Rian Johnson On 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Story Planning; Pablo Hidalgo On Snoke's Humanity (Or Lack Thereof)

Back in my day, we had to patiently wait for movies to come out before our burning questions could be answered. Nowadays, we just have to pester filmmakers on the Twitter machine if we want to know something! You kids have it easy. Now please get off my lawn.

However, Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson and Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group seem to be perfectly happy to engage fans on social media, clarifying details and calming nerves. And today, we bring you two noteworthy tidbits: Johnson's comments on how the sequel trilogy has been planned and Hidalgo making one thing about Supreme Leader Snoke very clear.

An Unplanned Galaxy

Let's get started with Johnson, who found himself confronted with a quote from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on Twitter. After confirming what he told Vanity Fair last week – that he was given complete and total freedom to tell the story he wanted to tell when he set out to write The Last Jedi – a fan shared the quote in question, which actually comes from a /Film interview conducted back in December 2015, shortly before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters. When our own Peter Sciretta asked if J.J. Abrams had worked on treatments for future Star Wars movies, Kennedy responded with:

No, because at that point we were sitting down and talking about where this might go, even as early on as with Michael Arndt. We were sort of plotting out, because obviously if you know up front that you're building the pacing inside a trilogy structure, we needed to have some sense of where this saga was going without locking in on things and leaving room for creative development. But we had to have some sense of where we were going.

So it appears that something may have changed behind-the-scenes, because Johnson reiterated (again) that he was not asked to follow any kind of roadmap:

While some of the responses below Johnson's comments reek of pure fanboy hysteria, I continue to find this refreshing. Grand plans for film franchises are all well and good, but the willingness to allow directors and writers to craft the story they want to tell without restrictions is even better. After all, we've seen "franchise obligations" hinder movies before – just look to Iron Man 2 and Batman v Superman, which were so busy setting up other films that they forget to be good.

Honestly, the news that Johnson was given total freedom should be celebrated. Lucasfilm is trusting their creatives rather than imposing a corporate mandate on artists. This is a good thing. To quote another great science fiction saga: don't panic.

Snoke's Inhumanity

Across Twitter, Hidalgo found himself embroiled in a discussion that seemingly eats up a significant portion of his everyday life: who is Supreme Leader Snoke, the shadowy leader of the First Order? Although there is plenty of evidence out there suggesting his point of origin, he continues to be at the center of much theorizing. And since enough people have asked (and since enough people seem to think Snoke is somehow Anakin Skywalker), Hidalgo shared a quote from the official novelization of The Force Awakens, which explicitly says Snoke is not human:

Naturally, this was greeted with skepticism, leading to Hidalgo to get blunt about the whole thing. Snoke is not human – this sentence wouldn't exist if there was any doubt about this.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15, 2017.