J.J. Abrams wanted to revive the visual spirit of 1977's Star Wars with his trilogy-starter, The Force Awakens. His back-to-basics approach bled into character designs and special effects shots. The movie would be a confluence of nostalgia and state-of-the-art technology, an adventure for all ages -- and every pair of eyes.
Most of us take watching for granted. If the biggest blockbuster of all time arrives to our local multiplex, you go. If a new Netflix series drops, you binge. When the series finale of an award-winning TV show airs, you and the world tune in to experience it together. Now, imagine you couldn't see the screen.
According to a 2014 report from the National Center for Health Statistics, an estimated 22.5 million adult Americans say they "have trouble" seeing or are unable to see at all. Blindness is an insurmountable hurdle for the rest of the population to imagine, tampering with every aspect of daily existence, but overlooked are the impairment's cultural blows. As Kim Charlson, president of the American Council of the Blind, put it in a recent interview, "Movies are such an important part of our culture and society, people talk about them every day, it's a social outing. People who are blind want the same experience."