James Cameron is getting candid about one of his colleagues in a small but elite club of directors who earn billions for their beloved film franchises.
Cameron was recently asked about his thoughts on J.J. Abrams‘ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the reboot of George Lucas‘ space odyssey that broke numerous box office records for new owner Disney when it opened last December.
His response was not exactly the polite fawning one might expect during an on-camera chat.
“I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before,” Cameron said in an interview with YouTuber Keely Stinner.
The wide-ranging interview did not seem to have a particular objective or audience.
“It took a few baby steps forward with new characters,” Cameron continued of Abrams’ movie. “So, for me, the jury is out. I want to see where they go with it.”
Cameron, who is at work on four sequels to his juggernaut “Avatar” at 20th Century Fox, did say earlier in the conversation that Lucas is a friend of his — and that he has “a lot of respect” for Abrams.
Despite his creative take, Cameron certainly doesn’t want to contend with the upcoming “Star Wars” universe at the box office, and has said as much to that effect.
“My original plan was to release them a year apart, but we’re opening that up. If for no other reason than that I don’t want to land on the same date as one of the ‘Star Wars’ sequels,” Cameron said in April of the release dates for his four upcoming “Avatar” sequels.
“That wouldn’t be fair to them,” he said. “No, that’s just good business. I don’t want to go head-to-head with ‘Star Wars.’ That would be stupid. And hopefully they won’t want to go head-to-head with us.”
79. Finn's old friends whom he murders without a thought.
As soon as Finn and Poe take off in their stolen TIE Fighter, Finn blows up a bunch of his old buddies in the stormtrooper corps. No hesitation, no remorse, just murder. Somehow missed all the signs of Finn's emotional instability. I didn't feel like counting all of them (thus the "77+") but there were a bunch!
These CGI refugees somebody at ILM found on a server are really awful and unchill.
76. The jigsaw puzzle that shows where Luke Skywalker is.
The third time I saw "The Force Awakens" in a theater, my drunk friend leaned over at this part of the movie and loudly asked, "Why is it a jigsaw puzzle?" Indeed, that's a significant character flaw, Mr. Map.
75. The first one to die in the movie.
It's not called "Star Peace," so somebody has to receive the ignominious honor of being the first person killed. In "The Force Awakens," it's this stupid stormtrooper who runs straight forward and gets blown up.
74. Nose monster.
It doesn't want to share its water with a freeloader like Finn. What an asshole.
73. Stormtrooper who gets shot by an old guy who wasn't even looking.
It doesn't get much worse than this.
That's just Teedo, some clown who spells his name funny and tries to catch droids in a net.
71. Stormtrooper who smears blood on Finn's helmet.
What's this guy's deal, honestly? He uses his dying breath to try to get Finn written up for having blood all over his face.
70. Guy who didn't already have the ventral cannons powered up.
When a prisoner escapes in one of your starfighters with a defecting stormtrooper, you probably should power up all the weapons. But this guy doesn't power up the ventral cannons until some other officer suggests it.
69. Child Rey.
She just yells a bunch because she's a child who is sad about her parents leaving her on the dirt planet with Unkar Platt for some reason. Meh.
68. Stormtrooper who doesn't care.
Finn just walked into the torture room and was like, "Hey, I'm gonna leave with this guy and we're gonna murder your friends, cool?" And dude just lets him do it.
67. Condescending Resistance medic.
She's like, "Wow, you must be so brave" to Chewie as if the Wookiiee is some child and not a 200-year-old hairy guy who shoots people a lot.
This feels like a misuse of Pegg's considering comic talents.
62-65. Terrible bar band.
I know some people are partial to Lin-Manuel Miranda's music, but this track the band is playing is absolutely horrible and I hope Disney will just George Lucas it down the line.
Honestly, screw R2 in this movie. Slept through the whole thing.
I really wanted to like this guy. But he's mostly just luggage and he disappears halfway through the movie.
A couple stormtroopers show up at Rey's village on Jakku and these clowns give up her, Finn and BB-8 like they don't even care about their rep.
55-57. Mosquitoes at the bar.
This is weird, right? Would you drink at the same bar as these guys? I wouldn't.
54. Sitcom couple.
They call the First Order on BB-8 even though that has to be some kind of violation of the rules of the bar. And they perpetuate a bad TV sitcom trope, that of an overweight and unattractive man being paired with a conventionally attractive lady.
53. Random dude who gets jacked up by those stormtroopers
These troopers are hilarious, just running around this little shantytown firing wildly and bowling over random people like whatever this guy is.
52. Woman who watches the countdown clock that says when Starkiller will be able to blow up planets.
It's a weird job, but I guess somebody has to do it.
51. New guy who does the Starkiller Base countdown.
Right at the end of the movie, the First Order apparently gets a new person whose job it is to watch the countdown clock that says when Starkiller will be able to blow up planets.
50. The guy who wants to bail on Starkiller base because it's about to blow up.
This guy's dark-side karma is basically zero after pulling this shit.
