While the untitled Han Solo spin-off film was passed over very quickly at Disney’s D23 fan event this weekend (its previous directors have been replaced by Ron Howard), this Christmas’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi got a hero’s welcome, with a very sweet – and exciting – behind the scenes film that showed off footage. And director Rian Johnson was joined by cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro to talk about the film, and share some of their favourite moments from filming. So here’s what we learned.
1) Rian Johnson got his start producing the “coming next” spots on the Disney Channel and got a massive yell of applause from everyone in the audience who remembered “the Halloweentown era”.
2) Jurassic Park-turned Star Wars newcomer Laura Dern made “pew pew” noises whenever she fired her blaster. WOULDN’T WE ALL!
3) The Last Jedi was filmed in Ireland, where Daisy Ridley spent a lot of time in pubs dancing Irish jigs. Rhian Johnson says he wasn’t fit enough to keep up with her, although he did try. “You had combat training!”
4) Gwendoline Christie‘s Captain Phasma suit is…warm. “It can get pretty hot so I’d pop a casserole or two in there,” she deadpanned.
5) Kelly Marie Tran was thrilled to be on the set – this is one of her first forays into film. “I wanted to do everything I could until I got in trouble,” she said.
6) Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker, is *very* much on board with The Last Jedi, not least because this time round he actually gets some lines. “There were so many unexpected elements,” he said of the script, but not necessarily about his lines. “This is a real game-changer.”
7) There is a lot of focus on new wildlife: one critter the footage kept coming back to was the most adorable otter-like thing with big eyes. We spot a merchandise opportunity!
8) Benicio Del Toro has been a Star Wars fan since he was 10 and said yes immediately. “Let’s go! Let’s play!” he said when he got the offer. And hey, at Christmas he can play with his own action figure. Sweet!
9) John Boyega’s ex-Stormtrooper, Finn, gets some cracking fight scenes with Phasma, although his squaring off against the magnificently tall Gwendoline Christie on stage looked a bit less effective. “Thank you for not making me stand next to Gwendoline,” was the smaller Mark Hamill’s wisecrack when he joined the gang on stage.
10) Carrie Fisher has a crucial role to play still – and we may never stop being moved by how the Star Wars cast and crew pays tribute to her. There are so lovely many moments in the behind the scenes footage, including Adam Driver kissing her on the head, and the cast all laughing. “It’s about family,” says Fisher, “and that’s what’s so powerful about it.”
Get ready for The Last Jedi with these stellar Instagram lewks
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