J.J. Abrams is standing by his work on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the director addressed criticism about the seventh entry in the “Star Wars” saga, including its similarities to the 1977 original.

“I completely get the criticism, and for those who found it too much of an overlap, I say, ‘I totally hear you and respect the review,'” he responded. “But the idea was to continue the story and to begin with this young woman who felt like Luke Skywalker was a myth.”

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Abrams added of his intentions: “To tell a story that was not just history repeating itself but a story that embraced the movies that we know as the actual history of this galaxy. So that they are still living in a place where there is good versus evil, they’re still living in the shadow of what has come before, still grappling with the sins of the father and the people who have preceded them. This was not about a nostalgia play. It felt, to me, like a way of saying, ‘Let’s go back to a “Star Wars” that we know, so we can tell another story.'”

With “The Rise of Skywalker” soon to be out in theatres, Abrams commented on how the previous film in the series, “The Last Jedi”, managed to surprise him.

“I felt like the biggest surprise was how dark Luke was,” Abrams said. “That’s the thing ‘The Last Jedi’ undeniably succeeds at, which is constant subversion of expectation. The number of things that happened in that movie that aren’t the thing you think is going to happen is pretty fun.”

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The director also assured fans that “The Rise of Skywalker” will offer real finality for the saga.

“It’s an ending. It’s not a beginning,” he said. “It’s the end of not just one trilogy but three. It’s a far larger movie in terms of scale. … It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever been involved in. By a lot.”