J.J. Abrams has had it with people hating on Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. The movie is his brainchild and passion project—he literally broke his back filming it—and he's tired of critics decrying it as a rip-off of George Lucas' original trilogy. So tired, in fact, that he took to the airwaves to defend his directorial choices in a podcast recorded with the Hollywood Reporter.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has done incredibly well in box offices, but there are those who say it leans too heavily on the tropes and plot lines introduced by Lucas, but Abrams points out that Lucas' ideas were far from original. "Star Wars is a kind of specific gorgeous concoction of George's that combines all sorts of things," he said. "It was itself derivative of all of these things that George loved so much from the most obvious, Flash Gordon and Joseph Campbell, to the Akira Kurosawa references, to Westerns."
He went on:
I can understand that someone might say, "Oh, it's a complete rip-off!" We inherited Star Wars. The story of history repeating itself was, I believe, an obvious and intentional thing, and the structure of meeting a character who comes from a nowhere desert and discovers that she has a power within her, where the bad guys have a weapon that is destructive but that ends up being destroyed — those simple tenets are by far the least important aspects of this movie, and they provide bones that were well-proven long before they were used in Star Wars.
In other words, although Abrams deliberately tried to make the new film less self-referential, it's based on tropes so ingrained in storytelling that they were bound to feel familiar. So get over yourselves already.