That time J.J. Abrams was terrified to screen the new ‘Star Wars’ film for his bosses

Remember back in school when you worked tirelessly on a presentation, and then the day came to actually present it to the class and you were so terrified you wanted to call in sick and skip the whole thing? J.J. Abrams knows that feeling all to well, because he recently went through this same ordeal. But replace “presentation” with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and his classmates are Disney executives.

Just because you’ve been given the keys to the Millennium Falcon does not mean everything about directing Star Wars is going to be smooth sailing. It’s also Star Wars, and it’s something you DON’T want to mess up. Abrams — best known for his work with the rebooted Star Treks, Lost, Alias, and, Felicity — took over the daunting task of continuing on the saga, and yes, he was pretty terrified about it. Especially when it came time to actually show his finished project to his bosses.

Stopping by The Howard Stern Show, Abrams explained that when it came time to show an unfinished cut to a few Disney studio executives, he was “nervous beyond words.”

“We showed the first cut — which was still incomplete, a complete version of the movie but not the finished version,” Abrams explained. “We showed it to [Walt Disney Studios chairman] Alan Horn and [Walt Disney Company CEO] Bob Iger and [Walt Disney Studios president] Alan Bergman, the three people at Disney who sat with me in the theater, and we screened the movie. And it was horrifying.”

Simply hearing about this experience is making me nervous, so I can only imagine being Abrams and sitting through this ordeal. And as expected, all three guys reacted positively to the movie (yay!). However, Abrams was convinced it was all for show.

“I left and all I could think was, ‘What do they know, they spent $4 billion, they have to love it.’ Their response was so kind, I’m like, ‘They’re just being nice.’”

Don’t worry, J.J. I’m willing to wager they loved it — it’s Star Wars how could they not love it? And in 18 short days, we’ll all be able to tell you we loved the movie, too.

(Image via Lucasfilm)

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