The world got its first teases of the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII” at the final Star Wars Celebration panel — future filmmakers — and while an official title for the movie was not revealed, director Rian Johnson did reveal some interesting tidbits.
First and foremost, the direction of the movie and how it relates to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Johnson spent six weeks working on the story for the film at Lucasfilm during production of “The Force Awakens,” reading the script and watching pieces of footage directly from the set to help with the shaping of the new film’s story.
“The first film was this incredible explosion of adventure and excitement that introduces these new characters,” Johnson explains. “The second film zooms in on the characters.”
He also teased that while a lot of the set photos from his Instagram feature green screens, that’s simply because he doesn’t want to reveal the elaborate sets that were constructed.
“The amount of sets we’ve built for this movie has been outrageous,” he says.
Johnson also revealed a top secret cameo for the film. Gareth Edwards, director of “Rogue One: A Star Wars” story, will be in the film. Likewise, Johnson will appear in a cameo during “Rogue One.”
What did the cast think of Johnson taking over as director for “Episode VIII,” though? Luckily, stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and John Boyega were on-hand to give some input.
It was a truly great moment for the Celebration attendees, getting to see their “Star Wars” family reunited one more time — and it should be noted Fisher and Hamill lovingly bicker like actual siblings.
It was Boyega who offered the most interesting insight on Johnson, though. “I always like to say he’s doing an indie movie within a studio franchise,” he says.
What else would you expect from the director of movies like “Brick” and “Looper”?
Still, the wait for an official title for the movie continues. “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is in theaters in 2017.