Star Wars, Episode VIII, The Last Jedi,

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson Reveals Episode VIII’s Unusual Influences

It was been recently revealed that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be named The Last Jedi and now the director of that upcoming sequel shares even more, as he gives insight into his inspirations for the story of The Last Jedi. While the Star Wars director is sticking close to the vision set forth by J.J. Abrams with The Force Awakens, it seems clear that Rian is making Episode VIII his own by incorporating his love for a number of classic film genres into the next Star Wars installment.

Rian Johnson Shares His Inspiration For Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson on his influences. [Image by Disney/Lucasfilm]

In covering the news that Rian Johnson has finally started to tease the plot of The Last Jedi, Collider reveals that the next Star Wars installment will be the most original take on the franchise, since George Lucas first thrilled us with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Unlike Abrams on The Force Awakens, this next sequel brings in Johnson, a new influence to the Star Wars saga, and essentially gives him free rein, as there is still no word that additional rewrites have been ordered. This gives traditional Star Wars fans a ray of hope, as Abrams pretty much just rebooted the original trilogy without really giving us anything new and unique.

While Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom) will be bringing a fresh new direction to the Star Wars franchise, he has recently shared that film fans will find something familiar in The Last Jedi. In fact, the director says The Last Jedi will be heavily influenced by three of his favorite films, each coming from a different genre, though all bearing a commonality in honorable and fearless heroes.

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.”

To judge by The Last Jedi director’s own words, Episode VIII will have all of the qualities familiar to Star Wars fans and those qualities may even be explored on a grander scale, as Rian suggests through his examples.

Only one question remains.

Who Is The Last Jedi?

Star Wars, Daisy Ridley, The Last Jedi
Star Wars star Daisy Ridley is grilled about who ‘The Last Jedi’ really is in ‘Episode VIII.’ [Image by Disney/Lucasfilm]

When the full title for Star Wars: Episode VIII was revealed earlier this week, the ominous three word name of the next sequel left fans concerned and curious. As Entertainment Weekly reports, one fan in particular, actor Josh Gad, took his earliest opportunity to interrogate actress Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens‘ Rey) about her knowledge of the identity of the last Jedi.

Gad and Ridley are working together on Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express, so the actor used that project as an excuse to get Daisy alone and question her about the Star Wars sequel.

“Had an important question to ask you and I’m so sorry, I meant to call you last night,” Josh says. “It’s about today’s scene: Who are the last Jedi?”

“We’re not doing this, Josh,” responds Ridley.

Still unswayed by Daisy’s determination to keep her Star Wars knowledge hidden, Gad continued to wear Ridley down, creating a scene very similar to Kylo Ren’s interrogation of Rey in The Force Awakens.

“Is it one [Jedi], or is it more than one?” Gad asks. “I need it to in order to figure out what we’re doing on the train today. So is it plural? … Is it ominous? It sounds ominous. Does something happen to you and Mark [Hamill], or just Mark? Are you a Jedi? Answer my damn question, Daisy!”

Ms. Ridley held her ground, unwilling to spoil Star Wars: The Last Jedi or to risk her future in the franchise beyond Episode VIII.

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is set to hit theaters on December 15.

[Featured Image by Disney/Lucasfilm]