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James Cameron Disses J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ Saying It Lacked ‘Visual Imagination’

And the claws come out! James Cameron dissed J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens in a video recently posted to YouTube, explaining that the film fails to hit the high notes that George Lucas’ originals did.

“Well, George Lucas is a friend of mine,” the 61-year-old Titanic director says when asked about his take on Abrams’ film as part of an interview about his career. “I don’t want to say too much about the film because I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams and I want to see where they’re taking it next.”

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Eventually, however, the Avatar director can’t hide his disappointment at what he considers a failed revival of a landmark franchise.

Director James Cameron and director J.J. Abrams
Director James Cameron and director J.J. Abrams

“I have to say that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and 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,” Cameron said diplomatically. “So for me, the jury’s out. I want to see where they go with it.”

Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

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But the outspoken Oscar-winning director admitted that perhaps he has set the bar rather high for any future Star Wars films, given that the original 1977 movie was what inspired him to take the risks he has with special effects.

“Everything just kind of blew up at that point in the visual effects world,” he said of Star Wars’ impact. “It was a big revolution, and I wanted to be in on it. Star Wars was the film that made me want to go actually do it.”

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In April, Cameron announced at CinemaCon that he has four sequels in the works for his hit 2009 fantasy film Avatar.

“We’ve decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project, making four epic films, each one of which stands alone but which together form a complete saga,” Cameron said during a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas extravaganza.

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