‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ has been chugging along in global theaters fairly well so far – ridiculously well by most standards, but this is the Holy Grail of sci-fi franchises we’re talking about here – so much so that the film’s director, Rian Johnson, has been granted a whole new trilogy of Star Wars films as her personal playground.
The question is always begged, with large-scale cinematic endeavors such as these: how exactly was the director handed the keys to the company car and given the confidence to let him drive? In a recent interview, Johnson spoke at length about his pitch process to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and how it felt when word on the street finally broke about his landing of the job:
“When I got the job, and especially when it broke on the internet and everyone started talking about it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I guess I’m actually doing this,’ it was really scary. But then, when I sat down to write, it was actually the most fun I’ve ever had writing. I guess maybe because it was a blank page, but I had a starting point [with ‘The Force Awakens’]. After Kathy asked me if I’d be interested in it, we had a series of conversations, and basically my pitch was the first movie is like the introduction, the second movie is training. And by ‘training,’ I mean we take each of these characters and we really test their mettle. So I said that would be my approach to it, it’s a very character-based approach where we just start with each one of these characters we care about and figure out what the hardest next step is for each of them.
“So having that trailhead to go from, it was also nice because it gives you a direction as opposed to just having a big cloud of childhood fantasies, of ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to see the Falcon do this or that?’ that you could get lost in, it wasn’t like that…once I actually started doing the work, I found that it felt really comfortable. And then all the childhood fantasy stuff is just fuel for the fire.”
The Star Wars universe is, of course, a large-scale affair, and the directions that Johnson can take his trilogy in are numerous. He’s obviously gained the trust of the Disney/Lucasfilm powers-that-be, so fans will have to stay tuned and see what Johnson brings next!