J.J. Abrams gets some fair and unfair criticism. When you put yourself in the position of being the gatekeeper for a lot of the most beloved intellectual property in the world this is bound to happen. One thing he is doing right is connecting with his audience. I think Abrams understands that fans shouldn’t drive the creative process, but they should be part of the process.
We see an example of him doing that here, promoting the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative. Give the fans something they want, use all that energy for a good cause, and be witty about it at the same time. Pretty much a win for everyone.