The Last Jedi: See behind the scenes Star Wars photos captured in a galaxy far, far away
BEHIND THE MASK
Joonas Suotamo, who previously appeared in action scenes of The Force Awakens alongside longtime Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, officially takes over the role with Last Jedi. In a statement issued February 2017, Suotamo praised Mayhew’s performance as Han Solo’s beloved copilot. “Chewbacca is one of the most iconic characters in the history of film, and Peter’s development and portrayal of this beloved Wookiee has spread so much joy across the globe,” he wrote. “Peter’s guidance and kindness have been invaluable gifts which warmed my spirit and prepared me for this journey.” Johnson says the loss of his longtime smuggler pal has been tough for the Wookiee. “He’s resilient,” Johnson says. “He’s got broad Wookiee shoulders, and he also has a new mission. He’s got Rey, and she’s someone that Han, to a certain extent, handed the keys to. So I think that that helps."
Excerpt from Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars, a look back at the franchise through the years and features photos from The Last Jedi. Buy it on Amazon or the Time Inc Shop.
BUNDLE OF JOY
Kelly Marie Tran pals around with John Boyega on-set. The Finn actor was eager to praise his Last Jedi director. “A different person comes with a different energy, a different perspective, and Rian [Johnson] definitely has his own unique style,” Boyega says. “Rian is just a fun guy ... [He is] just so giving; he’s cheerful on-set, and it’s always a fun time.” His one complaint: Johnson’s iPhone playlist. “He has the country version to every great hip-hop song ever made, and I don’t understand where he got that from. It’s treachery. It’s blasphemous. Apart from that he’s amazing.”
FINDING HER PLACE
When she travels to Ahch-To, Rey is looking for answers. Fans are also asking: Who is she really? Johnson believes the answer doesn’t matter as much as people think. “To me, it’s important insofar as it’s important to her,” he says. “And I think it’s important to her in terms of what is her place in all of this? What’s going to define her in this story? She was told in the last movie that the answer’s not in the past; it’s looking forward.” He adds, “But she’s showing up on this island to talk to this hero of the past.” Daisy Ridley says Rey will find what she’s searching for, but “ultimately what’s coming is coming, and whatever abilities she has are there. So, personally, I think it’s less important than even she may think.”
In an emotional speech to fans gathered at 2017’s Star Wars Celebration, Johnson spoke about losing Carrie Fisher. “I love her so much, man,” he said. “I just adore her. And I connected first and foremost with her as a writer. She had a brilliant mind, and I’d sit on her bed for hours, going through the screenplay, and we’d have these stream-of-conscious- ness ad-lib sessions. At the end, there would be a four-word line of dialogue that came from that.”
IT’S A WRAP
On Sept. 21, 2017, Johnson announced the completion of The Last Jedi. “That’s a wrap on the hardest working postproduction team in the galaxy,” he wrote. It was a journey that began back in 2014, well before J.J. Abrams’s The Force Awakens had opened in theaters. To flesh out the universe (and to help figure out why Luke was living in self-imposed exile), he met with Hamill to discuss the backstory. “[We] went into this elaborate scenario of what happened to Luke after the end of Return of the Jedi,” says Hamill. They determined that he’s nursing deep wounds over Kylo Ren’s turn to the dark side. “That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know?” Hamill says. “It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”
The Ultimate Guide
Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars, looks back at the franchise through the years and features photos from The Last Jedi. On sale Dec. 8, buy it on Amazon or the Time Inc. Shop.