Exclusive: Watch Rian Johnson Go Deep on ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ in 70-Minute Q&A

     February 6, 2018

While Collider has hosted a number of cool screenings over the past few years, the one we did last week at IMAX HQ might be the top of the list. That’s because after showing Star Wars: The Last Jedi in IMAX, I got to sit down with writer-director Rian Johnson for an almost 70-minute interview where he spoke in-depth about the making of the movie. Not only did he discuss everything from the writing process to deleted scenes, he also answered a number of questions from the fans in attendance, like where he got the inspiration for Rose’s necklace and why Captain Phasma “got the Boba Fett treatment.”

rian-johnson-star-wars-the-last-jedi-imax-screeningAs a lifelong Star Wars fan, getting to ask Rian Johnson questions about how The Last Jedi was made was something I’ll never forget and the words “thank you” don’t fully express how special the night was for all that attended the event. Not only did Rian Johnson do the extended Q&A, but after that ended he surprised the audience by taking pictures and signing autographs with everyone that attended the screening! Trust me, that is not the norm and just another reason why everyone left the event on cloud nine.

With so many people asking for tickets for the screening/Q&A (we had over 1,500 people ask for tickets), we knew this was one of those special nights we needed to have cameras rolling. So if you weren’t there and have been wondering what Rian Johnson talked about, check out the player above where you can see the full Q&A!

rian-johnson-star-wars-the-last-jedi-imax-screening-with-fansAs usual, I’ve listed out everything that was talked about so you can watch the parts that interest you, although this is one of those Q&As where if you have the time the entire conversation is worth a listen.

Finally, I’d like to give a big thank you to IMAX for being such an awesome screening partner and to Rian Johnson for literally spending hours talking with me and the fans.

Rian Johnson:

  • Did he make Star Wars fan films as a kid, and did any of those ideas make it into The Last Jedi? Talks about his childhood fandom.
  • When and how did he come up with the title The Last Jedi? Reveals there’s somebody at Disney and Lucasfilm who monitors the internet for leaks and spoilers.
  • Talks about writing the opening crawl. Says they were tweaking it up until the last minute.
  • If he could go back in time and adjust anything in The Force Awakens, would he change anything?
  • What he learn watching The Force Awakens dailies that impacted his writing of the script? Talks about seeing the actors performing the roles for the first time.
  • Did J.J. ask Rian to adjust anything in The Last Jedi to help with Star Wars: Episode IX? Says it was too late, “unless we Special Edition that shit.”
  • Talks about how everything he says becomes a headline on the internet, and advice from J.J.
  • rian-johnson-star-wars-the-last-jedi-imax-screening-imageTalks about the collaborative process while writing the script and pitching his story ideas to Lucasfilm.
  • What sequences did he tinker with the most in the editing room? Talks about rearranging the entire section from when Rey leaves the island to when Holdo blows up the Mega Destroyer.
  • Deleted scenes. Goes into detail about what’s on the Blu-ray.
  • Are they saving even more deleted scenes for a special Blu-ray release down the road? Johnson says he was never told to hold anything back for future home video releases.
  • Did they ever consider an extended cut?
  • If he could go back in time, what piece of advice would he give himself at the beginning of the shoot? Says the production was a dream.
  • Says there are still Easter Eggs that people haven’t found.
  • Goes into detail about the creating the Throne Room sequence. Says it’s one of the few sets that’s almost entirely a practical build.
  • Says they spent a lot of time discussing what Kylo Ren knows when and what he’s thinking during the Throne Room sequence.
  • Talks about filming the Throne Room fight with the lightsabers.
  • luke-skywalker-the-last-jedi

    Image via Disney, Lucasfilm

    Talks about the evolution of the film as they held friends and family screenings.

  • What’s it like seeing fans analyzing every single line, frame, and shot of a movie he made? Says he has fun jumping in on Twitter and having “playground arguments.”
  • Talks candidly about the film’s theme that everyone has the capacity for greatness and the answer to Rey’s parents.
  • Talks about Broom Boy, says Pablo Hidalgo came up with the character’s actual name. Says he never considered cutting the scene from the movie.
  • Says the Broom Boy scene, to him, was about Luke’s sacrifice and realizing that people need “the old stuff” and myths in order to have hope.
  • How much did he incorporate from Star Wars books, comics, and other lore into his decision-making? Talks about wanting to be true to the spirit of the New Canon and says Pablo Hidalgo was his advisor in that regard.
  • How many friends wanted to visit him while filming? Says he told everybody to come visit him—“If not now, when?”

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