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Star Wars: The Last Jedi press conference

The cast and crew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently travelled all the way from a galaxy far far away to the Corinthia Hotel Ballroom in London to tell us all about the new film. In attendance were: Rian Johnson (director), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Benicio del Toro (DJ), Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Domnhall Gleeson (General Hux), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron).

Below are some highlights from the afternoon, and also a video of the whole thing courtesy of our friends at HeyUGuys.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in the UK on the 15th of December, and you can read my review here and I felt the film was “absolutely tremendous”.

You can also read Sarah’s review here.


Rian Johnson remembering Carrie Fisher:

Well Carrie was first and foremost a writer, and that was how we connected. We had a lot of lovely moments on set, but the times that I’m really going to remember are just hanging out before the shoot at her house. She was digging out books that she wanted to talk about, and she was writing her own book: The Princess Diaries, while we were doing the shoot and she showed me all of her old diaries and the pictures she had from the original trilogy shoot. Talking about words and just hanging out with her, man. I feel really lucky that I got even a little bit of time to know her.


Mark Hamill on the failure he has learned the most from:

Do we have enough time for this? OK… this answer.


Daisy Ridley on what a hero like Rey would have meant to her as a child:

I was always a book person, not a film person, growing up. So all the heroes I needed were in books – books have never discriminated quite the way that films do. And I have two sisters and grew up in a very loving household, so I had everything I needed in my home. But obviously if I had been more of a film person I think (Rey) would have meant a great deal – because I really didn’t, and I think that’s why I didn’t see the disparity so much..? But the way that people have responded has been wonderful. And I think it is only a good thing.


Benicio del Toro on joining the Star Wars cast:

For the first time I was the oldest one on the set! (quizzical look from Mark Hamill) Well on MY set, on the little set! So it was kind of interesting… But does that make me the wisest as well? Not necessarily.


Oscar Isaac on returning for The Last Jedi when he was originally intended to be killed off in The Force Awakens:

It’s definitely good to be alive! I was excited to see what Rian had in store for Poe and the conflict that he has. In a very brutal way he took away the one thing that Poe knows best: jumping into an X-Wing and blowing stuff up. So to deal with being grounded, and I was very lucky to have so many scenes with Laura, and it did feel like a very intimate set – we walked around the set in jeans and t-shirts and rehearsed it, and just to get to take that kind of time on such a huge movie was pretty special. And of course to get to work with Carrie again.


John Boyega on his training for the new film being different to last time:

Yeah, in a sense, because the weapon was different this time. But I was training mostly with Gwen, doing stunt training, and Gwen has a really long reach so… one must dodge and pirouette around her at all times! Which is definitely more challenging.


Gwendoline Christie on how John Boyega matched up to her:

John Boyega is a force… in every sense. And I think there was a moment of connection between us… where i’ve certainly not felt anything that strong before, John.

Kelly-Marie Tran on what landing her role meant to her:

Sure! Let me try not to cry! I’ve been crying enough! I think that I will be reliving those moments that we had on set for the rest of my life in my mind. I was this complete new person and it says so much about everyone sitting here that I felt at home on that set. Because everyone was so welcoming and so open and I really felt like a part of it.


Laura Dern on what the working environment was like:

I know that we have been talking a lot about the environment that Rian created, but it was so seamless because it felt like any other film family. It felt protected and safe and collaborative, and even like a small movie in some unusual way – but then periodically you look up and Chewbacca or R2-D2 walk past and you were reminded of the environment you were in! It was extraordinary. It was like the greatest dance and party I have ever been invited to.

Andy Serkis on bringing Snoke to life:

It was a real challenge. I had such a brilliant challenge working with Rian and the way that he decided to take the character in this. But as with all characters who are evil it’s very important to try and humanise them in some way. So the vulnerability that we tried to approach Snoke with is borne out of fear. Fear that the First Order is in a shoddy state and not being led particularly well by Hux and the conflicted Kylo Ren and the mess they are making of it. There are two sides to Snoke: the public hologram that he uses to scare people, and the kind of wizard behind the curtain that is frail and fearful of this powerful feminine energy that he knows is coming to take him down.

Domnhall Gleeson on if he had any particular inspirations for playing Hux:

No. Not really! Myself and Rian saw him as a kicked dog. You know? He’s kind of undermined in the film, but never loses his capacity to cause damage. So, yeah, a dog who gets kicked over and over and over again is eventually going to bit back. Hard.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in the UK on the 15th of December, and you can read our review here, which calls the film “absolutely tremendous”.

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