After embarking on a galaxy-spanning adventure in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, closely bonded friends Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) will spend most of Star Wars: The Last Jedi apart but on “somewhat parallel journeys of self-discovery,” according to a new cover story from EW.
“The big thematic push and pull in the movie is the past and what role the past has in moving us forward into the future,” says writer and director Rian Johnson, who takes over for The Force Awakens’ J.J. Abrams.
In the first installment of the new trilogy, orphaned scavenger Rey and First Order defector Finn crossed paths on Jakku, the pair eventually linking paths with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the Resistance. Much like The Empire Strikes Back, The Last Jedi — also the second installment of a trilogy — will separate its heroes for much of the movie, with Rey taking steps towards Jedi-hood under the tutelage of hermit Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), as Finn sets out on adventure with newcomer Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran).
Though they’ll spend much of the film separated, Rey and Finn will be connected by their individual journeys of self-discovery.
Rey still seeks answers on her past and her parentage, while Finn — a former child soldier and Stormtrooper — has questions of his own in regards to where he comes from.
Finn’s family are “not explored in depth in Episode VIII,” according to Boyega, but Finn “definitely has a past that is troubled… I don’t know how all that’s going to play out.” Answers for another time, it seems, while The Last Jedi will peek into Finn’s more recent history.
“We will learn more about his past and where he came from, and potentially why he made the decision that he made,” Boyega says on Finn’s decision to escape the clutches of the murderous First Order. “I’m also very curious. The question that needs to be answered is why he decided to leave as a Stormtrooper in the first place. We will find out just a little bit more about him.”
As for Rey’s parentage,“It’s important insofar as it’s important to her,” says Johnson. “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. But she’s showing up on this island to talk to this hero from the past.”
“You can be told [‘the answer’s not in the past’], but I think she still has a lingering hope that she’s going to find the thing that’s going to say: This is where you belong,” Johnson adds. “This is where you are. I think she still holds onto the thought that where she comes from will help define where she’s going.”
Says Ridley, Rey learning the truth about her family would “potentially change her mind, or at least give her a little bit more peace in moving forward. 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.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. The film will deal with Luke training Rey to become a, and possibly the last, Jedi. Meanwhile, the Resistance, including Poe Dameron and First Order defector Finn, continues to fight against the First Order, led by General Hux, while Supreme Leader Snoke and his Dark Side follower Kylo Ren continue their mysterious plot. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15th, 2017.