Rian Johnson’s
Star Wars Episode VIII
The Last Jedi
Awake Trailer
&
A Few Thoughts On His Debut Feature
Brick

What Up Yo.

With December on the rise, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi is fast approaching.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Directed by Rian Johnson. With Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher. Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn, and Poe that unlocks more mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

What I am personally excited about is director m Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson, Director: Looper. Rian Johnson was born in Maryland. At a young age, he moved to San Clemente, California, where he was raised. After graduating from High school, he went on to attend University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.

Ans his take on the second act of the third Star Wars trilogy.

My understanding is the film will clock in at 2.5 hrs...

And it will be dark.

Johnson was lined up to write episode 8 & to co-write episode 9.

He worked with J.J. Abrams as "The Force Awakens" was filming, asking for J.J. Abrams to insert specific scenes into Episode VII to help tie Episode VII to episodes VIII & IX.

 

I had this idea when I first saw The Force Awakens that the character of Rey may eventually turn towards the dark aide, become a member of the Sith.

From what little I have seen so far,  I am leaning more and more towards my instincts.

However, I’ve been wrong before and what the hell do we know at this point really?

This is what I do know:

I know that Johnson is, like myself and my generation...Generation X, an avid Star Wars fan who grew up with the original trilogy on VHS & cable TV.

He played with the toys like we did, he imagined being part of the Star Wars universe like we did, and he isn’t just a writer and director... he is a great writer and director.

His writing style is dark and intelligent, in terms of both the story's he tells and the dark humor and intelligence he injects into his projects.

His film direction is just as tight.

I learned of Johnson from watching his first feature film , Brick,  starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Actor: Inception. Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010.

Brick was a revelation, on par with Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko.

It's another smart-as-fuck debut, a detective story shot in a beautiful film-noir style, but set against a high school backdrop.

When the love of his life goes missing and is found dead,  Gordon-Levitt's Brendan goes on a hunt to find out how and why she died.

It rocked my face off.

Rian Johnson's Brick trailer

Brick Key Art

 

It was, it is ...

Genius.

Rian Johnson was initially in talks to write and direct The Force Awakens, but J.J. Abrams got that job in the end, and delivered a film that was a Hollywood producers and a Disney shareholder’s wet dream.

Johnson was instead hired to write and direct episode eight and co-write episode nine.

From IMDB, Mark Hamill reportedly told Johnson the following:

“I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you've made for this character [Luke Skywalker]. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you've created and do my best to realize your vision."

Production begins, tragically Carrie Fisher passed on after filming was completed, so we can assume much changed in the last Jedi can accommodate this tragic loss.

Now, somewhere along the way...Johnson became uninvolved with Episode IX, and the director for that installment Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) was also replaced.

By who you ask?

By J.J. Abrams. He will write and direct episode IX. He said publicly right after shooting started he probably should have stayed on for episode VIII. Well, he’s back.

And this is all from August to October 2017, months before the film will premiere

So what happened?

I can only speculate from my instincts and knowledge of the Hollywood machine, but I have a theory.

I sense that after Disney Shareholders and Kathleen Kennedy saw the film, there was a great disturbance in the force.

Did Kathleen Kennedy and shareholders at Disney get a little nervous by what Johnson created?

Is it possible that Johnson, like all of us die hard generation x fans loved Empire, the second act of the original Star Wars trilogy. One of the greatest science-fiction films...
One of the greatest love story’s ever made, in my opinion.

He was given the 2nd act of the third trilogy. Did he take a note from Lucas’s playbook and go rogue with this one?

Take it to that place that frightens the business and money people, and delights the visual storytelling audience?

Did he say screw it, I’m making the Star Wars film that fans of Empire will rejoice over?

Or did he fuck up? Is it a bad film?

Either is possible and we will know soon, in 42 at the time of this writing.

Now...
To the suits and shareholders in the money department...this may all translate to Johnson taking risks & chances with his shot here.

This is the longest of any Star Wars film and even from the trailers you can see and sense that this is not The Force Awakens.

This goes dark. For money people, that’s dangerous. It’s not a good business model. It’s not a sound investment.

Which may very well be why Johnson is no longer involved with Episode IX, and Disney brought back The Wolf 🐺 To clean the way for a satisfying and economically promising third act.

I’m hoping we see The Empire Strikes Back of the third trilogy.

Is Johnson George Lucas? Nope.
But is there a chance that we film fans are going to get a no holds barred trip into the Star Wars universe again?

Yep. There is that chance.

Here’s hoping Rian pulled off magic.

Star Wars The Last Jedi Trailers and Production videos

Star Wars The Last Jedi Key-Art

 

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