Rian Johnson Had a Lot of Creative Freedom on Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson says he was given a lot of creative freedom in terms of crafting his portion of the saga.

Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher as General Leia on the set of Star Wars The Last Jedi

Despite rumors of Lucasfilm being overly demanding when it comes to creatives, Rian Johnson explains he had plenty of freedom when crafting The Last Jedi. While this year's Star Wars film may have lead last week in social media buzz, this week will likely go to its follow-up. Following on the heels of Han Solo changing directors, Colin Treverow parted ways with Lucasfilm yesterday. As such, Episode IX currently has no director, and talk has turned to Lucasfilm being difficult to work with.

Of course, that image doesn't match what we've heard from Rian Johnson. The indie filmmaker not only directed The Last Jedi, but wrote the script as well. That level of creative input is fairly unheard of when it comes to blockbusters, especially the Star Wars franchise. But despite Johnson needing to keep up with previous films, novels, and comic books featuring the characters from The Last Jedi, he was actually surprised by the level of artistic license he had on the movie.

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The New York Times sat down with Johnson for a lengthy chat about The Last Jedi, and he opened up a bit about his expectations of how much say he'd have in the film.

Rian Johnson and Carrie Fisher as General Leia on the set of Star Wars The Last Jedi

"I had figured there would be a big map on the wall with the whole story laid out, and it was not that at all. I was basically given the script for “Episode VII;” I got to watch dailies of what J. J. was doing. And it was like, where do we go from here? That was awesome."

It seems clear that, despite a story group existing to monitor the various Star Wars stories, Johnson wasn't bogged down by any preconceived ideas. Still, his movie does follow The Force Awakens, so it naturally needs to continued certain plot threads. As for whether Johnson was made to include specific story arcs in the film, the writer had this to say:

"Nothing like that. But it’s the second film in a trilogy. The first film got these characters here. This second movie has to dig into and challenge these characters. I wanted this to be a satisfying experience unto itself. I didn’t want it to end with a dot, dot, dot, question mark."

While Johnson will be continuing the story of certain characters, he's certainly putting his own spin on things. He'll be introducing new character Rose to the movie. And it sounds as if his take on Stormtroopers will be a bit different. With The Last Jedi coming to theaters in just a few months, we won't have to wait much longer to see Johnson's vision brought to life.

Next: New Snoke Image Highlights The Last Jedi Villain

Source: The New York Times

Key Release Dates
  • 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
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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