Last month we got the utterly fantastic news that Rian Johnson will be writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, (in addition to crafting a treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX). Johnson’s Looper is such an incredibly strong film that I have to imagine there will be a certain amount of quality gained from this if he’s allowed a reasonable amount of control over the project. While details are still thin on Episode VIII (let’s face it, they’re still thin on Episode VII so I wouldn’t expect this to get better anytime soon) this is a sign that Lucasfilm and Disney are at least somewhat concerned with the stewardship of this franchise as a piece of entertainment (in addition to the obvious interest in it as a brand).
Now Johnson is beginning to tease out some (admittedly vague) thoughts on the project. Hit the jump for some initial thoughts from Star Wars: Episode 8 director Rian Johnson.
Per The Chicago Sun Times Johnson got involved with the project for what seems like the best of reasons:
“The thought of it made me so completely joyfully happy. I wanted to to play in this world, of literally the first movie my dad put me in the car to see.”
Johnson also jabbed a bit at the now-rote talking point that these newer films will have much more in common with the original trilogy than the prequels (though I’m sure that’s the direction he’s headed in anyway):
“With these films, I am trying to harken back to the original ‘Star Wars’ …. Christmas special. We do have Jefferson Starship.”
I’m also intrigued by the fact that he had his crew watch Three O’ Clock High (one of my favorite high school films) to prep for the shoot. There might not be any connection in terms of material but that film is amazing visually.