I wasn’t even born when the first Star Wars movie was released in theaters in 1977, in fact, I still wasn’t born when The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980. For some reason as a young girl I was a fan of movies, but not just any film. Movies that made your imagination go wild with excitement and took your mind to a faraway place. So for me to have A Front Row View At Star Wars: The Last Jedi Global Press Junket after being a fan of the movies since I was a young girl was incredibly unbelievable.
The Last Jedi Global Press Junket is sponsored by Disney. Thank you for the invitation to attend the event in LA. All female empowering opinions are my own.
A Front Row View At Star Wars: The Last Jedi Global Press Junket #TheLastJediEvent
In fact, there have been seven Star Wars movie released before my daughter was even born. I guess she gets the love of movies from me and I get it from my mother. I don’t know if we use it as a form of escape from the real harshness of the world, but if it makes her feel happy and feels protected, I will always encourage her.
Star Wars is about a fight between the light and the dark side, and it’s a big reminder of what is going on in the world right now. I also know it’s something my eight-year-old is dealing with right now. She’s under pressure with school, wants to make friends, but at the same time is being bullied for being who she is.
Encouraging My Daughter To Stay True To Herself
I also wanted to show my daughter that no matter what type of obstacles get in your way, if you want it bad enough, you should never stop trying to achieve it. After diagnosed with breast cancer last year the last thing on my mind was keeping up with work, in fact, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do much of anything.
As always, Disney believed in me, and invitations still came, even when they knew that I might not be able to attend, but I did. In fact, it was a big reason why I kept a positive attitude throughout my year of fighting cancer. I attended every single event I got invited for and there I was on Sunday, December 5th, 2017, sitting again across another spectacular cast for the movie that is sure to be THE MOVIE of the year!
Want to watch the entire thing? Make sure to head on over to my Facebook page where I recorded the entire press conference live.
My Geek Out Moment
I will also admit that not only am I a Star Wars fan, but I am a fan of many stories that for the most part began as books. So, as the cast took their seats on the stage for the press junket, I realized that in front of me I had Gollum, Brienne of Tarth, and Bill Weasley! Not only was I having a Star Wars moment, but I had some of my favorite book characters sitting across from me.
A Surreal Experience
Being at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi press junket was very surreal. When I got there, I had hundreds of questions for each, but when they get on stage, all I wanted to do was listen to everything they had to say about the movie. I tried to take in their emotions and feelings throughout the filming of the film.
Questions Asked During The Press Junket
One of the first questions asked to the cast was how is The Last Jedi different from The Force Awakens?
Rian Johnson answered by saying that “first and foremost we were trying to make it feel like a Star Wars movie, and that means you have the intensity and you’ve got the opera, but it also means that it makes you come out of the theater wanting to run in your backyard, grab your spaceship toys and make them fly around. That’s a key ingredient to it”.
Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran were asked if there was any part of them that geeked out when they started working on the Star Wars film?
Kelly: “Every part. It definitely feels like you have to find a way to just do the work and kind of block everything out, but then C-3PO comes up, and you’re like oh, god”!
Laura: “Every part. Oscar and I always talked about just how stunned we were that we were in such a massive environment and did feel like we were, you know, making an indie movie and Rian was always encouraging us to try things and explore character, and explore this duality of the light and the dark within characters”.
Domhnall and Adam Driver were asked about their characters, Hux and Kylo Ren, relationship and how it progresses in The Last Jedi.
Adam Driver: “I think it’s definitely there’s a competition and it’s maybe yet to be discovered where that comes from.”
Domhnall Gleeson: “There’s just such a huge amount of drama going on in that group of people but then also just a huge amount of bitchy infighting as well, which I think is really fun to see them kind of really hurt each other from the inside as well as from the outside, you know, the united front thing is difficult for them sometimes”.
Rian Johnson was asked about the visual cues for The Last Jedi that were going to be taken from The Empire Strikes Back. What aesthetic spoke to you about Empire and what shot did you really want to replicate from The Empire Strikes Back?
Rian Johnson: “I think the cinematography in Empire is the most gorgeous of the whole series. I realized we’re going to take visual cues lighting wise and design wise from, the previous movies, but I need to just shoot this movie. So I kind of cut myself loose camera movement wise and shot wise from trying to imitate the past and just try to tell the story as excitingly as I could up on the screen”.
The cast was asked what it meant to them to have a stronger female cast in this movie.
Daisy Ridley: “I think what’s great about everyone is it’s not like she’s a girl, this is a guy, this is anything, everyone’s just, it’s just great characters that happily are falling into broader categories now, so I’m thrilled.”
Kelly Marie Tran: “I think that it feels like both an honor and a responsibility at the same time. I feel like from the beginning when I initially found out I got this role, I just felt like I wanted to do the whole thing justice, and I’m so excited that the girls in this movie kick some butt”.
Laura Dern: “I just want to pay tribute to Rian for being one of the most brilliantly subversive filmmakers I’ve ever been able to bear witness to, and in the case of the look of my character. I was moved by the fact that he really wanted her strength to first lead with a very deep femininity and to see a powerful female character also be feminine is something that moves away from a stereotype that’s sometimes perceived in strong female characters must be like the boys”.
