Rian Johnson Talks Star Wars: Episode VIII

star_wars_the_force_awakens_rey-3840x1200-0-0By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Star Wars: Episode VIII won’t hit the big screen until the end of the year, but that doesn’t stop any of us from clamoring for more info about the film. Director Rian Johnson recently spoke with USA Today and revealed a few details about the upcoming film.

First up, Johnson confirmed that the film will pick up right where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off. Here’s what he told the outlet:

I don’t want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens. […]

“Part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift. She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential.”

This is the first time a Star Wars movie will pick up just moments after a previous film concludes — unless you take into account Rogue One. USA Today followed that up with a bit more in depth answers about the film. According to the director, crafting Episode VIII was less like work and a lot more like play. Here’s what he said:

“The creative work has felt like play. It’s felt resonant and meaningful because it meant so much to me as a kid… I want [Episode VIII] to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were.”

Johnson also revealed that “a large part of the movie” will focus on Luke Skywalker, and why he ran away. Now that Rey has shown up on his door step, the film will show what he plans to do next.

“[Luke’s story is the] emotional entry point [of the movie]. I’m approaching [his story] with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.”

Rey and Luke Skywalker aren’t the only characters being tested in the upcoming film. Johnson is also relishing putting Finn, Poe, and the rest of the cast of characters through their paces.

“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory… Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

An interesting point is that the galaxy should now be in complete disarray, since this film takes place pretty much the day after the entire government of the New Republic has has been wiped out. I wonder how much of that will play out in the upcoming film.

In addition, Johnson revealed the title was decided “very first draft I wrote.” Kathleen Kennedy has stated they’ll start promoting Ep. VIII this spring, so expect not only a title reveal, but also the first trailer by hopefully March or April.

Star Wars: Episode VIII will premiere in theaters on December 15, 2017.

About Danny Santos

Freelance writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, and visual artist. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has produced and performed in over a dozen films and webseries. He has also been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician.