It turns out the much-discussed teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has been viewed a record-breaking 110 million times, almost didn’t see the light of day.
In a discussion with Variety, Disney Chairman Bob Iger reveals the biggest hurdle to giving fans the triple-bladed lightsaber they never knew they needed was director J.J. Abrams, who’s legendary for his love of secrecy (after all, this is the man behind the Khan reveal in Star Trek Into Darkness and the early mysteries of Lost). According to Iger, Abrams wanted to keep the footage secret, but Disney came up with a teaser that apparently convinced him to let fans see his work. Well, 39 seconds of it.
“I keep telling J.J. Abrams this is a $4 billion movie,” Iger told Variety, referencing the price Disney paid in 2012 for Lucasfilm. “We need to treat this very special. It’s an unbelievable privilege and unbelievable responsibility to take a jewel and treat it in a way that is respectful of its past but brings it into the future.”
Part of respecting Star Wars’ past involves using lots of practical effects and sets, as opposed to the computer-generated effects that Iger says has made filmmaking appear “too easy.”
“There’s a sameness to a lot of these films today,” he said. “The wow factor isn’t what it used to be. J.J. decided to create the physical wow factor.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Dec. 18, 2015.
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