After their work together on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has been "officially" dubbed Mark Hamill's favorite director. As we closed the final moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its cliffhanger ending, many were worried at how Johnson would continue the legacy in The Last Jedi. Well, if we have learned anything from Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017, it looks like Lucasfilm picked the right man for the job.
Speaking at The Last Jedi's Celebration panel, Luke Skywalker himself revealed how Episode VIII gave him a new view on who should sit in the director's chair. Looking back over Johnson's impressive back catalog, it struck Mark Hamill just how talented the filmmaker was at crafting a clear vision for the world he wanted - something which is sure to be a positive for one as expansive as Star Wars:
"I'd seen Looper and Brother's Bloom and Brick. His films are all so diverse and all so ambitious in their own way. In this experience he has rocketed it to the top of my all-time favorite directors, believe me."
Although we only got to see a much older luke Skywalker pull down his hood in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi promises to go back to being a Skywalker saga. Talking about the iconic role that he has been playing for 30 years, Hamill also sang Johson's praises for alleviating his fears about coming back for another time:
"I said to Rian, 'We had a beginning a middle and an end in our original trilogy. I just don't want to tempt fate. You can't catch lightning in a bottle over again and the truth be known Rian is, I'm terrified.' And you know what he said? 'So am I.' Now that is a director I can love."
While a director is only as good as his crew and his cast, Hamill reiterated that he couldn't have done it without Johnson:
"He was my seeing eye dog and all I knew was, If Rian's happy, I'm happy. I totally turned over my performance to Rian and just sort of knew, if he was satisfied, we'd got it right."
The news was met with applause from the audience and unanimous nodding from the rest of the panel, who clearly agreed with the sentiment. Although Johnson will be the second director in the "new" trilogy to take on the mantle, it is clear that he isn't discarding the work from the likes of George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, and Gareth Edwards.
While many will hold Lucas up as the grandfather of the franchise, 2015 and The Force Awakens heralded a new era for the world of Star Wars. With all this added pressure, how will Johnson fare with taking over the reins in Episode VIII ? The Last Jedi promises to delve deeper into where Luke has been for all these years and pick up right where we left off in 2015, but at least we know that Johnson's No.1 fan has some pretty solid Star Wars credentials
Source: Mark Hamill
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018