Details about Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be coming out fast and furious over the next few days.

At a panel at the D23 Expo in Los Angeles, director J.J. Abrams revealed that the current cut of the next Star Wars movie is about 124 minutes and that the final cut will not be drastically longer or shorter.

That’s an interesting length for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, since the most successful Star Wars movie of them all, The Empire Strikes Back, ran exactly 124 minutes.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Abrams revealed some of the hidden meanings of some character names:


The “Ren” in Kylo Ren -- the villain of Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- indicates the order he belongs to. Kylo is a member of the Knights of Ren.


The fast little robotis named after its shape, but many fans suspected that Abrams was tipping his hat to film’s producer and his old friend,Bryan Burk.

“That’s not true, but don’t tell him,” J.J. said, adding that he shows his love for his friend in other ways.

“I always thought of thenumber eightas I looked at the robotm then two capital ‘B’ letters. I thought there might be something better but it stayed and I didn’t oppose the idea,” Abrams said.


Shock trooperFinn and beggar Reyfrom the desert aretwo new characters whose last names are unknown so far.

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In the interview Abrams said this was not accidental and we could suspect some mystery because of thesecrecy.“I only say that their surnames are intentionally not revealed,” he said.

Abrams also recounted for EW the magic of seeing the original Star Wars movie at the age of 11. ““It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen,” he said.

He said it was a “combination of everything great”: funny, romantic, sweeping, epic, intimate.

“It had an amazing message and impact,” J.J. said, calling it an incredibly powerful experience.”

Another “BB” critical to Star Wars is Ben Burtt, who sound-engineered all of the coolest sounds from the Star Wars universe, like Wookies, blasters and starships. Burtt is back on the team for The Force Awakens.

J.J. Abrams was circumspect about what he told EW about Burtt’s involvement. In fact, he refused to say anything except “I’m thrilled to get to work with Ben again.” The two worked on Star Trek and Super8, as well.

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