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...

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By Josh Wilding - 8/15/2014

 
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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TheAbaryMan369 - 8/15/2014, 7:03 PM
I'm hoping the transition of directors is good. The original trilogy has one director for each movie, so it should be able to work again here.
GiantNerd - 8/15/2014, 7:24 PM
California - 8/15/2014, 7:25 PM
Models! Models! It may actually be cheaper to do models than all the cgi crap.
MrBlackjack - 8/15/2014, 7:26 PM
I too enjoy practical effects.
California - 8/15/2014, 7:27 PM
Or maybe models supported by cgi? It would cut down on the cgi and actually give the scene REAL (literal) gravity.
McGee - 8/15/2014, 7:31 PM
I'm just happy to see puppets are making a come back.

batz11 - 8/15/2014, 7:31 PM
I want Ridley Scott for a spin-off...
RichardBoldly - 8/15/2014, 7:31 PM
GiantNerd - 8/15/2014, 7:32 PM
@California

That would be awesome if they used models again.

Pasto - 8/15/2014, 7:32 PM
CONFIRMED: Star Wars 7 will use plastic miniatures for 90% of the film.

HYYYYYYPE!
MrBlackjack - 8/15/2014, 7:32 PM
Tim Burton should direct the final film in this trilogy! Get Johnny Depp to star in it as R2D2's third cousin too!
batz11 - 8/15/2014, 7:34 PM
What is Gore Verbinski doing these days, is he doing the new Pirates?
California - 8/15/2014, 7:34 PM
Blow up the models with fireworks for the special effects! Bring back pyrotechnics!
RichardBoldly - 8/15/2014, 7:35 PM
TheRealRemyLebeau - 8/15/2014, 7:42 PM
CONFIRMED: pasto will be a Ewok who is a prostitute for cheeseburgers in Star Wars 7 ;)
Dingbat - 8/15/2014, 7:43 PM
You don't even know how excited I am for Episode VII. The gang's all back!



Well, almost all of them...

Alien - 8/15/2014, 7:47 PM
Still not over Looper, one of the stupidest movies I've seen. [frick]in' time machines used to send back people ALIVE so they can be executed 'stead of just sendin' their dead bodies back, and then for no reason some kid with powers on a farm like that Twilight Zone episode. #SMH
BlindJustice - 8/15/2014, 8:23 PM
Lazarusreborn - 8/15/2014, 8:25 PM
I bet a good reason they are doing a lot of practical building is so they can just put it in the new Star Wars section of Hollywood Stuidos when they are done with it
BlindJustice - 8/15/2014, 8:56 PM
BlindJustice - 8/15/2014, 8:58 PM
@Lazarusreborn - Don't forget about the Star Wars museum they're planning. Atlanta (where I live) is one of the leading candidates! In my opinion they should have an east coast and a west coast museum. Also, give the Brits one since they helped build such a successful franchise.
JediPhilosopher - 8/15/2014, 8:59 PM
Nothing at all wrong with CG effects. They just usually use them wrong. If it doesn't look physically possible, it's wrong.
batz11 - 8/15/2014, 9:07 PM
^ What is your agenda? LoL
DrunkenNukem - 8/15/2014, 9:08 PM
"it's definitely a relief to hear that Abrams is taking things back to basics."

Yeah, another Darth Vader with a downgraded jedi master, Han Solo, Leia and Tatooine...the only relevant planet in the whole universe it seems
MrCBM56 - 8/15/2014, 9:15 PM
Damn nickthebitch, sexyrrr I mean what the [frick] dude?!?!?!
Nomis - 8/15/2014, 9:16 PM
@ McGee- LOL!!! What the What?
MrBlackjack - 8/15/2014, 9:16 PM
I think nickthebitch is our punishment for posting all the t&a we do. I guess he can be considered chaotic good.
MrCBM56 - 8/15/2014, 9:22 PM
@MrBlackJack

MrBlackjack - 8/15/2014, 9:36 PM
YOU MOTHER[frick]ER!
MrBlackjack - 8/15/2014, 9:36 PM
@MrCBM56
PrinceAwesome - 8/15/2014, 9:48 PM
@Alien

Finally! A guy who isn't blinded by the thresholds of fanboyism!
McGee - 8/15/2014, 9:54 PM
Lozzy - 8/15/2014, 10:01 PM
Loved Looper, cant wait to see what he does with the Star Wars franchise. I really hope Episode 8 is the empire strikes back of the sequel trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger.
MrCBM56 - 8/15/2014, 10:10 PM
@Alien I really that movie too.
EasternEagle - 8/15/2014, 10:23 PM
I love practical effects in movies, makes it seem like it is something we can have in everyday life. Look at Guardians, they used a lot of practical effects and makeup and I loved that movie.
Misterjams - 8/15/2014, 11:22 PM
Practical effects??? YES, PLEASE! I am so sick of all the CGI today. CGI is best when you don't realize CGI was used instead of using at the entire focal point of the movie. I'm not sure about others, but one of my main complaints about Episodes I-III was the overuse of CGI, both backgrounds AND characters.
SmellofDuty - 8/15/2014, 11:42 PM
I'll never forget when Rian Johnson tweeted at me before his second episode of Breaking Bad, Ozymandias, aired. I will brag that until I die. I asked him if he would be live tweeting it and he replied "If I did my job it should require your full attention. :D" Loved it dude
maxleresistant - 8/16/2014, 1:53 AM
The best FX are when you mix pratical effects and CGIs, when it becomes a greenscreen festival you take the risk of losing a big part believability of your movie.
That's why LOTR is better than the Hobbit.
Directors need to remember that CGI is just a tool, and not go for it because it's the easiest solution.
Nubase - 8/16/2014, 3:00 AM
Cannot wait for these movies, my first trip to the cinema was to watch empire strikes back way back in 1980 so you can tell l'm pretty old now
MrNiklander - 8/16/2014, 4:00 AM
I loved Looper and Brothers Bloom so bring it on Star Wars is back baby
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