Although James Cameron has never been directly involved in making a Star Wars movie, like many filmmakers, he has some deeply personal connections to the franchise. Cameron famously quit his job as a truck driver to try and make it in the film industry after seeing Star Wars in 1977, so it’s fair to say he’s indebted to George Lucas’s creation in some way. Fortunately, Cameron is also a big enough director now that he can basically get away with sharing how feels about a movie — good or bad — and he’s evidently not the biggest fan of the most recent Star Wars film.
As you can see in the video below, Cameron was asked by a student interviewer for his thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and his answer begins with “Weeeeeeell….” which is a pretty good indication that he’s not about to give a ringing endorsement.
“George Lucas is a friend of mine and he and I were having a conversation about it the other day,” Cameron continues. “I don’t want to say too much about the film, because I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams.”
He follows this statement up by highlighting a problem with The Force Awakens that has been echoed by many since the film’s December 2015 release: “I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination. This film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.”
“For me the jury’s out. I want to see where they go with it.”
Although the same sort of criticism could be leveled at Cameron’s most recent film Avatar, which had incredible visuals but a derivative story, it’s refreshing to hear someone as entrenched in Hollywood as Cameron is give his honest opinion about a film, especially one as big as The Force Awakens.