Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Oliver Gettell
December 02, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EST

As Star Wars fans continue to wonder where Luke Skywalker is, J.J. Abrams maintains that the more interesting question isn’t where so much as who.

During a Sirius XM Town Hall on Monday, the Force Awakens director discussed how a key moment involving Luke didn’t actually make it on screen but still informed the entire movie.

“When we began discussing who these [new] characters could be — and it wasn’t clear at all what their story would be or who they were at this point — in that very first meeting, there was this sort of idea of this young woman,” Abrams said. “And though this moment isn’t in the final movie, it was this conversation about this young woman asking, ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?'”

What intrigued Abrams, he said, “was the notion that this movie, nearly 40 years after the first film, would be about a group of new young characters who would not have been part of that world, who wouldn’t know who these characters were — for whom the idea of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Princess Leia could be as good as myth. It just became interesting to me, that notion of people who didn’t quite realize they were in the Star Wars universe.”

The full Sirius XM Town Hall with J.J. Abrams, hosted by People and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle, will premiere Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. ET on EW Radio Sirius XM 105.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18. Find out more about the movie in the video above.

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