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Star Wars, Lucasfilm veterans praise Episode 7 director JJ Abrams

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Star Wars veterans Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren and Matthew Wood have praised the appointment of JJ Abrams as Episode 7 director.

The trio have all collaborated with Abrams on Super 8 and worked across George Lucas's six Star Wars blockbusters.

JJ Abrams, 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar party

© WENN

JJ Abrams

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

© 20th Century Fox / Lucasfilm



Dennis Muren, the visual effects supervisor whose credits also include ET and Jurassic Park, said of Abrams via a Lucasfilm statement: "He puts everything he has into his work.

"He totally immerses himself. He's got such a visual eye, which is so important to the Star Wars films. It seems that a lot of the same things that were in George when he made the first Star Wars films are also in JJ.

"I think he's going to fit into the other movies perfectly, with the energy that JJ has. We're kick-starting Star Wars again with dynamite. It will knock people out, including the people who get to work on it. I think it's a great choice."
Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt, responsible for the classic lightsaber sounds and R2-D2's droid beeps, added: "JJ represents the next generation of filmmakers from those that were making Star Wars when I started.

"When he was a teen, he was a fan of Star Wars, and a great deal of his love for movies came out of his reaction of that first Star Wars film. You feel that he's already invested so many years in it, and he's going to propel it forward in a new way.

"In other words, you're having a fan who has grown up and developed tremendous directorial skills finding himself at the steering wheel to take the franchise into the next stage. I feel like I'm there watching history turn over from one era to another."

George Lucas and JJ Abrams

© Joi Ito



Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor of Super 8 and veteran of the Star Wars prequels, said that he shared "the same nostalgic love" with Abrams.

"Now we have someone from that generation who is going to be at the helm of the Star Wars franchise that I've known and worked on, so it's a great circle," he commented.

"Just seeing what he did with Super 8 and capturing those moments, and knowing what was so special about that era, it's going to speak to a new generation of audience as well."

Disney's Star Wars: Episode 7 is due for release in 2015.

> JJ Abrams confirmed for 'Star Wars Episode 7', still involved in 'Star Trek' series
> JJ Abrams movie and TV career in pictures: From 'Alias' to Star Wars
> JJ Abrams to direct 'Star Wars Episode 7': Hollywood reactions

Watch Ewan McGregor talk about the upcoming Star Wars film below:

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