STAR WARS EPISODE VIII Director Rian Johnson Teases EPISODE VII's Practical Effects And More
Rian Johnson (Breaking Bad, Looper) is attached to write and direct Star Wars Episode VIII and possibly Episode IX as well, and he talks here about both taking on a project of this magnitude and what he has so far from his visits to the set of J.J. Abrams' Episode VII...
Whether or not J.J. Abrams would direct more than just Star Wars Episode VII was always in doubt, especially after he made his displeasure clear about leaving his family behind in Los Angeles in order to relocate to the UK for the lengthy shoot. Rian Johnson being chosen to take over the franchise was met with a universally positive response however, and he is officially signed on to write and direct Episode VIII (and IX according to some reports, though others state that he will only write the treatment for that instalment). In a recent interview with Girls in Hoodies podcast (via Collider), the team asked the Breaking Bad helmer how it felt to take on a franchise like Star Wars.
"It’s boring to talk about because the only thing I can really say is I’m just happy. But I don’t have the terror that I kind of expected I would, at least not yet. I’m sure I will at some point." One of the hosts then alluded to the fact that not having to answer to the "old powers" (a.k.a. George Lucas) would give him more creative freedom, to which Johnson diplomatically responded: "Yeah, I think that’s true. And coming at the time it does where we’ve – like if there’d been no Star Wars movies since Return of the Jedi, there’d be a lot more pressure, but the fact we’ve had them, we’ve had the prequels, we’ve had the TV shows, we’ve had Angry Birds Star Wars … I play it all the time!"
Johnson then went on to reveal that he recently visited the set of Star Wars Episode VII in London and that he hopes to go back despite the awkwardness that entails being there when he's not directly involved with this particular movie. The recently revealed X-Wing (which J.J. Abrams showed off in its entirety in a recent set video) was then mentioned, and it was that which led to some very interesting comments about the practical effects and props being used by Abrams. "They’re doing so much practical building for this one. It’s awesome. They’re doing it all right, yeah … I think people are coming back around to [practical effects], yeah, it feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back towards it … I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick. I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it, but the thing is, I do wonder because I think kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing that they love now so I don’t know whether it is a generational thing, and it could be."
After the green screen heavy prequels, it's definitely a relief to hear that Abrams is taking things back to basics. While Star Wars Episode VII is still over a year away and Johnson's take on the Galaxy Far, Far Away likely won't reach us until two years after that, it's hard not to be excited about the future of the beloved series. What do you guys think?
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