here for hi-def pictures and here for the full article.
- JJ Abrams decided to take on film when Kathleen Kennedy asked him "Who is Luke Skywalker?". Exploring that gave him chills.
- Did not reveal details of the post 30 years state of the world but said "Any good story has conflict. And if all were rosy 30-some years post-Jedi, we would be hard-pressed to find an interesting story to tell."
- The Empire has "morphed" into The First Order while a splinter group of the Rebels is called the Resistance with Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) a fighter for them.
- Leia somehow has Anakin's original lightsaber that Obi Wan recovered (Revenge of the Sith) and gave to Luke (A New Hope) who lost it when he lost his hand against Darth Vader (Empire Strikes Back).
- The main bad guys is Vader super fan Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), The First Order General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) and First Order Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).
- Force Awakens writer Lawrence Kasdan was also intrigued by the Who is Luke Skywalker question and exploring that 30 year gap for Han Solo and Leia.
- Abrams verified that he is not directing Episode IX (VII is being directed by Rian Johnson (Looper).
- Kylo Ren's mask was designed to be a nod to Vader's helmet while the lightsaber was hand built by Ren.
- Much like "Darth" is a Sith title, so too is "Ren" for Knights of Ren. As for what the knights are, Abrams didn't elaborate.
- Kasdan said "...there’s never been a character quite like [Kylo Ren]. ...he's full of emotion."