A director whose name probably would not be the first to come to mind as an influence for the “Star Wars” franchise was one of the key influences on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Director J.J. Abrams said he found inspiration in the work of Terrence Malick.
Malick is known for moody, contemplative films such as his 1998 war movie “The Thin Red Line.” His 1973 breakout “Badlands” remains among his most acclaimed work, and his 1978 follow-up “Days of Heaven” won Malick the Best Director Award at Cannes.
“The Thin Red Line” and Malick’s 2011 film “The Tree of Life” both earned Malick Oscar nominations for Best Director.
In an interview with Reuters, Abrams cited Malick as an important influence as he was preparing to direct “The Force Awakens.”
“Malick (is) not a director you would normally think you’d … go to for a ‘Star Wars’ movie and yet … I don’t know of a more profound and emotional filmmaker than Malick,” Abrams said, adding: “It sounds very pretentious to say ‘oh I’m inspired by this person, that person’, it’s more about … seeing things that you can aspire to … and where appropriate apply lessons that you’re learning from them.”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is due in theaters Dec. 18.