Rian Johnson is not a household in Hollywood right now. But in a few years time he could be one of the big guns. Directing the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII to debut on December 15, 2017, the 43-year old picks and chooses his projects carefully but could not resist the lure of the Disney production.
Writing and directing the 2012 fantasy thriller Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, Johnson quickly became a recognizable name for sci-fi. He would later pop up in a cameo for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a random technician. Acknowledging his (large) involvement with the franchise.
Yet it will be his work as writer-director for the next installment later in the year as well as working on the screenplay for 2019's Star Wars: Episode IX that he will be ultimately judged.
Follow Up Will Be A Fun Ride
Understanding that the franchise has at times taken itself a bit seriously, Johnson says that moviegoers can sit back and relax this time around.
“I want it 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," stated the filmmaker.
Seeing how Rey, Finn and Poe will react to the events of the previous film will be a major factor for the director. All while audiences watch them grow and change as a result.
“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory," Johnson says. "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 Connection To Luke A Key Subplot
With The Force Awakens closing one chapter and opening another at the exact same time in the closing scene, Johnson argues that the new generation of fans can relate to Rey's development. Audiences can expect the character to draw a bond with Mark Hamill's Skywalker.
“It very much feels like what we all go through in adolescence, the dawning of this new chapter of our lives," while he explains that the family dynamic in the series is "a huge part of especially Rey’s character, something that was a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this."
Admitting that Episode VIII has a secret title to be released later in the year, Johnson sees the biggest carrot of surrounding the mystery of Luke and why he ended up on the isolated island.
"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.”
Source: USA Today