49. Officer who thinks the Starkiller base crew should keep working even though they're all about to die.
"GET BACK TO YOUR STATION!" he yells at a guy who wants to bail. I hope Supreme Leader Snoke gives him a big house in the afterlife.
Maybe Finn didn't care that he murdered all his friends, but this guy does. He almost gives Finn what he deserves but Han blows him up first.
47. Jojen Reed.
He died on "Game of Thrones" and then was reborn in the "Star Wars" galaxy only to get killed again after uttering his first line. Next stop: "The Maze Runner."
46. Stormtrooper who has a funny death freezeframe.
This image, at least, will live forever.
44-45. These dudes from the "The Raid."
All they do here is get eaten by the rolling toothy buttholes. That's, like, peak wasted potential, JJ.
43. Lady who watched the Starkiller laser blow up her planet.
She doesn't get to talk, because JJ cut her scene with Leia that was supposed to happen earlier in the movie.
42. Captain Phasma.
Positioned by the toy marketers as the Boba Fett of "The Force Awakens," all Captain Phasma actually does is lower Starkiller Base's shield without any kind of resistance whatsoever. She basically defects.
41. Mind-tricked stormtrooper.
He thinks he's big and bad, but Rey manages to pull an old Jedi mind trick on him despite not even know that was a thing. Basically, this dude is the worst.
38-40. Scavengers who nearly get nailed by CGI shrapnel.
Don't know if I should blame them or overly aggressive pre-viz work for these folks almost getting nailed by a crashing TIE Fighter. But they don't seem alarmed by it either way.
37. Major Something or Other.
The funniest thing about "The Force Awakens" is how they named every single character even though most of their names are never spoken. Like this guy, who serves as an audience surrogate when he's like, "It's another Death Star," so Poe will have a reason to explain that, no, actually it's worse.
36. Pilot guy.
Do I really have to rank all these anonymous pilots who don't have any distinguishing characteristics?
Grunberg pulls double duty here, playing both a reference to a Rebel pilot from the original "Star Wars" film and "Greg Grunberg in a JJ Abrams movie." He pulled it off pretty well.
30. Poor computer.
I don't know why Kylo Ren chooses to destroy valuable computer equipment instead of useless officers, but whatever. Darth Vader wouldn't have taken out that computer.
He has a red arm this time. Can't wait to buy the comic book that explains why!
28. Rey's makeshift doll.
Rey. You're an adult. Burn this.
27. Minigun stormtrooper.
Wow! Where was this guy the rest of the movie? He's only in this one shot.
26. Flamethrower stormtrooper.
This guy's even better than the minigun trooper, despite being seen in the exact same number of shots in the movie.
25. Nien Nunb.
Despite being old as hell, Nien is still suiting up to fly around in space shooting stuff.
24. Admiral Ackbar.
He asks a couple questions while the Resistance is pulling a plan out of their asses to take out Starkiller base, then quietly returns to the retirement home.
23. Supreme Leader Snoke.
George Lucas caught a lot of shit for bad character names in the prequels, but he never would have dreamed of calling his villain "Supreme Leader Snoke." It's a name that makes "General Grievous" look really well thought out.
22. Cool village defender lady.
We never actually see her fire that rifle, but I'm sure she was great at it and wasn't immediately murdered.
21. Cool mechanic droid.
I wanna be friends with this guy. J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars" legacy is this droid.
20. Old lady scavenger.
Would have been the Obi-Wan Kenobi of this movie except they forgot to talk to her.
18-19. Smart stormtroopers.
Believe it or not, they do exist, as evidenced by these two who are smart enough to not go near Kylo Ren while he's destroying stuff.
17. The God of the "Star Wars" universe.
For some reason this deity gave everyone at Maz's bar a vision of the Republic capital getting blown up by the First Order. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
16. Maz Kanata.
"Maz is a bit of an acquired taste," Han says about the nicest character in the entire movie.
15. Lor San Tekka.
They brought Max von Sydow in for one scene because they knew nobody else could as convincingly say weird cryptic lines about Kylo Ren's decidedly not secret family heritage. Great actor.
14. Random First Order dude the movie cuts to for no reason.
Is this a cameo? Who knows? Great use of the Mystery Box, J.J.
2. This guy who guessed Starkiller Base's weakness.
The Resistance had never seen any kind of weapon like the First Order's Starkiller base, which can destroy multiple planets through hyperspace with a single shot. But this guy is so smart that his wild guess about how to destroy the planet-sized weapon was actually correct.
I would say something snarky here, but I'm having a hard time conjuring anything since I chose like the saddest possible screenshot to use for Chewbacca. Whoops. I'll do better next time.
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There are a lot of characters in ”The Force Awakens,“ and we ranked many of them!
"Star Wars" fans just learned that the next "Star Wars" film, "Rogue One" will feature a character we didn't see in "The Force Awakens" -- Darth Vader.
So how did the "Force Awakens" characters measure up without him? Here's our rankings. (I wrote a whole bunch of jokes for this. Please laugh.)