JJ Abrams, talking to The Times Magazine, wants to take Star Wars back to its grittier space western roots and reignite a sense of mystery and wonder (themes that run throughout the director's work).
"I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told – it's one of the things it did so brilliantly.
"If you watch the first movie, you don't actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They're going to rule by fear – but you don't know what their end game is.
"The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went."
Scriptwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) has been replaced by JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan famously co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.