The Last Jedi: Press conference, interviews and more

The Last Jedi press conference (and junket) was held on Sunday, and while it was low on news, an official video has now been released so you can comb through it for details on your specific foci. It had fun moments, but you can feel the exhaustion pouring off all these poor people. Moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, it features Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson and Andy Serkis.

There are a lot of interviews coming out from the junket and other apperances, and honestly at this point all I can do is point you towards the Tumblr. Some highlights include The Star Wars Show, the First Order folks interviewing each other , everyone’s favorite Snoke theories and basically everything with Laura Dern and Oscar Isaac. (Just… Laura Dern.) Oh, and Daisy Ridley’s clarification on that quote about leaving the franchise.

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Trials and tribulations of The Last Jedi’s Supreme Leader Snoke

Entertainment Weekly actually shed some light on Supreme Leader Snoke with Andy Serkis and director Rian Johnson. They’re not promising answers, exactly, but there’s plenty to unpack here about his motivations and what he wants with the First Order and Kylo Ren.

“His training of Kylo Ren is not yielding what he wants,” Serkis says. “Therefore his anger towards Kylo Ren is intensified because he can’t bear weakness in others. Part of the manipulation is goading him with Hux and playing them off against each other.”

They’re not promising all the answers on Snoke – Johnson compares him to the Emperor in the original trilogy and says “a story is not a Wikipedia page,” but there’s a lot more here than I expected. And sometimes? A bare outline is enough.

The Last Jedi: New pictures, costumes, nonexistent toy ‘spoilers’

Lucasfilm has released a new batch of images from The Last Jedi. None of them are new, exactly – they’ve all debuted in various publications – but it’s nice to get these out and about sans watermarks and crops. Check them all out at our Facebook.

→ Did Topps show us Luke Skywalker’s final costume? It’s not really much of a departure from what we’ve already seen him in, but since when has that ever stopped anything?

Don’t get too excited about things floasting around that ID a mini-Lego hologram that comes with Snoke as a character who’s not at all confirmed to be in this trilogy. Remember Finn Calrissian? And speaking of Topps and Snoke, they also give us our first official look at him.

→ More Snoke: Andy Serkis on who he didn’t have scenes with in The Last Jedi.

→ Shockingly, Domhnall Gleeson won’t commit to being around for IX. Okay, not that shockingly.

Episode VIII begins production; Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran join cast

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StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)

Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.

Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…


…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.

Meanwhile, as the day winds down…

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Tonight in The Force Awakens: Red carpet shenanigans

mark-redcarpetI was only able to see about half the world premiere red carpet livestream, but I did catch the most magical part: Carrie Fisher interviewing Oscar Isaac. Or attempting to interview. Whatever it was, it was wonderful, and you can watch it on Youtube.

I wasn’t able to collect tweets, but here are some from The Hollywood Reporter, Jedi News and @bahnree. There are also pictures at Variety and The Wrap. (The best. Or maybe…)

UPDATE: Kathleen Kennedy’s speech inside the theater and some of the first reactions.

→ Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams talked to /Film on how they collaborated with Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson, and how IX director Colin Trevorrow will likely work in.

Wired takes a look at Sphero, and how exactly BB-8 was a boon for them.

→ Some great The Force Awakens fashions by designer Catherine Elhoffer. You may have seen them on the red carpet tonight!

→ Andy Serkis ‘confirms’ evil Jar Jar on Conan.

→ Korean boy band EXO has an (authorized) song called ‘Lightsaber’. We truly live in an age of wonders.