‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson Talks to The New York Times

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson Talks to The New York Times

The New York Times is featuring an interview with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. You can read the entire interview here, but we’ll share a few highlights below that give you a general overview of what Star Wars means to him, and his feelings about working in the galaxy far, far away. We are avoiding anything potentially spoilery here, but be aware of the possibility of spoilers if you read the entire interview.

How important were the original “Star Wars” films for you?

“Star Wars” was everything for me. As a little kid, you get to see the movies only once or twice, but playing with the toys in your backyard, that’s where you’re first telling stories in your head. It was so emotional to step onto the Millennium Falcon set, because that was the play set we all had when we were kids. Suddenly, you were standing in the real thing. There’s this rush of unreality about it.

You get to give Luke Skywalker his first lines of dialogue in this trilogy.

That was the first thing I had to figure out. Why is Luke on that island? And I didn’t have any answers. But it’s not like you can just pick anything you want out of the air. I grew up having a sense of who Luke Skywalker is. It guides you to a very specific path.

Since you grew up a “Star Wars” fan, were you intimidated to work with longtime franchise stars like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher?

It took a while before I could sit across the table with Mark and not, every three seconds, think, I’m talking to Luke Skywalker. With Carrie, I felt we connected as writers very quickly. She spoke her mind, man. They both did. Anyone whose life is that weirdly tied to a character like this, where you drop a script in their lap and say, “Now it’s this,” there’s no way it’s not a discussion. But they were both so engaged in the process, and trusting. The fact that both of them at some point said, “O.K., even if this isn’t what I was expecting, I’m going to trust you” — that was really touching.

Ms. Fisher died shortly after she finished filming. How did you absorb this tragedy? Did you feel as if you had to alter the movie?

When she passed away, we were pretty deep into postproduction. When we came back to the edit room after New Year’s, it was so hard. We went through all her scenes. I felt very strongly that we don’t try to change her performance. We don’t adjust what happens to her in this movie. Emotionally, you can’t help recontextualize it, now that she’s gone. It’s almost eerie how there are scenes that have an emotional resonance and a meaning, especially now. She gives a beautiful and complete performance in this film.

What does “The Last Jedi” mean?

It’s in the opening crawl of “The Force Awakens.” Luke Skywalker, right now, is the last Jedi. There’s always wiggle room in these movies — everything is from a certain point of view — but coming into our story, he is the actual last of the Jedi. And he’s removed himself and is alone on this island, for reasons unknown.

We hear a voice in the teaser trailer say, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Is that Luke speaking?

That’s him. It sounds pretty dire. That’s something that we’re definitely going to dig into.

Source: The New York Times

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