Stephen Colbert gets Abrams-esque on J.J. Abrams

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J.J. Abrams is primarily known as the guy who’s directing the new “Star Wars” movie these days, but before that he was a writer and director who loved to plant clues and engender obsessive fan discussion over coded references to obscure items. For his visit to “The Colbert Report,” Abrams was prepared to discuss his new book, “S.” but Stephen Colbert decided to send the filmmaker into a mystery straight out of one of his own works.

“It’s been a long time,” Colbert said upon greeting him, before cryptically adding, “The squirrel is in the basket.”

Abrams laughed, apparently unsure what Colbert was talking about, but he rolled with it and they launched into the interview.


At 2:27 into the interview, things take a decidedly Abrams-esque turn when, for no apparent reason, a picture of a squirrel flashes on the screen behind Abrams.

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The director, not noticing, continues to discuss his book project with Colbert. It’s a complicated puzzle of a book, with bits of newspaper and fake liner notes tucked into its pages.

At 4:24, the mystery deepens when the picture of a basket flashes on the screen. That’s when Abrams notices it and begins to wonder what kind of interview he’s found himself in.

What is the squirrel? What is the basket?

At the end of the interview, Colbert asks Abrams the requisite “Star Wars” questions, but stand down fans. Abrams still isn’t talking. Not yet, anyway.

Unless the squirrel is Yoda and the basket is the Death Star? Has Yoda returned and joined the Dark Side in the new film? What does it mean?



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