December 15, 2017 has been locked into the diary for months on end as build up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi reaches fever pitch levels. Each day a piece of news, snippet or rumor emerges from Disney as they prepare to launch Episode VIII right on the cusp of Christmas.
Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro have already joined an all-star ensemble cast and while the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher has given the series more meaning, it also heightens expectation to see what we believe will the actress's final performance (pending any sort of cameo for Episode IX). Now the cast have fronted up for a Vanity Fair photoshoot with a number of stars and behind the scenes crew sitting down to talk about The Last Jedi.
Endless Struggle Showcased In Luxurious Settings
Playing one of the leading antagonists of the piece, Adam Driver explained that the opening of the movie will have the events of The Force Awakens front of mind. Killing his father Han Solo in cold blood, his character Kylo Ren will be trying to manage this self-inflicted burden.
"I feel like almost everyone is in that rehabilitation state (at the beginning of The Last Jedi)," he remarks. "You know, I don't think that patricide is all that it's cracked up to be. Maybe that's where Kylo Ren is starting from. His external scar is probably as much an internal one."
Director Rian Johnson gave props to his fellow filmmakers, arguing that Episode VII lay the groundwork for some intriguing storylines to explore.
"J.J. and Larry and Michael set everybody up in a really evocative way in VII and started them on a trajectory. I guess I saw it as the job of this middle chapter to challenge all of those characters, let's see what happens if we knock the stool out from under them. I started by writing the names of each of the characters, and thinking, What's the hardest thing they could be faced with?"
Johnson then compared the new feature to some other action adventure classics, saying that the blockbuster will try and steer clear of taking itself too seriously.
"(It is) a Star Wars Monte Carlo-type environment, a little James Bond-ish, a little To Catch a Thief. It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe. I was thinking, O.K., let's go ultra-glamour. Let's create a playground, basically, for rich assholes. I didn't want this to be a dirge, a heavy-osity movie. So one thing I've tried really hard to do is keep the humor in there, to maintain the feeling, amid all the heavy operatic moments, that you're on a fun ride."
Kennedy: Fisher Wanted To Have Leia The Leader In Episode 9
During the extensive chat with the publication, Lucasfilm president Katherine Kennedy reflected on the final moments she enjoyed with Fisher. Although the actress had an important part to play in Episodes VII and VIII, she was pushing for IX to showcase General Leia in all her glory.
"The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, 'I'd better be at the forefront of IX!' Because Harrison (Ford) was front and center on VII, and Mark (Hamill) is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been."
Source: Vanity Fair