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In a recent interview with MTV, Abrams said Disney's self-imposed deadline just wasn't realistic for the film, and he was happy that the switch allowed the creative team more time to perfect the project.
"Before I even came onto the project, they were talking about 2015, and they made this announcement very early on, which I understand. ... [B]ut it didn't necessarily have anything to do with the reality of where anyone was creatively," Abrams told MTV. "So I think that it's a hugely important thing, that that [creative process] come first. And a release date's great, but you have to release something great."
That version of events jibes with recent reports that the production was concerned that it wouldn't finish the film in time. And it also gives Abrams some breathing room to create a great script with consultant and new screenwriting partner Lawrence Kasdan.
As for collaborating with Kasdan, who co-wrote original trilogy films "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," Abrams raved about the "Star Wars" legend in an interview with Total Film.
"Working with Larry has been one of the most surreal joys of my life," Abrams told the magazine. "We've had a lot of fun working together. He's an incredible guy and an inspiring and spectacular writer."
"Star Wars: Episode VII" hits theaters December 18, 2015.
[via MTV, h/t Screen Rant]