Mere weeks before the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams caused a minor uproar Monday when, during an appearance on Good Morning America, he appeared to say that he considers Star Wars primarily for boys. “Star Wars was always about … it was always a boys thing and a movie that dads take their sons to,” Abrams said. “And though that’s still very much the case, I was really hoping that this could be a movie that mothers can take their daughters to as well. So I’m looking forward to kids seeing this movie and to seeing themselves in it, and seeing that they’re capable of doing what they could never imagine was possible.”
Unsurprisingly, the comment didn’t go over very well, and Abrams has received some fierce criticism from a sizable sector of geekdom. Today, however, as the cast and crew of The Force Awakens conducted a Q&A on Twitter, the film’s director and co-writer was able to clarify things a bit. When asked about the remarks, he bashed himself for being “stupid” and explained that he actually meant to say the exact opposite:
Given the effort Disney and Abrams have made to put together the most diverse cast as any Star Wars film has had, that explanation actually makes a lot more sense, particularly as Daisy Ridley’s Rey appears to be, despite emphasis on co-star John Boyega in marketing, the film’s protagonist and center of the story in much the same way Luke was the center of the original Star Wars. And it jibes with big boss of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy’s thinking as well, as she said during the Q&A when asked about being a role model for other women striving to break into Hollywood.
But, speaking of Ridley’s character, to explain why I think she’s essentially the Luke of the new trilogy would require me to admit that I’m fully read up on all the spoiler-leaks that have made their way online, and I won’t do that. But I will let Harrison Ford do some of the work for me. Joining Abrams in perhaps misspeaking a bit, Ford — when asked what his favorite action scene in the film is — revealed something that hasn’t been featured in any of the film’s marketing. You might want to stop reading now if you don’t want to know.