Rian Johnson Talks STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII; Praises the Use of Practical Effects on EPISODE VII

     August 15, 2014

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Have you had enough of all the Star Wars: Episode VII news today?  Well, you’re in luck because now we’re going to focus on Star Wars: Episode VIII!  There’s been talk of a Star Wars trilogy film hitting theaters every other year with a Star Wars spinoff movie in between, so if that really does pan out, Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII could be heading towards a 2017 release.  Three years may seem like a lot, but when you’ve got to write, direct and then take a film of this magnitude through post-production, the time is going to fly by fast.

Johnson has talked about taking the gig a little bit since being hired back in June, but not to the extent he just did in a new podcast.  Hit the jump to find out what Johnson had to say about jumping into the Star Wars universe, his thoughts on practical versus digital effects and more.

looper-movie-image-rian-johnson-joseph-gordon-levitt-set-photoJust before the 35-minute mark of the Girls in Hoodies podcast (via /Film), one of the hosts just jumps right in and suggests that being responsible for a film like Star Wars: Episode VIII must be a daunting thing.  Johnson responds:

“Yeah, but the most surprising thing is just how not scary and how much fun … 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.”

From there one of the hosts suggests that Johnson might not have to answer to the “old powers” because there’s “more air” to the situation.  Johnson then notes:

“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!”

The group also discusses Johnson’s experience visiting the Star Wars: Episode VII set in London.  He highlights:

“I think a little bit. Right now they’re shooting in London, which is why actually I was in London, for reals … Yeah, I think I’m definitely gonna go back.  Visiting a set that you’re not working on though, I always feel kind of uncomfortable, not because anyone makes you feel uncomfortable at all, but just like, if you don’t have a job on the set, the set is a really strange place to be on.”

star-wars-episode-7-x-wing-jj-abramsThat’s when the clip of J.J. Abrams with the X-Wing comes up and Johnson chimes in with this:

“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.”

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