Laura Dern recently revealed how Star Wars: Episode VIII will have various strong females as key members of the story.
Star Wars: Episode VIII (aka The Last Jedi), will feature a plethora of important female characters, including Dern's yet-to-be-revealed role. Dern spoke with CBS News in a new interview about what fans can expect from The Last Jedi thematically in relation to the portrayal of female characters.
"What I can say that I love about The Last Jedi is that it empowers female characters -- girls and women -- and minorities and an iconic female character like Carrie Fisher gave us," Dern revealed, referring to Fisher's beloved Princess (later General) Leia.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced a very strong female character in Rey (Daisy Ridley), in addition to supporting roles like Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata and Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma. On top of Dern's character, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will feature a reappearance by Billie Lourd, the daughter of Carrie Fisher, as Kaydel Ko Connix.
Dern is happy to be part of a movie franchise that embraces not only women characters but minorities as well, including John Boyega's Finn and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron.
"Part of the legacy of Star Wars is that women are not just part of the story, they make the story and the mythology of the story. That's always been there thanks to George Lucas and this invention. Being part of that is really exciting and how they are flipping the script in terms of diversity in various roles. I feel super proud to be part of it."
Dern still won't reveal who she will be playing in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but she did suggest the rumor that she's playing an admiral who has a feminine sensibility might not be entirely accurate.
"I haven't read that description, actually, so I can't comment on who I'm playing," she replied when asked about those specific character traits. "I don't know if that's the correct description."
Dern has steadily worked in show business for decades, though the past few years have seen a resurgence in acclaim and attention for the actress. She received her second Oscar nomination in 2015 for her role as Cheryl Strayed's mother, Bobbi, in Wild, co-starred in movies like The Fault in Our Stars, Wilson, and The Founder, and had a memorable role as Renata on HBO's limited series Big Little Lies. In addition to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dern will have a role on the upcoming revival of Twin Peaks on Showtime.
Meanwhile, plot details for Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been few and far between, even with the teaser trailer released in April. One factor that may weigh on fans' minds is that this will be Carrie Fisher's final film role. Fisher died on December 27, though she had completed work on The Last Jedi, one last time reprising the role that turned her into a global superstar. Star Wars producers have already revealed that there will be no attempts to use CGI to digitally recreate Fisher's Leia in future installments of the movie franchise.
The Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, and stars from the original trilogy, including Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Episode VIII was written and directed by Rian Johnson.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is scheduled for release in theaters on December 15.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]