Gwendolyn Christie: “You get to see women that are not being strong just because they’re acting like men. They’re doing something else and also you’re seeing a developed character or at least a developing character, that’s showing some complex character traits. I’m delighted that something as legendary as Star Wars has decided to be modern and to reflect our society more as it is”.
Oscar Issac: “As a guy, I’d like to say that for me the most formative people in my life have been women. So that has shaped my destiny so much and to see that reflected in the film is really, really a beautiful thing. It is truer to real life and what’s happening now”.
Andy Serkis: “Speaking as the leader of the First Order, I would say that Snoke is very unimpressed with the fact that there is such a huge female force that seems to be growing in the universe. It’s deeply threatening, it’s deeply undermining, it’s got to be stopped, it cannot go on, and this we see without giving too much away in this movie”.
Rian Johnson and the cast were asked if there is a lesson that we will be walking out learning from the film and is the theme of meeting your hero and rising to their expectations?
Adam Driver: “Whatever is happening in the movie, obviously where you are in your life, I think, speaks to you in a different way than anybody else, so it’s hard thing to kind of blanketly say. So may potentially nothing is what I’m trying to say”.
Rian Johnson: “The hero’s journey is not about becoming a hero, it’s not about becoming Hercules, it’s about really adolescents, it’s about the transition from childhood into adulthood and finding your place in the world. You have these new powers that you’re feeling inside yourself for the first time, and you don’t know what to do with them. You don’t know who it is you’re going to get help from or who’s going to be unreliable, who’s not. Navigating those very tricky waters that we all have to navigate, that’s why it’s so universal”.
Mark Hamill: “I don’t think any line in the script epitomized my reaction more than this is not going to go the way you think. Rian pushed me out of my comfort zone as if I weren’t as intimidated and terrified, to begin with, but I’m grateful because you have to trust someone and he was the only Obi-Wan available to me”.
I’m so glad someone asked about Han Solo dying in The Force Awakens and how it would impact the characters for The Last Jedi.
John Boyega: “I think we’re just keeping it moving, to be honest with you. I think there hasn’t been a Star Wars movie yet that has explored war in the way The Last Jedi does. It’s very messy, the categorizing of good and evil is all mixed together. Rey’s off training, and I’ve got back injury. I can’t think about Han at the moment”.
Oscar Isaac: “It’s a dire situation, it’s critical. The resistance is on its last legs. You know, they’re trying to survive. First Order’s right on top of us. It is like war, where you go to just keep moving to try to survive, and so you feel I think the momentum of everything that happened in The Force Awakens just pushing and getting to a critical mass in this film”.
Daisy Ridley: “I think this is the beauty of having storylines that are sort of happening in tandem and affecting each other, ‘cause I would say that Rey at least is very much affected by it, and I think Rey as a character has been alone for a really long time and she’s really open to love and friendship. Finn and BB-8 come along, and it’s like this amazing adventure. Then Han, like without trying to, she seeks something from him because there’s an intimacy and there’s a sort of figure of something she’s never dreamed of for her, that gets snatched away. She’s understanding everything’s new to her, so she’s understanding things in a different way. Everything’s moving forward, but she has some time to ask questions and wonder what it is that would have led someone to do something like that and also how that directly affects the world around her because she’s worried about Finn at home. I would say she’s maybe a little more affected, at least emotionally on screen than the others”.
The press event ended with a question about the amazing Carrie Fisher as her role as Princess/General Leia. “hat role did Leia play in your life as a young Star Wars fan”?
Gwendolyn Christie: “She was very significant because I was first shown A New Hope when I was six, and I remember thinking, wow, that character’s really different. It stayed with me throughout my formative years that she’s really interesting, she’s really smart, she’s really funny, she’s courageous, she’s bold, she doesn’t care what people think, and she isn’t prepared to be told what to do. She doesn’t look the same as a sort of homogenized presentation of a woman that we had been used to seeing. So that was really instrumental to me as someone that didn’t feel like they fitted that homogenized view of what a woman was supposed to be, that there was inspiration there, that you could be an individual and celebrate yourself and be successful without giving yourself over, without necessarily making some sort of terrible, huge compromise. So it was a big inspiration for me”.
Laura Dern: “She gave us individually and personally which is to Carrie, who she was so directly and to be without shame, and to share her story, and to expect nothing less from any of us. The privilege of watching how Rian has so beautifully captured all of that and her grace in this amazing, beautiful, pure performance”.
Daisy Ridley: “Carrie bringing up a daughter with Brian, who is all of those qualities and then some, in this world, if that’s what she did, you know, just her being her. I think it speaks volumes to what she did as her in the spotlight and also her as Leia”.
Kelly Marie Tran: “I think that something about Carrie that I really look up to is, and something I didn’t realize until recently, was just how much courage it takes to truly be yourself when you’re on a public platform or when possibly a lot of people will be looking at you. She was so unapologetic and so openly herself, and that is something that I am really trying to do, and it’s hard”.
Being able to sit in front of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi cast and listen to them express their feelings towards the movie is a once in a lifetime experience. I know that their interviews will be embedded in the back of my head while I sit and take in action happening in front of me. I can’t wait to see the movie with my daughter and see the reaction on her face!
Star Wars: The Last Jedi in theaters December 15th
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