Imagine that you worked really hard on a project for over a year. It was all you thought about. You lost sleep worrying about what people would think about it and if they would be able to tell how badly you wanted to get it right.

You KNEW everyone would be comparing you to similar projects that came before and you wanted to prove that you were up to the challenge.

Then, when it was finally time to reveal your work to the world, it got out a magnifying glass and tweezers and tore it to SHREDS. You might feel a twinge of dislike for those people. You might want to punch things. Or, in the case of The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, you might freak out on a podcast.

It’s no secret that Star Wars fans have come down pretty hard on many aspects of Abrams execution on Episode VII. They hated Kylo Ren’s light saber, they called it “sterile” and likened it to a Mad Libs game where all the punch lines are just mixed and matched. “This is the work of a talented mimic or ventriloquist who can just about cover for the fact that he has nothing much to say,” wrote Salon’s Andrew Hehir.

Ouch.

Even Papa George Lucas piled on,criticizing Abrams willingness to recycle old ideas, and accusing both he and Disney of just throwing some big space ships on the screen and expecting everyone to go nuts.

Tired of listening to critics claim that he “borrowed” too many elements from the original trilogy, Abrams took to the airwaves to defend his directorial choices in a podcast recorded with the Hollywood Reporter.

Star Wars is a kind of specific gorgeous concoction of George’s that combines all sorts of things,” he said. “It was itself derivative of all of these things that George loved so much from the most obvious, Flash Gordon and Joseph Campbell, to the Akira Kurosawa references, to Westerns.”