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JJ Abrams’ Star Wars secrets

TOKYO — It might be one of the most tightly guarded, shrouded in secrecy, high-profile releases in film history; but that didn’t stop one Japanese journalist at the press conference in Tokyo from asking director JJ Abrams if he could reveal a secret about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

JJ Abrams’ Star Wars secrets

Director JJ Abrams, right, and actress Daisy Ridley look on BB-8 droid during a press conference for their latest film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at a hotel in Urayasu, near Tokyo. Photo: AP

TOKYO — It might be one of the most tightly guarded, shrouded in secrecy, high-profile releases in film history; but that didn’t stop one Japanese journalist at the press conference in Tokyo from asking director JJ Abrams if he could reveal a secret about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The answer? “Erm, no. Gomen’nasai!” replied Abrams to a roomful of laughter.

But he did have a few small nuggets to share.

“What I can tell you this: It’s always annoying when you go to the movies, and you know the whole story,” the director said with a laugh.

“It’s not like we haven’t told people quite a bit about the story. In fact, if you look at some of the trailers that have come out, you get quite a bit of what happens in this movie. There are a lot of things people already know!”

He continued: “But what I’m grateful for is that the plot points, the drive, the crucial surprises that make going to the movies an event, are still things the audience gets to experience. And not just confirmed when they go to see the movie.”

Eventually, Abrams gave the media something to go home with.

“I can share one thing. There is planet in the movie called Takodana. And I named it (as such) because the first time I came to Tokyo, we stayed in a hostel in Takodanababa,” he revealed to raucous applause.

“So it was a nod to my favourite city.”

Takadanobaba is a neighborhood in Shinjuku, Tokyo, which is often referred to simply as “Baba”.

Meanwhile, websites have reported that Takodana is said to be the site of a major battle scene in The Force Awakens.

The planet, described as home to a group of unallied scoundrels and their protocol droid ME-8D9, was also mentioned in a children’s story book.

Reportedly, Princess-turned-General Leia (Carrie Fisher) and her fleet of X-Wing pilots battle it out on the planet of Takadona with Captain Phasma’s (Gwendoline Christine) army of stormtroopers.

Abrams, also answered the perennial question about his notorious proclivity for lens flares.

“I know everyone talks about my use of the lens flare and how I used it in a lot in the other films I’ve done,” he said with smile. “But I would like to say I’m cured! I promise I only used it (in The Force Awakens) when it was physically necessary, like when (the camera) is staring directly at the sun or when it seems awkward or odd not to have it.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in Singapore on Dec 17.

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