'Star Wars' Buzz: 'The Last Jedi' Novelization Details, Rian Johnson's Original Pitch and More

'Star Wars' Buzz: 'The Last Jedi' Novelization Details, Rian Johnson's Original Pitch and More

Jan 25, 2018

Six weeks out, Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues to be a major force at the box office. And the sequel remains a hot topic for moviegoers, as well, particulary the fans who can't get enough of its story, both on and off screen. Below, we've got the latest extras related to the eighth episode of the "Skywalker Saga."

Han Solo Gets a Funeral Scene

Details are out on the Last Jedi novelization, which was written by Jason Fry and releases on March 6, and the book will feature some additional scenes that aren't in the movie. The most noteworthy is Han Solo's funeral. The character was killed off in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and deserved some sort of memorial service in the follow-up, but the Resistance was in too much of an emergency situation throughout the story that there just wasn't room. Presumably the funeral scene will therefore take place at the end. Other known additions include a scene with sisters Rose and Paige Tico together and more moments on Canto Bight. 

Watch The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson and novelization author Jason Fry talk about the book in the latest episode of The Star Wars Show:


Rian Johnson Shares His Original Pitch

Johnson continues to promote The Last Jedi in mainstream and fan-focused outlets, much of it to defend the movie in the wake of the backlash. Other discussions are more positively aimed at the audience who appreciates where the filmmaker took the series and its characters.

In a new episode of the /Film podcast The /Filmcast, Johnson shares his original pitch to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and the excitement he felt when he started on the script, as well as how he was determined to not let his lifelong love of Star Wars drive the project where it would just seem like a big fan film. Here's an excerpt from the conversation via /Film

“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. 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]. 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. 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.

"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.”


Domhnall Gleeson Reveals His Contribution

General Hux is one of the most fascinating characters in the new Star Wars trilogy, and Domhnall Gleeson is absolutely perfect in the role -- hilariously expressive in his performance of a high-ranking officer of the First Order who reluctantly must remain submissively second fiddle to the more powerful Force-wielding Snoke and then his rival, Kylo Ren. In The Last Jedi, he has a subtle but memorable moment where he seems like he's about to take out Kylo Ren but misses his chance and slips right back into loyal allegiance. Watch the actor confess to coming up with the moment during an interview with Kevin Smith at Sundance:

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