As was widely suspected — and seems to be proven with the just-released new trailer — The Last Jedi is promising to be the Empire Strikes Back of the new Star Wars trilogy, going considerably darker than the film that preceded it (2015’s The Force Awakens), while attempting to deepen the characters and the overall story.
Whereas J.J. Abrams served as co-writer/director of Episode VII, Looper’s Riann Johnson takes on that dual role for Episode VIII. Secrecy is a game that Lucasfilm has mastered of course, which is why despite what we’re seeing in the trailer, we still don’t really know what’s going on. Beyond, of course, that we know veteran characters like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) are back, and that the focus will undoubtedly remain on Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac). And, of course, villains like Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Snoke (Andy Serkis).
Over at our sister site Empireonline, Johnson spilled a couple of minor details where it came to the baddies of a galaxy far, far away.
“We got the whole story of Palpatine’s rise to power in the prequels, but in the original films he's exactly what he needs to be, which is just ‘The Emperor’," Johnson said. "He's a dark force: the scary thing behind the thing. That was entirely how I approached Snoke. I wasn't interested in explaining where he came from or telling his history, except where it serves this story.”
As to Ren, he aded, “Writing Kylo Ren is just so much fun. Star Wars boils down to the transition from adolescence into adulthood. That’s the heart of these films and Rey is most obviously the one that hangs on. But it’s also Kylo. In the originals you project entirely onto Luke, while Vader is the scary other — he’s the minotaur. The fascinating thing about Kylo and Rey is that they’re two sides of something. We can all relate to Kylo: to that anger of being in the turmoil of adolescence and figuring out who he’s going to be as a man; dealing with anger and wanting to separate from his family. He’s not Vader — at least, he’s not Vader yet — and that’s something I really wanted to get into.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on December 15th.
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