1. We have a brand new lead in actor Kelly Marie Tran! She plays Rose, a maintenance worker in the Resistance, who gets pulled in on the action with Finn.
There’s more than one new character in The Last Jedi, but director and screenwriter Rian Johnson described Rose as “the biggest new part.” He also described her as “an unlikely hero” who represents “the notion that anyone out there, any of us, can step up and turn into a hero. She’s not a soldier, she’s not looking to be a hero, and she gets pulled into an adventure with Finn.”
2. The role was kept so top secret, Tran had to lie to her family for months about landing the role.
“They didn’t know for four months after,” Tran said with a laugh. “I told them I was doing an indie movie in Canada. At one point, I got some maple syrup so I could bring it back to them, so they’d think I was really in Canada.”
3. Carrie Fisher helped Johnson with the script for The Last Jedi.
“I love her so much,” Johnson said of the late Fisher. “I connected with her first and foremost as a writer; she’s a brilliant writer with an incredible mind. I’d go to her house and we’d sit on her bed for hours and go through the script and we’d have these kind of stream of consciousness, jazz poetry ad-lib sessions. I’d scribble on my script everything she said and at he end of six hours, there’d be a four-word line of dialogue that would be a distillation of all that that was brilliant.”
4. According to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, The Last Jedi will feature “fierce, amazingly independent” women.
“And that, as everybody in this room knows, is so important to Star Wars,” she said.
5. Mark Hamill almost called Daisy Ridley his “daughter” during the panel and Rian Johnson slapped himself on the forehead. (Hamill also called John Boyega his “son,” BUT STILL.)
Sure, it might have been a joke, BUT I NEED TO KNOW IF IT WASN’T.
6. But in actuality, Daisy Ridley FINALLY gave us some clues about what Rey and Luke’s dynamic will be — and Luke might kinda suck.
“In The Last Jedi, we go deep into Rey’s story. And what is very apparent from where we left off in The Force Awakens, and where we begin with The Last Jedi, is that Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might learn from Luke, and what that might entail,” Ridley said. “As it’s said, it’s difficult to meet your heroes, because it might not be what you expect.”
7. According to John Boyega, sweet cinnamon roll Finn is “not playing” this time around. And he’s still deciding where his allegiances lie.
“He’s in recovery,” Boyega said of Finn’s Kylo-Ren-inflicted injury at the end of The Force Awakens. “But he will be back, and he’s not playing this time.” But Finn still needs to face his past. “It’s a test for all the characters, but specifically for Finn,” Boyega said. “He wants to find his place now. Is he going to be part of the Resistance or is he going to keep running away from the First Order? We’ll see.”
8. We’re going to see even more comedy from BB-8.
Johnson said the best advice he got was from J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens editors: “You can’t have enough BB-8. He’s the Buster Keaton of this movie.”
9. Yes, Starkiller Base was destroyed, but the First Order is still really, really evil. And really, really active.
“Starkiller Base, big loss,” Johnson said. “But they did manage to take out the seat of the Republic and that’s thrown the galaxy into chaos. The First Order are jumping on that at the beginning of our movie very aggressively — not sitting on their hands. They’re making some big moves at the start of our film.”