Star Wars 7
The Force Awakens will be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi LucasFilm

Director JJ Abrams has some news for Star Wars fans who are expecting numerous references to the original trilogy in the upcoming Star Wars 7.

Abrams told Vanity Fair that there will be hints and references to the earlier movies, as well as what happened in the three decade gap between films (The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after Return Of The Jedi).

However at one time, there were so many references that he had to cut some out, Indiewire reports.

"We've obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what's happened outside of the borders of the story that you're seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to," Abrams said.

"We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something," the director added.

"I think that the key is — and whether we've accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience — but the key is that references be essential so that you don't reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we're laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is slated for release on 18 December 2015.