The Spotlight: Rian Johnson didn't mind not having Han Solo in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' 'It was kind of perfect'
(image via Planète Star Wars)
Rian Johnson's OG nerd status has never been questioned.
The indie darling turned "Star Wars" director went to USC film school because George Lucas was his hero.
Promoting his upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in Paris, Johnson was asked if he was disappointed he didn't have Harrison Ford's classic Han Solo character to play with.
"Yea, it would have been very fun to work with Harrison Ford, but at the same time it was kind of perfect," Johnson told reporters. "For me, as a kid, Luke Skywalker was the character that I connected with the most because Han Solo was super cool and I was not super cool as a kid. I was more like the dorky farm boy who wanted to go have an adventure but didn't quite know how, yet.
"So I was very happy to get the opportunity to do the movie that Mark [Hamill] is at the heart of and I think it was a good fit."
Expanding on Hamill's return as Luke Skywalker, Johnson made it clear he wanted Hamill very involved as they developed and expanded the character.
"I told Mark, 'This is not going to necessarily enter the canon, but let's talk about it, what the journey was between then and now,'" Johnson said. "I wanted him to feel ownership over the arch of the character. Mostly because I realized how strange it must be for him to be so closely attached to this character for so many years and then to have some young jerk come and put a script in his lap and say, 'Now it's this.' I was very conscious of how difficult that must be.
"So through collaboration with him on the part, but also through talking about his backstory, I wanted to do anything I could to give him ownership of the part and to help him feel attached to where the character ended up and how he got there. So if that meant him coming up with a story that's just for him in his head, of what Luke's path was, that seemed like a very good thing to do, for me."
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" hits theaters Dec. 15.
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