J.J. Abrams is "incredibly relieved" that 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' was received well.

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams

The director of the latest instalment of the science fiction franchise is glad the movie has appealed to such a wide audience and that the new characters have been accepted by fans.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, he said: "I'm just incredibly relieved that the movie's out and it was well-received, and I'm more excited when I hear that people went to see the movie with their parents who took them to see the original movie when they were kids, or who took their own kids who maybe had never seen a 'Star Wars' movie and who fell in love with Rey [Daisy Ridley] or found Finn [John Boyega] to be someone that they wanted to be for Halloween.

"Those kinds of stories are frankly infinitely more impactful and gratifying than all the numbers - which are wonderful, and I'm very grateful to everyone who went to see the film, but it's mostly exciting to hear that people actually went and had the experience."

Meanwhile, lead star John previously spoke of his own relief at landing the part in the popular flick.

He said: "When I found out I had the part, the overwhelming feeling was of relief. I'd been auditioning for seven months so it was just unbelievable to think, yes, finally I know for sure I'm going to be in this film."