The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson recently took time to do an interview with Dave Itzkoff from the New York Times. In the interview the director discusses his role from beginning to end and even reveals who The Last Jedi is. Here's a brief snippet:
How did you learn you were being considered to write and direct a new “Star Wars” film?
It was really, really out of the blue. I had a few general meetings with Kathy Kennedy when she took over Lucasfilm. I never thought I was actually in the running, because I assumed every director on the planet would want to be doing a “Star Wars” movie. And then it was sprung on me. It was like a bomb dropped. I suddenly realized, Oh, this meeting is about this. I didn’t try to hide the fact that I was freaking out. But I also said, “Can I think about it?”
Why the hesitation?
After “Looper,” I had been approached with other franchise stuff and gotten used to saying no. And I knew this would mean so much to me — the worst thing I can imagine is having a bad experience making a “Star Wars” movie.
Do you think Ms. Kennedy was surprised you didn’t accept immediately?
She was slightly confused, I think. The next few days, I couldn’t sleep. I thought I was going to do a pros-and-cons list, but the truth is, it was more a decision from the heart. There was no way I could not do this.
How much of the story of “The Last Jedi” was dictated to you, either by events in “The Force Awakens” or by Lucasfilm?
I had figured there would be a big map on the wall with the whole story laid out, and it was not that at all. I was basically given the script for “Episode VII;” I got to watch dailies of what J. J. was doing. And it was like, where do we go from here? That was awesome.
So there’s no one telling you that your film has to contain certain plot points, or that certain things have to be achieved by its end?
Nothing like that. But it’s the second film in a trilogy. The first film got these characters here. This second movie has to dig into and challenge these characters. I wanted this to be a satisfying experience unto itself. I didn’t want it to end with a dot, dot, dot, question mark.
What inspiration did you draw from the raw footage of “The Force Awakens”?
Rey and Kylo are almost two halves of our protagonist. It’s not like Kylo is our Vader. In the original trilogy, Vader is the father — he’s the one you’re afraid of and who you want the approval of. Whereas Kylo represents anger and rebellion, the sometimes healthy — and sometimes not — desire to disconnect from the parents. It’s my favorite kind of quote-unquote bad guy, because you can genuinely see what their weakness is.