J.J. Abrams is adept at keeping secrets.
The director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, appearing at TCA Tuesday to promote his TV show Roadies, talked about the lineage of the film's mysterious heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley). "I know quite a bit," he teased. "Obviously it's not for me to talk about in this moment because this is Rian's story to continue now. The last thing I'm going to do is reveal something that he would be upset about. I want to make sure that Rian gets the courtesy that he showed me."
Abrams didn't clarify if he has mapped out who Rey's parents are for Rian Johnson, who will direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, or if that decision will be up to the creative forces at Lucasfilm Ltd. The next movie in the franchise will pick up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off.
For Abrams, it was a relief to finally be able to discuss a film that's been shrouded in secrecy. "I'm just incredibly relieved that the movie is out, that it was well received," he told reporters.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has grossed $1.75 billion globally, but Abrams said he's not interested in financial success. "I'm more excited when I hear that people went to go see the movie with their parents, who took them to the original movie when they were kids, or they took their own kids who maybe had never seen a Star Wars movie, who fell in love with Rey or found Finn [John Boyega] to be someone that they want to be for Halloween," he said.
Last month, actor Greg Grunberg—who had a bit part in Star Wars: the Force Awakens—told The Washington Post that Abrams regrets not directing Star Wars: Episode VIII after reading the script. However, Abrams clarified Grunberg's comments at the TCA panel Wednesday. "Here's the thing about Greg: You put a microphone in front of him, you never know what you're going to get. I love my friend Greg. He's my best friend since kindergarten. I think that my enthusiasm for VIII is enormous," he said. "I think he also might have invented a couple of the quotes that he gave but I am very much excited for and very jealous of anyone, especially Rian, who gets to work so closely with this extraordinary cast and crew. Truly an amazing group, so in that regard, for sure. Honestly, I'm also relieved to have gotten the chance to do a Star Wars movie."
Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters May 26, 2017.