before the Special Editions).
One of the other changes is that of the lightsaber battles. Gone is the overly choreographed dance routines of the prequel fights, instead Abrams wanted something much more down, dirty and brutal – especially for the big Finn/Kylo Ren face-off glimpses in the last trailer:
“When you look at Star Wars and Empire, they are very different lightsaber battles, but for me they felt more powerful because they were not quite as slick [as the prequels]. I was hoping to go for something much more primitive, aggressive and rougher, a throwback to the kind of heart-stopping lightsaber fights I remembered being so enthralled by as a kid.”
We’ll see the results for ourselves when the film opens December 18th.