Back when the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ ship was without a captain a few years ago, there were so many names being thrown around to direct the first installment of the new trilogy from a galaxy far, far away. Brad Bird, David Fincher, Guillermo Del Toro, and Matthew Vaughn were just a few of the filmmakers in the running for probably the most sought after gig in Hollywood. But in the end, J.J. Abrams was drawn away from the ‘Star Trek’ reboot universe that he built at Paramount in favor of helming a new film in the franchise that he’s loved since he was a child. So what made him make the jump? Apparently it was a certain farm boy from Tatooine.

In Entertainment Weekly’s latest feature about ‘Episode VII,’ Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy recalled the process of bringing Abrams on board to direct one of the most anticipated releases of 2105. At first, the filmmaker was hesitant, but the executive shared that Luke Skywalker was the one that really brought Abrams into the fold:

“In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him. ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?’ He said, ‘Oh my God, I just got the chills. I’m in.’ I mean, it really was almost that quickly.”

Having been a fan of the original ‘Star Wars’ since it debuted when he was eleven years old, Abrams had to know the answer. However, he revealed that there was another influential voice that made accepting the job easier:

“You rarely get a chance to be involved in something that you would typically be an audience for. Katie, my wife, said, ‘If you want to do this and you don’t, you’re going to regret this.’ It was really about being willing to take that leap, and jump into the possibilities of what these characters are doing, and where they are.”

Now with only four months until ‘The Force Awakens’ hits theaters, fans are wondering the answers to those questions more than ever. Hopefully Abrams has the answers (and the droids) that we’re looking for. Until we know for sure, what do you think about the director’s reasons for signing onto the project? Are you excited about what he could bring to this beloved franchise? Let us know in the comments below.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker hits theaters on December 18, 2015.