This is what director JJ Abrams said about the criticisms that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is just a rip-off or heavily similar to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
“But I knew we weren’t making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people’s time.”
The similarities may be called as homages to The New Hope, however some fans didn’t like it. The director acknowledged the similarities and expected that there will be critics when the movie comes out.
“I knew that, whatever we did, there would be a group of people … that would take issue with any number of things,” the director tells THR.
“I can understand that someone might say, ‘Oh, it’s a complete rip-off!’ ” he says, adding, “What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new — to go backwards to go forwards.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter