While George Lucas had a clear future in mind for Star Wars, the direction of the series changed when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney. And now director and co-writer J.J. Abrams has talked about how The Force Awakens and the studio's new vision for the franchise differs from Lucas' original plans.

In an interview with /Film, Abrams explained that when he came on board to direct, Disney had already scrapped Lucas' plans for the sequel films, "so the mandate was to start from scratch and tell a story that was the continuum."

When asked how The Force Awakens differs from Lucas' original plans, Abrams added: "I canít quantify that, but I can say that the spirit of it, the feeling of it, the continuum and telling a brand new story set in a world that just like VI from V and V from IV would feel like a continuum, is always the thing [co-writer] Larry [Kasdan] and I wanted to do."

The director went on to highlight several questions he sought to answer, including: "What do we want to feel? Why are we telling this story? Who are the characters that have any meaning or relevance or make us feel something?" He also wanted to address the mysteries surrounding the remnant of the Empire, the fate of the Republic, and the futures of Han, Leia, Luke and the rest of Star Wars' beloved cast.

Speaking specifically to the series lore and mythos Lucas created, Abrams is clear he has no desire to "over-write or change what George says the rules are," saying he's "not someone who quite understands the science of the Force." For Abrams, "Star Wars was never about science fiction ó it was a spiritual story."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this Friday, December 18