Director Rian Johnson is finally opening up about his Star Wars sequel, a highly anticipated installment that will answer some of our burning questions about The Force Awakens. He spoke to USA Today about the film and how it will help flesh out many of the saga’s new characters.
“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” Johnson said. “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.”
Rey’s relationship with Luke will be a focal point in particular. Johnson described Rey’s first meeting with the legendary Jedi Master, saying that the young hero finds herself “both not knowing what’s going to happen and also having a lot of expectations in her head about how this is going to go. It very much feels like what we all go through in adolescence, the dawning of this new chapter of our lives.”
In fact, while Rey remains the protagonist of the Sequel Trilogy, Episode VIII will once again focus on the mystery of Luke Skywalker.
“What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?” is the main question in the new movie, according to Johnson. “I’m approaching it with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.”
I personally want to know a lot more about the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To and why Luke would choose that place specifically for his exile. The movie will hopefully also reveal more about the young Jedi he was training before the Knights of Ren slaughtered them all.
But for all of the darker elements of the film, Johnson still plans to keep things light when possible. Humor, of course, is a vital part of any Star Wars movie. The Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One are two of the darkest films in the franchise, but they still manage to make you laugh throughout the adventure.
“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 briefly teased that the film already has a title, and has had one since he first started working on the script. “It was in the very first draft I wrote,” Johnson said of the mystery title.
Unfortunately, he’s still not ready to share it with the world.
“All in good time, my friend,” Johnson said.
There’s no doubt we’ll learn way more about Episode VIII in the coming weeks, as Celebration 2017 gets closer. We expect the first teaser to premiere at that convention, too!