You might have noticed that J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek films are filled with lens flares. One Trekkie calculated 721 instances in the first film and 826 in the second. However, the director promised this effect won’t be awakened for The Force Awakens.
Abrams joined The Late Show host Stephen Colbert for the Montclair Film Festival’s Celebrity Nerd-Off on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey. Among the topics of conversation, Colbert challenged the filmmaker on his use of lens flares.
“The reason I wanted to do it [in Star Trek] was that I loved the idea that the future they were in was so bright, it couldn’t be contained,” Abrams said (as quoted by Yahoo Movies). “I was starting to get in trouble with people. When I made Star Trek Into Darkness, there was a scene where Alice Eve [who played Carol Marcus] was obliterated by a lens flare. I showed it to my wife, and she said ‘Okay, enough!’”
He continued to say how this reaction helped put things into perspective for Star Wars. “As you’ll see, I’ve allowed lens flares to take a backseat. Every time there could be a flare, Roger [Guyett, ILM’s visual effects supervisor,] would tell me, ‘These are not the flares you are looking for.’”
Back in 2013, Abrams apologized for all the lens flares at the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray release party. “I know it’s too much and I apologize,” he said at the time. “I think admitting you’re an addict is the first step towards recovery.”