Just because you’re directing a Star Wars movie doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to geek out a little bit.
USA Today has an exclusive featurette about the making of The Last Jedi, focusing on writer-director Rian Johnson. Filled with behind-the-scenes footage, the clip follows Johnson as he tries on a stormtrooper helmet, coaches Chewbacca on his roar, and reflects on the unique experience of directing a Star Wars movie.
“There’s the weird thing that happens when [the set] is being built, and when you first show up on it, you’re kind of overwhelmed by it all,” Johnson explains in the featurette. “And then you get into the nitty gritty of working on it. And naturally, that level of it goes away, and you find yourself just focused on making the scene work, getting the shots. Then once in a while, you’re taking a little break and sitting back, and you look around, and you get the ‘holy crap’ moment again.”
The clip also includes cast members like Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and Gwendoline Christie all praising Johnson — as well as footage of the late Carrie Fisher, who declares, “He has flaws in other areas. I just don’t know about them.”
Johnson also opened up about the film in an interview with USA Today, where he teased that the events of The Last Jedi will uniquely test each character.
“When I first read the script of The Force Awakens, I was like, ‘I feel like I know these characters instantly,’” Johnson said. “And now we get to kind of put them through a meat grinder. And for me, part of that meant that we had to make things as hard on each of them as possible: At least part of the movie, they don’t have their friends around. They’ve got to figure things out for themselves. They’ve got to be faced with whatever the toughest thing each of them can be faced with, and they’re not going to have their buddy there next to them to get them out of it, necessarily.”
The Last Jedi will hit theaters Dec. 15.