Friday, December 8, 2017

Rian Johnson Talks About How He Went About Crafting the Second Chapter of the Sequel Trilogy

By: Dominic Jones

There's no denying the pressure on Star Wars: The Last Jedi is immense.  Not only does the film have the forty year history of Star Wars hanging above it, it also has to follow The Force Awakens, one of the most popular films of 2015.  Writer/director Rian Johnson spoke about the challenges recently with Rolling Stone magazine and he addressed these challenges.  The quotes from Johnson were released in a story on the magazine's website featuring stuff that didn't make it into their The Last Jedi cover story. 

Johnson spoke about how he watched The Force Awakens over and over, focusing at times on the so-called "Force-back" scene.  He told Rolling Stone,

"I love The Force Awakens, and my job was to continue that story in every sense of the word. So in that way, J.J. gave me everything I needed, which is the first chapter of a story. I need to tell a second chapter, which is a failure if it doesn't continue organically what the first chapter started. So what seems like a blue sky suddenly turns into hacking in the jungle, finding a path that exists. Just like any process of writing, it's more excavation than sculpture. You're finding it as you go, and you realize it wants to be a certain thing. So yeah, the flashback was essential, but the dynamic between each of the characters was essential. Every single thing in The Force Awakens, I studied forensically."

He also spoke about how some fans are expecting a big twist in this film, given that arguably the most famous twist in film history took place in The Empire Strikes Back, which was the middle film of the Original trilogy.  Johnson said,

"The emotional and deeply-rooted resonance of 'I am your father' [in The Empire Strikes Back]  is why we remember it. Not because, 'Oh my god, I never would have guess that he was.' Now especially that that's set as a pattern, the audience's expectations are now that, 'Oh, you're going to pull something out of your hat for this or that.' And you can, and that'll be fine, but you better damn well make sure that it also means something and is satisfying beyond just the, 'Oh, it was this,' reveal."

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th.  The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Amilyn Holdo, Benicio Del Toro as DJ, and Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata. 

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