Directing a Star Wars movie must be a daunting task for any director, with the responsibility of steering such a large and iconic ship. However Star Wars: The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson (Looper) said that in order to overcome the pressure that comes with directing a movie set in a galaxy far, far away, he had to embrace his inner fan.
Johnson (a longtime Star Wars fan, by the way, which really helped him for the gig) recently sat down with Hamilton director Thomas Kail for a video interview with The Star Wars Show, where Johnson discussed working on a massive movie franchise and whether he’d been “overawed” to not only direct but also write The Last Jedi. Here’s what he said:
“Once I actually jumped into it, it was the most fun I've ever had writing. It was the least scary process. I think part of it was, I wasn't alone for the process. I was writing on my own, but I moved up to San Francisco for a few months, and every few weeks I would go in and sit down with Kiri Hart [from Lucasfilm] and her whole story group team, and I would just put everything I was thinking of up on the white board and just bounce it off everyone — just see what everyone thought. Having that kind of gut check — not just for, 'Wait, don't do that,' but for, 'Yeah, you can do that. If that's interesting to you, take that path' — having that permission from somebody, I think that had a lot to do with it. The first thing I kind of realized was, I have to trust, kind of, my inner fan. If it resonates with me, I have to trust that. That's what George did with the original movies, you know?”
Check out the video for the full interview; the relevant excerpt starts around the 2:30 mark.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.