Director Rian Johnson Hints At A More Character-Driven Film In STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

Director Rian Johnson Hints At A More Character-Driven Film In STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

Details about the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII have been scarce, but director Rian Johnson has hinted at the character relationships and story arcs he plans to explore in the film.

Lucasfilm has worked hard in keeping any revealing details about Star Wars: Episode VIII under wraps; when we last left off, Rey (Daisy Ridley) had located the missing Jedi Master Luke Skywalker on the planet Ach-To. There's almost nothing known about how the film's story will progress, but judging by some recent comments from director Rian Johnson, it appears the focus will remain on character development.

In an interview with Variety, Johnson said that one of the goals he had in Episode VIII was to learn more about his characters (specifically Rey, Finn, and Poe) without having to rely on exposition or a retelling of earlier events. “I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” Johnson said. “Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

With Luke returning in a major capacity in Episode VIII, the stakes are obviously high to give the Jedi Master his due, and Johnson reassured that he's “approaching it with a take that I hope feels honest and real and is going to be interesting to folks and make sense.”

As for the relationship between Luke and Rey, Johnson said the two will develop a strong connection, with “both not knowing what’s going to happen and also [Rey] having a lot of expectations in her head about how this is going to go.” Johnson also elaborated that Rey's arc in the film will be akin to a coming-of-age story. “It very much feels like what we all go through in adolescence, the dawning of this new chapter of our lives,” with the mystery of her family being “a really powerful part of her setup and something I really wanted to dig into with this.” 

As for when fans will finally get an official title reveal? "All in good time," Johnson said.
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