I was a guest of Disney for this event. All opinions are my own.
At the beginning of this month I received an amazing, but cryptic invitation to the Global Press Conference for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (!) I know. Shut up. In the email were the enigmatic words: Location to be disclosed later. Of course, I accepted right away. But where was it going to happen? I was on pins and needles all week waiting for the details.
I finally received the Super-Secret-Double-Probation address of the undisclosed location (!) and directions to the site somewhere in the heart of Los Angeles.
I knew I was in the right place as the escalator carried me up to the floor where the event was to be taking place. Greeting me in all her Larger-Than-Life-Size-Super-Princess-Now-General glory was Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. I was definitely in the right place.
I checked in and got my Star Wars wristband and found a prime spot in the main room where the cast would be arriving. And what an arrival it was.
Flanked by the Elite Praetorian Guard (it will make sense to you once you’ve seen the film) the cast came in to thunderous applause and took their places.
- Mark Hamill (“Luke Skywalker”)
- Daisy Ridley (“Rey”)
- John Boyega (“Finn”)
- Oscar Isaac (“Poe Dameron”)
- Adam Driver (“Kylo Ren”)
- Gwendoline Christie (“Captain Phasma”)
- Domhnall Gleeson (“General Hux”)
- Andy Serkis (“Supreme Leader Snoke”)
- Laura Dern (“Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo”)
- Kelly Marie Tran (“Rose Tico”)
- Director Rian Johnson
This is the first time I’ve been to a press conference where I hadn’t first seen the film, so asking and answering questions was tricky. Asking was tough because we had only seen the trailer. Answering was a challenge because they couldn’t give anything away. (I have since screened the film, and am dying to tell you all about it, but that’s not important right now. Also, NO SPOILERS!)
The conversation centered on what it was like to make this film and especially about Carrie Fisher. This was her last film and last performance as her iconic character has been so important to the Star Wars canon.
Director Rian Johnson:
“First of all, thank you guys for all coming. This is very, very exciting.
It’s the second movie in the trilogy and I think we’ve been kind of trained to expect it’ll be a little darker and obviously it looks a little darker. I loved the tone of the original films and also what J.J. captured in The Force Awakens. First and foremost we were trying to make it feel like a Star Wars movie.
And that means you have the intensity and you’ve got the opera, but it also means that it makes you come out of the theater wanting to run in your backyard, grab your spaceship toys and make them fly around, you know, and that’s a key ingredient to it. So we’re going to go to some intense places in the movie but it’s also fun. And very funny.”
I liked Rian Johnson. He’s very obviously a Star Wars fan. (like me!)
The question was asked: “How does this movie distinguish itself among all the different Star Wars films?”
“I was blown away when I saw the movie. I just was so caught up with it, not least because it was really intimate and very emotional and I wasn’t expecting that at all.
I mean, I know obviously that it was going to go that way, but it was very, very powerful and it touches you. What Rian has done, incredibly, is to make this dance between these great, epic moments and hilarious antics, you know, literally flipping on a dime and then going right into the heart of these beautiful characters.”
Question for Mark Hamill (which I think all of us present were already thinking):
“With Luke training Rey in this movie, it seems like he’s in the position Yoda was with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back.
Is it sort of like when your parents say you’ll understand when you’re older? Does he finally learn some of Yoda’s lessons now that he’s the teacher?”
“I can promise you my part is twice as big as it was in The Force Awakens.” *insert roaring laughter here*
The cast all agreed that the set was so much fun that it had the feel of an independent film but with the high tech and budget of a Star Wars film. Having already seen the film (NO SPOILERS!) I tend to agree.
I appreciated that the cast seemed to love and respect Rian Johnson’s vision and that they were all on board with it.
As part of our fun Super Secret Star Wars Day in LA, we got to experience some really fun photo ops. Those guys in red, tho.
And meet the treacherous BB9E (The E stands for Evil.)
As well as having t-shirts of our choice screen printed while we waited. (Also, wait til you see the Porgs. You will LOVE. Or maybe not. NO SPOILERS!)
I can’t even begin to describe all the fun of being immersed in All Things Star Wars for the day. But then, if you’re a fan (like I am) you know.
Please enjoy the trailer and get yourself psyched up to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi when it opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, December 15th, 2017.
You will definitely feel the pull of both the Dark and Light sides of The Force. Wait. I’ve said too much. Go see this film. And may the Force will be with you.