The Last Jedi

Around the Galaxy: New Details from Director Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson speaks openly about The Last Jedi spoilers in all materials linked in this piece…

Star Wars News & Notes • January 18, 2018

I found some pleasant surprises in the news bin this AM; new (at least to these ears) details on The Last Jedi. So, let’s cut to the chase…

Rian on the Radio

A friend said she heard Rian Johnson on NPR over the weekend, playing “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”

It’s an entertaining 11 minutes between Johnson and hosts/panelists Adam Felber, Helen Hong, and Roy Blount Jr. The director was asked about his being asked to direct Episode VIII.

“This came entirely out of the blue,” said Johnson to WWDTM of his invitation. “It was presented to me in the most surprising way possible; which is, Kathleen Kennedy, who runs Lucasfilm, called me into her office for what I thought was just a general meeting. I had no idea what I was stepping into.

“And she basically shut the door behind me and asked me; just dropped this bomb asking me if I’d be interested in doing this,” he continued. “I had no clue that I was in the running, would ever be in the running for something like this. So, it was, um – I don’t remember much about that meeting.”

Other fun stuff:

  • Johnson describes his first interaction with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher
  • The director gets nerdy and talks about green/blue milk
  • Rian talks about John Williams getting a cameo, and his admiration for the composer
  • RJ also speaks about Kylo Ren’s high pants and the “Kylo Ren Challenge.”
  • Johnson plays “Storage Wars.”

This interview is everything I expected from the man who so whole-heartedly visited with the fans at Celebration (and then unceremoniously get entirely trashed by a vocal minority for his troubles). Thankfully, it’s clear that RJ retains his sense of humor.

Listen in below:


Luke is NOT a coward

The Empire Film Podcast posted a terrific interview with Johnson, who spoke about the placement and inclusion of “broom boy.”

“It was really important to have that final scene,” said RJ of the TLJ’s final moments. “For me, just personally, it was just crucial.

“It turns what Luke did from an act that saves 20 people, and that saves the Resistance… into an act that inspires the galaxy. The notion that, what we’re setting up here is obviously some kind of big thing in the next chapter… and when Leia says, “And we have everything we need…” she’s talking about everyone on the falcon, but she’s also talking about what we see next.”

Next being Temiri Blagg the stable boy, who is most likely a metaphor.

“We now have a galaxy who has seen this beacon of hope and is getting inspired to fight the good fight,” said Johnson.

Previously on the episode, Rian explained to Empire’s Chris Hewitt that he needed to figure out why Luke Skywalker is on Ahch-to.

“I know that the Luke I grew up with is not a coward,” addressing an eventual critique of the film (in what is actually the first spoiler interview of The Last Jedi. “He’s not sitting out there hiding.

“The first thing that I actually believed in was this notion that he sees this kind of hero-worship of him, and of the Jedi, as something that is detrimental to the galaxy.”

So, Luke has removed himself that the light can rise from a “worthier source.” And that is the (possibly) flawed or misconstrued sense of Skywalker’s self-sacrifice Johnson was showing us.

“He’s taking the weight of the world on his shoulders by taking himself out of the equation.”

Johnson gets very intricate in his explanation of Luke’s eventual triumph, and rather than try to encapsulate it (which Empire has done, here), please be sure to listen in (BTW: There is a crackle at the beginning of the audio):


Finding Rey?

That’s some heavy lifting and listening, so I will stop here. But in the meantime, I’ll show you that Mr. Johnson is ducking yours truly. I believe I know who the two shadow “people” are during Rey’s cave vision.

Alas, my theory didn’t gain much traction. Have a watch (anyway):

I promise not to retweet it again (unless RJ responds). MTFBWY! JB


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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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