LOS ANGELES -- It's official: J.J. Abrams wants Star Wars fans to avoid the discomfort of dealing with the exasperating Jar Jar Binks or the furry Ewoks.
At a press conference Sunday for world media, the director of the seventh film in the saga and its producer, Kathleen Kennedy, confirmed that the two most controversial creatures in the six prior films -- Gungan Jar Jar Binks and the cuddly inhabitants of the forest moon of Endor -- won't appear in the new one.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" reunites some of the most beloved characters in the first six films, including Han Solo (Harrison Ford); Leia (Carrie Fisher); Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill); R2-D2 (Kenny Baker); and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). It also presents new faces: Rey (Daisy Ridley); Kylo Ren (Adam Driver); Kanata Maz (Lupita Nyong'o); and Finn (John Boyega).
Advance ticket sales for the film totaled $50 million (roughly £32.2 million, AU$68.8 million) on the first day, a figure that has prompted predictions that the film's release will generate between $170 million (about £113 million, AU$234 million) and $209 million (about £139 million, AU$288 million) in the US alone, during the film's first weekend at the box office. It's estimated that the approximate cost of production was around $200 million (about £133 million, AU$275 million), according to The Guardian.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens in theaters across the the UK and Australia on December 17 and in the US on December 18.
With just 11 days until the release of the film, Disney brought together most of its cast for the press event here, with the obvious exception of Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, the hero of the episodes IV, V and VI. It has been rumored for days that "The Force Awakens" will include a radical turn for the son of Darth Vader, with speculation rampant that he possibly has joined the dark side of the Force.
During the press conference, J.J. Abrams answered a question about the possible presence of the Ewoks in the film, replying jokingly: "Alive?" Sparking laughter from the cast. Meanwhile, Kennedy confirmed that "Jar Jar is definitely not" in the seventh episode of the series, an answer that was greeted with cheers and applause.
But the film's creators were cautious not to give too many more details, as they have been in all their public appearances. J.J. Abrams said he wants to give people the same world of possibilities, magic and comedy that George Lucas managed to successfully offer with the first trilogy.
This story originally appeared on CNET en Español. Read Confirmado: No hay Jar Jar Binks ni Ewoks en 'The Force Awakens'