Back in June, it was announced that ‘Brick’ and ‘Looper’ director Rian Johnson was in talks to follow J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ by helming the remaining two films in the new trilogy. Since then, we haven’t really gotten an official confirmation about this being a done deal, but based on a new report about the next film in a galaxy far, far away, it’s safe to assume that the filmmaker is on board because he’s already been on set in London and is talking about his involvement in the franchise.
During an appearance on the Girls In Hoodies podcast, Johnson spoke about his future with ‘Star Wars’ in more detail than he has in the past. Though he can’t say much about what he has in store for his upcoming Lucasfilm/Disney movies, the director revealed that, for the time being, he doesn’t feel as much pressure as people may think:
“The most surprising thing is just how not scary and how much fun … It’s boring to talk about because the only thing I can really say is I’m just happy. But I don’t have the terror that I kind of expected I would, at least not yet. I’m sure I will at some point… If there’d been no ‘Star Wars’ movies since ‘Return of the Jedi’, there’d be a lot more pressure, but the fact we’ve had them, we’ve had the prequels, we’ve had the TV shows, we’ve had ‘Angry Birds Star Wars’ … I play it all the time!”
He then continues by sharing that he has been to Pinewood Studios to visit the set, despite feeling a bit awkward being on a set and not having a job to do. But when the conversation shifts to the clip of Abrams and the new X-Wing, Johnson praises the use of practical effects on the production rather than relying heavily on CGI:
“They’re doing so much practical building for this one. It’s awesome. They’re doing it all right, yeah … I think people are coming back around to [practical effects], yeah, it feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back towards it … I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick. I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it, but the thing is, I do wonder because I think kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing that they love now so I don’t know whether it is a generational thing, and it could be.”
Honestly, that’s really great news to hear. Part of the thing that made a whole generation fall in love with ‘Star Wars’ in the first place was the incredible creatures inhabiting that universe that were actually puppets or intricate costumes. Of course, in today’s world of filmmaking, one has to find the balance between practical and computer effects to make offerings in science fiction more realistic. Hey, it worked for James Gunn in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, so hopefully it works for J.J. Abrams here as well. But judging by Johnson’s comments, everything should be fine.
What do you think about Rian Johnson’s involvement in the future of ‘Star Wars’? Are you excited to hear his report about practical effects in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Let us know in the comments below.
‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ blasts off into theaters on December 18, 2015.