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J.J. Abrahams, director of the the Force Awakens and producer of the Last Jedi, speaking to the New York Daily Post at the Oscar Wilde awards in Los Angeles, Abrahams said: “I think we are all going to be very upset if he does not win an Oscar, and no one more upset than Mark.”

Star Wars New Net announced that the first time we will see any Last Jedi footage or behind-the-scenes clips will be in April at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. That’s April 13-16.

The writer and director this time is Rian Johnson. He was at the helm of Looper, The Brothers Bloom and Brick. He directed three episodes of Breaking Bad.
Director: Rian Johnson
Writers: Rian Johnson (screenplay), George Lucas (characters)
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill

In an interview with USA Today on Jan 9, 2017, Johnson said we’d learn more about the new heroes Rey, Poe and Finn.

“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory,” he said. “Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

He also said we’ll see more about the relationship between Luke and Rey. Luke is apparently the “emotional entry point” into the film and we’ll learn “what’s going on with Luke Skywalker”.

star wars viii
Mark Hamill, Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson, Peter Mayhew, Prince Harry Windsor, Prince William, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley