J.J. Abrams hopes 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is as much a female-friendly film as it is for "boys".

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams

The director is responsible for bringing the sci-fi franchise back to the big screen with the upcoming seventh instalment and while he accepts the original trilogy and the prequels - all directed by creator George Lucas - were very much a "dads and sons" experience he hopes "mothers and daughters" can enjoy his movie too.

During an interview on 'Good Morning America', he said: "'Star Wars' was always a boys' thing, and a movie that dads could take their sons to. And although that is still very much the case, I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well."

The original trilogy had Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia as the main female character, while the prequels focused on Natalie Portman's Padmé Amidala.

Abrams' movie sees Fisher return as Leia - renamed as Resistance leader General Leia Organa - and the mysterious Rey, portrayed by Daisy Ridley, is set to be one of the two main leads along with John Boyega as Finn.

There are also more women in supporting roles than ever before in the franchise's history including Gwendoline Christie as First Order officer Captain Phasma and Lupita Nyong'o as space pirate Maz Kanata - although it has been reported by The Sun her scenes have been cut down in the final edit due to difficulties she had with the CGI technology required for her alien alter ego.

Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford return as iconic characters Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, while Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver all star among others.