Director Rian Johnson Keeps Revealing Clues About Star Wars: Episode VIII

Illustration for article titled Director Rian Johnson Keeps Revealing Clues About Star Wars: Episode VIII

Star Wars: Episode VIII is the middle film in the new sequel trilogy, and because of that, everyone expects it to be dark like The Empire Strikes Back. Some of its actors have even made that comparison. But director Rian Johnson has another idea.


“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,” Johnson told USA Today.

Now, in a shocking revelation, The Empire Strikes Back is actually one of the original Star Wars films Johnson is referring to, which means Episode VIII may also have its darker moments. After all, The Force Awakens killed off one of the most beloved characters of all time and is still considered “fun.” So if you’re hoping for something with a little more meat on its bones, I wouldn’t take him too literally. There will certainly be excitement—but there’s definitely more that he’s not saying.

In the interview, Johnson also revealed that Episode VIII has had a title since his very first draft of the screenplay; they’ve just chosen not to reveal it yet. He then said the film will teach us more about newer characters like Finn, Poe, and others by “[figuring] out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now.” The idea, Johnson said, was “Let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

The central question of the film is, of course, “What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?” Johnson’s answer: “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.”

Read more at the below link. Episode VIII is 11 months away.

[USA Today]


Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


Yankton, née Spacemonkey Mafia

Given the (not unwarranted) criticism of the Force Awakens recreating the exact plot of a New Hope, I don’t really understand the enthusiasm for this one to follow in the exact steps as Empire. It is the best Star Wars, and people like a middle chapter with stakes, but threading the needle of trying to recreate fans emotional attachment to the originals with a new movie isn’t going to happen by replicating the older ones. Make something new (as new as you can make the ninth film in an aesthetically-regulated 30-year-old franchise) and build a new emotional relationship. Which is made simpler by generally how great all the new players in Episode VII are. But just a slightly reconfigured retread isn’t going to be enough. Just ask our friend Star Trek Into Darkness.