Star Wars: Rian Johnson Shares His Initial 'The Last Jedi' Pitch

When Lucasfilm announced that Rian Johnson would be directing the eighth installment in the Star Wars franchise, film nerds were surprised and optimistic due to his impressive resumé before then — despite only having three films to his name

Now in an interview with /Film, Johnson revealed his pitch to Kathleen Kennedy that got him the job to direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

"After Kathy asked me if I’d be interested in it, we had a series of conversations, and basically my pitch was the first movie is like the introduction, the second movie is training," said Johnson. "And by ‘training,’ I mean we take each of these characters and we really test their mettle. So I said that would be my approach to it, it’s a very character-based approach where we just start with each one of these characters we care about and figure out what the hardest next step is for each of them."

Johnson has spoken at length about his need to challenge the cast members in this second film, putting them in new, unexpected, and difficult situations to push them to their limits.

"So having that trailhead to go from, it was also nice because it gives you a direction as opposed to just having a big cloud of childhood fantasies, of 'Wouldn’t it be cool to see the Falcon do this or that?' that you could get lost in, it wasn’t like that…once I actually started doing the work, I found that it felt really comfortable. And then all the childhood fantasy stuff is just fuel for the fire," he said.

Johnson revealed how nervous he was when he got the job, but all those feelings subsided as he put the pen to paper.

"When I got the job, and especially when it broke on the internet and everyone started talking about it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I guess I’m actually doing this,’ it was really scary," Johnson said. "But then, when I sat down to write, it was actually the most fun I’ve ever had writing. I guess maybe because it was a blank page, but I had a starting point [with The Force Awakens]."

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Lucasfilm has to be happy with his pitch, given that he made one of the most financially successful films of all time. So happy, in fact, that they're already giving him his own trilogy set outside of the core Skywalker saga.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.