Rian Johnson on The Last Jedi’s Influences and Epic Scale

There’s nothing derivative about the incredible universe George Lucas created in Star Wars, but all creators draw inspiration from the things they love. From the ray gun-inspired blaster sported by Han Solo to the yukata-inspired tunic worn by Obi-Wan, Star Wars is a melting pot of silver screen gems like Flash Gordon and Akira Kurosawa‘s The Hidden Fortress wrapped up in epic space fantasy.

Writer-director Rian Johnson (Looper), currently “in the thick of editing” the latest installment, recently revealed to Empire that he also drew inspiration for The Last Jedi from classic samurai movies, but also war movies and even the films of Alfred Hitchcock:

‘Twelve O’Clock High’ was a big touchstone, for the feel and look of the aerial combat as well as the dynamic between the pilots. ‘Three Outlaw Samurai’ for the feel of the sword-fighting, and the general sense of pulpy fun. And ‘To Catch A Thief’ was a great film to rewatch, for the romantic scale and grandeur.

One would think that directing an epic-scale movie like The Last Jedi would be vastly different than an indie movie like Brick, but Johnson went on to say that it’s essentially the same:

It’s huge, sure, and it’s filled with pressures great and small. But at the end of the day, it boils down to the same things as the smaller films we’ve made: telling a story we care about with a camera and some actors. And a Wookiee.

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro star.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is slated to open on December 15, 2017.

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