New Star Wars epic The Last Jedi is full of unexpected surprises, pulling the rug from under the audience at nearly every turn – but according to writer/director Rian Johnson, that wasn’t the intention from the start.
“Well it wasn’t the purpose when I sat down to write it,” Johnson told RadioTimes.com.
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“I didn’t think, ‘how can I surprise everybody?’ It wasn’t that. It was kind of a natural byproduct of just starting with the characters. And figuring out, ‘OK where are these guys starting from? And what’s the toughest thing I can throw at each of them?’
“And then just trying to honestly follow that path. I think when you throw the toughest obstacles you can at characters, and then try and figure out how they would honestly react to them, it ends up taking you to some surprising places.
“I guess the goal was never shock or surprise,” he summed up. “The goal was always drama – and hopefully that includes shock and surprise.”
It’s a technique that Johnson says he’ll also be employing for his mysterious new Star Wars trilogy, which was announced earlier in 2017 and will reportedly have little to no connection with the episodic Skywalker saga the films have followed thus far.
“Well I hope it’s a good story!” Johnson said of his new film series. “To me that’s what a good story is.
“If you’re actually doing things that feel like they really dramatically land – to me the definition of that is you don’t see it coming in the moment, and then once it’s happened it feels inevitable. That’s what you’re aiming for.”
When it comes to this new trilogy, it sounds like the phrase “expect the unexpected” has never been more appropriate.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in UK cinemas now