Star Wars director didn't expect to land the film
Rian Johnson will be directing the eigth episode in the Star Wars franchise which will continue the story from The Force Awakens
Director Rian Johnson says there are a lot of interesting strong, weak, good and bad female characters in his forthcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
"One of the first things that Kathleen Kennedy (producer) told me when she asked me if I'd be interested in doing this film was that the lead character was a girl named Rey," says Johnson.
"I was instantly into that; it just felt right. Leia was the first female figure that girls and women could look up to. Carrie Fisher was very conscious of that. She felt a responsibility to make Leia great," he adds.
In addition to Leia and Rey, the film will also have the new characters of Rose and Admiral Holdo.
The filmmaker says, "In this movie, there are both strong and powerful, and weak and conflicted female characters. Both good and bad characters. I got to work with a lot of amazing actors, like Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma."
Talking about how he got the film, he said the project came out of the blue. "I had had a couple of general meetings with Kathy Kennedy after she stepped in and started running Lucasfilm. But they were very general meetings, and I didn't think that I was actually in the running for anything."
Then once when he'd come in for what he thought was another casual meeting, the producer asked if he would be interested in doing this film. His jaw hit the floor. "I took some time to think about it. It was a big decision, actually. On one hand, it was a dream offer. On the other, it was a big life-changing deal. I wanted to make sure it would be a good experience, and it really has been," says Johnson.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which also stars Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong'o, will release on December 15.