Star Wars: Episode VIII Has Had Its Title Since the First Draft + More Info from Rian Johnson.
It turns out that the recent story about Luke and Rey’s trials on Ahch-To being a crucial part of Star Wars Episode VIII wasn’t the only thing that director Rian Johnson had to reveal. In another interview, Johnson spoke with USA Today to explain what his approach will be on his chapter of the Sequel Trilogy. Here are five highlights regarding the movie.
Being Fun Over Being Darker
While The Empire Strikes Back has set the precedent for sequels to franchise movies being darker than their predecessors, but Rian Johnson is making it clear that he feels that having a “fun” movie that captures and builds upon what made the last one great is what really makes for a better movie.
“The creative work has felt like play. It’s felt resonant and meaningful because it meant so much to me as a kid… I want [Episode VIII] 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.”
John Boyega did previously note that the movie would be a darker film overall, but it’s good to see that the emphasis is on making Episode VIII feel like it’s Star Wars own over making it dark for the purpose of making it dark.
More Of The New Generation
Just before production on Episode VIII was set to begin in January, Johnson decided to delay it for about a month in order to apply some crucial rewrites to the script. These rewrites allegedly gave the new cast larger roles by downsizing the roles of other new characters, and as it stands, it seems like this may reflect what they’re doing.
“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory… Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”
The Force Awakens was a strong introduction to the new cast, and it seems like focusing more on them over shifting focus to more new characters is a pretty shrewd decision. Speaking of which…
Rey Is At A Crossroads
Surprising absolutely nobody, Rey’s an important character to this story. What might surprise you, however, is that the character who was seemingly on top of everything in the last movie is struggling to handle the gravity of the situation as the sheer pressure of the war catches up to her.
“[Rey starts the movie] both not knowing what’s going to happen and also having a lot of expectations in her head about how this is going to go. It very much feels like what we all go through in adolescence, the dawning of this new chapter of our lives. [Deepening of familial themes are] a huge part of [Star Wars and] especially Rey’s character, something that was a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this.”
Again, they’re emphasizing how important family is to Rey, and it’s in a context where Luke plays a significant part in her story. Even if you presume that she and Luke aren’t related by blood (which is still in no way confirmed as of yet), it seems as though they’re going to form an important bond over the course of Episode VIII.
Luke Skywalker Is The Core Of The Movie
Luke was the focal point of the entire narrative of The Force Awakens, even though he was only present for under a minute of screen time. So it goes without saying that they’re going to greatly expand upon his role in Episode VIII.
“[Luke’s story is the] emotional entry point [of the movie]. I’m approaching [his story] with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.”
So much of the Sequel Trilogy’s story rests upon Luke, and I suspect that getting the character right will be one of the biggest challenges that Rian Johnson had to face in taking on the project. Hopefully, what we see in Episode VIII will make the two-year wait worthwhile.
The Movie Has (Always Had) A Name
Unlike what happened with The Force Awakens, Rian Johnson and company had a pretty good idea of what Episode VIII would be called before production even wrapped.
“It was in the very first draft I wrote. I’ll just blurt it out now! …All in good time, my friend.”
So in case there was any doubt at this point, the movie has its title and will have its name revealed soon (most likely before Celebration Orlando, due to the way the marketing machine works). Hopefully, it’s a little more inspired a title than something like Star Wars: All In Good Time, My Friend would be.
Thanks to Cantina member Magnar The Great for the heads up. Stay on target with Star Wars News Net – your Force for news for all the latest and greatest stories about the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.