Rian Johnson Sort of Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

On Saturday, director Rian Johnson Skyped in to join Filmspotting’s 500th episode. He is in San Francisco, working on Star Wars: Episode VIII — A New Hope for a Good Star Wars Movie (that’s the official subtitle, you hadn’t heard?), and he mostly didn’t say anything about the project, except, “I’m really excited about all the things I can’t tell you.”

While we were all overjoyed when Disney and LucasFilm hired the indie director to helm the second and third films in the new trilogy, it left some people scratching their heads. Before he was hired he seemed uninterested in doing it, so why did he take the job? “The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy. I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see,” he said.

And how did he get the job? “I can only assume it was a clerical error, like in the movie Brazil. There’s a Brian Johnson out there who is really mad.” Johnson is one of several talented young directors hired to develop new Star Wars stories, joining Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank, who are each developing standalone Star Wars movies. The studio is putting their faith in upcoming directors who initially found success outside of the studio system, rather than turning to the more staid members of the DGA. It’s a move that I find exciting. 

Johnson directed indie breakouts Brick and Looper, as well as the sharp and inventive The Brothers Bloom, which is one of my favorite movies although it was a commercial flop. Hopefully he is allowed to bring his original, intelligent aesthetic to the Star Wars universe. Will he give us any hint as to what he has planned for the movie?

“With these films, I am trying to harken back to the original Star Wars… Christmas special. We do have Jefferson Starship.” Well, that’ll certainly be unexpected.

Via: Dark Horizons