Star Wars Bits: Rian Johnson Talks ‘The Last Jedi,’ Donald Glover Talks Lando, and the Death Star Trench
Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 by Jacob Hall
In this edition of Star Wars Bits:
- Rian Johnson talks about his experience writing and directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
- Woody Harrelson probably won’t start filming the Han Solo movie for a few months.
- Donald Glover is aware that he has to live to to Billy Dee Williams‘ coolness.
- The Star Wars Show has a new co-host.
- The Death Star trench is not where you think it is.
- Marvel’s Star Wars comics continue to bring back fan favorites.
- New information about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story visual effects.
- And more!
Empire has published a Q&A with Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson and while he can’t say too much about his mysterious movie, some of his answers certainly give us something to chew on. For example, here are the three movies he watched to prepare for the film:
Twelve O’Clock High was a big touchstone, for the feel and look of the aerial combat as well as the dynamic between the pilots. Three Outlaw Samurai for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun. And To Catch A Thief was a great film to rewatch, for the romantic scale and grandeur.
Johnson also spoke about the challenges of writing a Star Wars screenplay, which required him to stay away from the kind of dialogue and phrases you’d find in other movies:
I found myself constantly wanting to push modern idioms into the dialogue, and sometimes that can work, but you have to be very careful. If you go too far you can break that Star Wars spell. The other challenge is the tech talk, which has to be simultaneously complex enough to sound real and conceptually simple enough to follow. The original films were brilliant at that.
You can read the whole thing at the link above.
Although it certainly looks like cameras have begun rolling on the Han Solo movie, Woody Harrelson (who plays Han’s mentor in the film) says that filming doesn’t begin until March:
Woody Harrelson recently confirmed he’s playing Han Solo’s mentor in the next “Star Wars” movie, but the actor jokes about his own ability to lead.
“I wouldn’t choose me,” the actor shrugged and then laughed at the premiere of “Wilson” at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Harrelson will play Garris Shrike. He also said the movie, which doesn’t yet have a title, begins shooting in March.
Does that mean Harrelson himself doesn’t actually begin filming until March and that the production is just grabbing some early stuff right now? We’ll find out eventually. Also, it should be noted that Harrelson may not actually be playing Garris Shrike (a character from the old expanded universe), but rather a new character who fills the same role. Lucasfilm has been quiet on that front.
Speaking of the Han Solo movie and secrecy, Donald Glover (who will play Lando Calrissian in the film) says that he has yet to actually read the screenplay:
Donald is preparing for the role by cutting down on fast food and hiking to get into shape. Other than that, there’s not much else he can do, as he has yet to see the script for the film, which is shrouded in secrecy.
“It’s like an owl flies through your window and gives you a script; that’s how quiet and confidential it is,” he joked.
However, Glover is very aware that he’s taking on a beloved character and that he’ll have to work pretty hard to be as cool as Billy Dee Williams:
I think the point of all of this is just to make people believe you, so I just keep thinking about that. I’m not Billy Dee Williams; I am not that cool. I don’t think anyone is really, but I just had to make it believable. I had to do my own ‘cool’.
I called my mum and my dad when I heard I’d won the role, and she said to me, ‘Don’t mess this up. This is Billy Dee Williams, and he is really cool.’ I take it very seriously.
The latest episode of The Star Wars Show dives into the reveal of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi title, goes behind the scenes of Rogue One, and introduces a new co-host in Anthony Carboni. Speaking of The Star Wars Show co-hosts, Andi Gutierrez participated in an AMA in the Star Wars Rebels subreddit and explained what it’s like to shoot a YouTube series for Lucasfilm:
There’s no such thing as a typical day. On days we shoot SWS episodes, it’s pretty much a whole day process. Ex: shooting the intro/news in the morning, break for lunch and other meetings, shoot the closing segment.
Interviews happen whenever they can, same with variety segments. Sometimes there’s weekend shoots, or really early mornings, which aren’t awesome, but I try to keep in mind that I get to play and talk about SW so it’s really not all that bad.
I definitely work closest with Scott, our producer/writer/comedic genius/Yoda Fountain voice, but Harper (camera/editing), Kyle (camera/editing), Frank (camera/editing) and Dana (general rockstar) also work on every shoot. We work really closely with Matt Martin on the story group as well, he was in our department before he went to SG.
The whole starwars.com team is pretty small, and VERY collaborative. Everyone plays a huge part. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other and have an awesome flow.
You can read through all of her answers at the link above.