Episode VIII of the Star Wars film series, The Last Jedi, will open in theaters December 15th, but a featurette released today offers fans a look at what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s focused on writer and director Rian Johnson, first as a fan, then as a director. And it features short thoughts from Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and the late Carrie Fisher about working with him.
“First time shooting with Mark. First time shooting with Daisy. First time shooting a Star Wars movie, and you know, it’s some cool stuff,” Johnson says. Later, he instructs Chewbacca to growl “sad like a dog whimper,” and bounces around the film’s impressive set. The featurette is partially built around a long quote where he explains how the job initially overwhelmed him, until he got “into the nitty-gritty of it all,” and could just focus on the job of making individual scenes work.
In an interview with USA Today, Johnson spoke further about his vision for the film’s characters, and about working with Fisher. “Having these scenes in the film recontextualize tragically with her not being here anymore. It’s incredibly emotional,” he told the publication. “For the next few months, seeing the fans… process the loss and celebrate her as Leia one last time, it’s going to be intense. I think it’s going to be really sad but really joyful, I hope.”