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Rian Johnson Hopes Star Wars: The Last Jedi Gives Fans Catharsis Over Carrie Fisher’s Passing

July 16, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Rian Johnson spoke with Good Morning America for a new interview from D23 Expo about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You can check out a couple of videos from the interview along with highlights below:

On Carrie Fisher’s role in the film: “Carrie gives a really beautiful performance in the film…We obviously didn’t make the movie to be her final film—final Star Wars movie. Given that though, I think there are scenes that she has that are going to mean a lot to people…there are scenes that we have with her where, now not having her around, I watch them and I think, I’m really thankful that we have that and that we can give that to people.”

On his hopes for Fisher’s role: “[I hope it] emotionally gives some kind of catharsis… it gives some kind of emotional satisfaction. I think so, I really hope so. I know for me it does.”

On writing Luke Skywalker’s role: “[It was] absolutely the starting point [to making the film]…We have some sense of what Rey wants from Luke. To me, the big enigma is what’s going on with Luke Skywalker. Why is he on that island? He knows his friends are in trouble. He knows the galaxy needs him. Why would this hero that I grew up with have put himself in exile?…It was like if we could crack that nut then we have something to start working with and then that will inform what their whole relationship is.”

On the importance of the title: “It has, not even necessarily multiple meanings, but its meaning evolves over the course of the film…For me, ultimately what it comes down to is that first question of: ‘What is the deal with Luke Skywalker?’ And Luke and Rey are kind of the beating heart of the film. So, The Last Jedi, in all the things that it means, is tied up in their story, and so that was the heart of it,” he added, noting the “title seemed crystal clear” to him right at the start when he was coming up with the story.