“This film was more of a retrenchment”: James Cameron Didn’t Mince Words for $2B Star Wars Movie Despite His Love for George Lucas’ Original 6

Director James Cameron has been an avid fan of George Lucas' Star Wars franchise, but did not enjoy the sequel trilogy's first installment.

James Cameron, Star Wars, George Lucas
credit : wikimedia commons


  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens marked the first installment in Star Wars sequel trilogy and went on to gross over $2 billion at the box office.
  • Despite loving George Lucas' six films, James Cameron disliked The Force Awakens because it was mostly a rehashing of the original 1977 Star Wars.
  • Cameron has also admitted to being influenced by the Star Wars franchise while working on his Avatar movies, reiterating his love for the former franchise.
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James Cameron is the visionary mind behind iconic films such as Titanic and Avatar, which have pushed the boundaries of visual storytelling. In the past, Cameron has shared his love for the Star Wars franchise, created by filmmaker and friend George Lucas. However, Cameron is seemingly not a fan of the sequel trilogy.

James Cameron
Avatar director James Cameron is an avid fan of Star Wars movies.

During an interview, Cameron spoke about the first installment in the sequel trilogy Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The director pointed out why the movie did not work for him and criticized some aspects of it. Here is what James Cameron had to say about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and why he did not like the film.

Despite Loving Star Wars James Cameron Voiced His Disapproval of The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first installment in the Disney-produced Star Wars sequel trilogy. It was directed by J.J. Abrams and released on December 18, 2015. The film received mixed reviews from critics but emerged as a commercial success, grossing $2.071 billion worldwide.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
James Cameron disliked The Force Awakens because it was too similar to earlier Star Wars movies.

During a 2016 interview, James Cameron was asked about his thoughts on The Force Awakens and did not have kind words for the movie. He said (via Deadline):

“I have to say that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.”

Cameron added that while he had a lot of respect for director J.J. Abrams, The Force Awakens was too much of a do-over of George Lucas‘ original 1977 film that started the franchise. Incidentally, Lucas also had similar feelings about the first movie in the franchise, made without his direct involvement.

As a result, Cameron did not like the first chapter of the sequel trilogy. However, he added that he wanted to see where the franchise was headed next. Ultimately, it is safe to say that Cameron wasn’t a fan of the sequels, particularly because of their deviation from Lucas’ original vision in later installments.


James Cameron Admitted to Drawing Inspiration From George Lucas’ Star Wars For Avatar

Despite not liking The Force Awakens, Cameron hasn’t shied away from his love for the Star Wars franchise and its influence on his own work. During an interview with Variety, in 2022, Cameron spoke about his then-upcoming second installment in the Avatar franchise.

A still from Avatar 2
James Cameron drew some inspiration from Star Wars while working on Avatar 2

In the interview, Cameron admitted to drawing some inspiration from George Lucas’ original Star Wars movies, especially when it came to the treatment of the story and characters.

Cameron stated that he felt it was dangerous to tell a story with a lot of characters because it could lack focus. However, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises helped him take on the challenge.


“I was trying to emulate a Star Wars universe or Lord of the Rings. Something that’s a persistent world that people can come back to and enjoy over time.”

Cameron made the above statement, explaining how the space opera franchise has informed his approach to tackling a multi-faceted storyline in Avatar: The Way of Water. In a separate interview, Cameron also admitted that the world he created for Avatar was noticeably different from Lucas’ worldbuilding in the galaxy far, far away.

The Star Wars and Avatar movies are streaming on Disney+.

Pratik Handore

Written by Pratik Handore

Articles Published: 447

Pratik is a writer at FandomWire, with a content writing experience of five years. Although he has a Bachelors in Hospitality, his fascination with all things pop culture led him to writing articles on a variety of topics ranging from latest streaming releases to unheard movie trivia. When not writing, you can find him reading manga, or watching classic TV shows.