Rian Johnson is set to direct Star Wars Episode VIII from a script that he has already written (and that already has the envy of The Force Awakens‘ director J.J. Abrams).
Now, legendary screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is revealing that the script is “weird,” though presumably in a good way.
In a Los Angeles Times interview, Kasdan said that The Force Awakens and the untitled Episodes VIII and IX “will be so different.”
“Rian Johnson is a friend of mine — he’s going to make some weird thing,” Kasdan said — a “weird thing” that Abrams expressed regret over at not getting to direct it once he read the screenplay.
As Ryan Leston points out, there has been some criticism mixed in with the overwhelmingly positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike.
Some believe that Abrams played it too safe in conjuring up Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He has, in some circles, been accused of doing a remake of sorts.
While there are similarities to The Force Awakens and the 1977 Star Wars (later titled Episode IV: A New Hope), the film has done a good enough job to gross $1.2 billion in its first 13 days at the box office.
It has also received the coveted “certified fresh” rating from critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and many hardcore fans have admitted to seeing it two, three, even four times already.
All in all, many feel that Abrams did what the series needed to do to establish its legitimacy, and the numbers speak to that.
However, where TFA struggled — forging a new path — is something that Rian Johnson has never struggled with as a filmmaker.
In 2005, he won the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision for the critically acclaimed film Brick, a film noir among high school students.
He followed that up in 2008, IMDb notes, with the under appreciated film The Brothers Bloom, and in 2012, he earned fanboy respect with the twisty-turn time travel thriller Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt where the former is sent into the past to carry out a hit on himself.
Adding to the list of “weird” things that Rian Johnson has been able to accomplish, he directed three highly regarded episodes of the hit AMC series Breaking Bad, including the experimental stage-play episode “Fly” from 2010 and the riveting “Ozymandias” during the show’s final season.
Given a resume like that one, what types of “weird” things could fans expect from Johnson’s version of Star Wars 8?
A somewhat controversial theory posited by The Inquisitr early last week could be one angle.
To understand more of what makes it a controversial theory, a certain amount of spoilers have to be revealed, so you may want to bail out before getting to that point.
Ready? Here goes.
The theory is that lead character Rey (Daisy Ridley) is in reality Anakin Skywalker reincarnated. The Star Wars series has never gone down that path before with any of its universe’s characters or events, and Rian Johnson could be just the type of director to make it work.
While not everyone agrees that it’s possible Rey and Anakin are one and the same, the film does drop a compelling amount of hints, which you can read about here.
Whether that turns out to be the case or not, though, Rian Johnson has already shown that he’s capable of taking characters in interesting new directions and keeping the plot lines miraculously untangled.
Star Wars fans will have to wait until the summer of 2017 to find out if he’s successful, though.
What do you think, readers? Is Rian Johnson the type of filmmaker that Star Wars needs to address the criticisms of Abrams’ work? Sound off in the comments section.