JJ Abrams talks about that flashy new lightsaber in Star Wars VII

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Dec 17, 2018, 5:00 PM EST (Updated)

Even the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been surprised by the response to the franchise's newest version of the Jedi weapon.

Speaking with Collider on the red carpet of the Visual Effects Society Awards in Los Angeles last night (Wednesday, Feb. 4), J.J. Abrams said that he's followed and even been caught up in the debate over the new lightsaber and its crossguard -- which some have argued is impractical. Here's Abrams:

“What’s been funny is, since the lightsaber’s come out, I cannot tell you how many contradictory emails I have received from people who have both defended it with unbelievably detailed graphics...I’ve gotten things that are nuts, and I’ve gotten people who’ve shown how it’ll kill you and how it doesn’t make any sense. It’s been the funniest thing to see the arguments that have developed over this thing.”

Of course, Abrams declined to tell the "long story" behind the new lightsaber's origins, but he did admit that the production team debated its design as well:

“It was a number of conversations (that led to the design). It was a sketch that became a whole thing and, you know, this was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse."

Source: Disney

Also during the interview (which you can view below), Abrams mentioned that he's editing the movie now, that just one sequence ("a good sequence") was shot in IMAX, and that he tried to go "old school" as much as possible when it came to the visual effects:

"There are obviously an enormous amount of CG effects in the film, and I can’t wait for you to see the combination. But it was very important that we build as many sets as we could and that the film have a tangible, sort of authentic quality that you believed that these things were actually happening in a real space with real sunlight, if it was an exterior scene, or if we could build a big portion of a scene and not have anything be blue screen, do it where we could. It was a very important piece of work.”

You can also watch below for Abrams' brief comments on director Rian Johnson's involvement with Episodes VIII and IX, and there's even a quick comment on Simon Pegg writing the script for Star Trek 3 ("he had a lot of wonderful ideas"), which Abrams is still executive-producing.

There you have it: J.J. Abrams lends his views on the Great Lightsaber Debate of 2015. I'm sure it's not the only one we'll have as we march inexorably toward Dec. 18, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters.