When we began to revisit the Star Wars universe back in 2015 – 32 years after the original saga – there were many questions about how this new world would feel. Sitting in the STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI press conference on Sunday, December 3, it was clear that the force was strong with this new cast! With nothing but praise for their new director, Rian Johnson, there was clearly a lot of chemistry among all the actors, which created quite a lot of enthusiasm (and laughter) in the room.
Johnson began the press conference by laying the groundwork for the film telling us to expect a darker tone for this second film of the trilogy. He mentioned that the first film had a fun tone; and while the main goal of Star Wars is always to make you want to run around your backyard dueling with sticks, this newest installment will let the audience feel the same pressure where our heroes left of at the end of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
While the rest of the cast agreed, they all seemed to emphasize the fact even though the audience dives into the action, Johnson created an intimate feeling for the story. Andy Serkis explained that it was a very emotional and powerful experience working on the film, and that Johnson created a dance between great epic moments and going straight into the heart of the characters.
When questions were opened to the slew of press in the audience, the first question was for Mark Hamill. He was asked whether there were any comparisons or lessons learned from Yoda for his character, Luke Skywalker, as he stepped into the role of training Rey. Hamill, who has previously dropped a few spoilers on Twitter, was tight-lipped. He simply answered, “Do I train Rey? Do I have a lightsaber? Am I even IN this movie?”
Also adding a comical tone to the press conference was Adam Driver. While the press struggled to come up with questions without having seen the movie, one such reporter posed to the whole cast what lessons they feel the audience would learn after seeing the film. Driver responded quickly saying, “I think that’s a very personal question, that will be different for everyone. For some it will be nothing.”
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One question that was posed to the cast asked about the death of Han Solo, and what that might mean for our heroes as they go into this new story. John Boyega and Oscar Isaac both chimed in that the characters “just keep it moving.” They say everyone is in the middle of a war and they keep moving just to try and survive. At this point, Daisy Ridley said that her character Rey is very much affected by Han’s death. She went on to say that Rey had spent so much time alone that when she began her adventure with her companions from THE FORCE AWAKENS, she’s beginning to understand things in a different way.
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One overarching theme to the whole press conference was the role women play in the film. Laura Dern gave credit to Johnson for being a very involved director who helped develop each character, especially helping to explore how her character leads with femininity. Gwendolyn Christie also reiterated this sentiment, saying that it was nice to have female characters who are strong without having to be just like the men.
The last question of the conference spoke about Carrie Fisher. The moderator asked the women of the cast to speak to what impact the character of Princess Leia had on them while growing up. Christie said it best:
It was easy to see the cast had great enthusiasm around the film. Admittedly, I was super excited to see the film even before attending the press conference (I bought my tickets two months ago). After listening to the cast talk about their time on set, and seeing their family-style ragging on each other, it’s clear to see their characters are not the only ones experiencing a once in a lifetime adventure.
Don’t miss STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI in theaters December 15, 2017.