It is any wonder why the outpouring of grief was as immense as it was in late 2016, as the Star Wars franchise not only lost an acting icon but a creative genius in the process. As The Last Jedi approaches a premiere date for December, director Rian Johnson sat down with LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy for a special Star Wars Celebration panel at Orlando, hosted by Beauty and the Beast star Josh Gad.
It was in this setting that the filmmaker discussed the relationship he enjoyed with Carrie Fisher before her passing, explaining that she was an influential figure behind the scenes for crafting the screenplay of the 8th installment. As a video tribute played to the audience in commemoration to Fisher, the pair remembered her spirit and impact that remains a legacy for the series well into the future.
Rian Will Miss The Ad-Lib Jazz Sessions With His Friend Carrie
Photographed on set a number of times as the duo would be the meeting of the minds to mull over the story, Johnson said that her creativity and flair for quality dialogue had a serious footprint that would be felt for The Last Jedi.
"It was such a moving tribute," he remarked. "I don't know if I can add to that. I love her so much, I just adore her. I connected with her first and foremost as a writer. She's a brilliant writer, with an incredible mind. I'd go to her house and we'd sit on her bed for hours, going through the script. (We) would just have these kind of stream-of-consciousness, Jazz poetry, ad-lib sessions, and I would just scribble down everything she said on my script. And then at the end of six hours, there would be this four word line of dialogue that would be the distillation of all that, that was brilliant."
Kennedy echoed those sentiments before looking ahead to Fisher's last moments on screen.
"It was extraordinary, needless to say. Carrie is remarkable in the movie. What Rian wrote, and the performance she ends up giving, I think you guys are going to find that an amazing tribute to her talent."
Rey Apprehensive Meeting Her Hero Skywalker
Walking onto the panel following Johnson and Kennedy, Daisy Ridley was quizzed about any teasers or information she could divulge to the gathered masses. While keeping most of the spoilers hush hush, the English actress does intimate that the state of Luke Skywalker might not fit with the legend.
"What I can say is - in The Last Jedi - we go deeper into Rey's story," she tells the audience. "What is very apparent from where we left off in The Force Awakens and where we begin with The Last Jedi, Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke and what that would entail... It's difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect."