8. The Characters Are Everything
In 2009, Abrams revived the stagnant Star Trek franchise to great acclaim. Even though Abrams maintained he was never a Star Trek fan, he somehow managed do iconic characters like Captain Kirk and Commander Spock justice, updating them in a way that felt fresh, but not alien, to the series.
Its been confirmed that Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia appear in The Force Awakens. Bringing back such iconic characters would be a daunting challenge for any director; luckily, Abrams already rebooted a franchise full of fan favourites with aplomb. Even more impressively, Abrams did so without the personal connection hardcore Trekkies had to the crew of the Enterprise.
In an interview with StarWars.com in 2008, Abrams explained that his love for the characters of Han, Leia and Luke inspired him to try to create memorable characters in his own work. Abrams' understanding and respect for the original trilogy's heroes should ensure he honours the spirit of what made them distinctive in the first place.
Lucas prequel trilogy tended to lack the dynamic character chemistry that made Luke, Leia, and Hans banter so engrossing. Without compelling characterisation, the story of the prequel trilogy fell flat. Unlike Lucas, Abrams proved he knows that retaining the spirit of a franchises key players makes for a satisfying continuation of a series.