'Star Wars' at D23: A Look Behind the Scenes of 'The Last Jedi,' But No News of Han Solo Film
By John Boone
How do you solve a problem like Han Solo?
Last month, directors Lord and Miller were reportedly fired from the Untitled Han Solo film and replaced by Ron Howard, but during Walt Disney Studios Live Action panel at D23, the company's fan expo, Lucasfilm didn't speak much on the movie, except to say that we'll find out more soon and that president Kathleen Kennedy was MIA, because she is busy working on the film. There was news of Episode VIII, aka The Last Jedi, though!
"It's hard to imagine you could love her more than you already do, but you will really, really appreciate her performance in this film," Alan Horn, Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said of Carrie Fischer's final performance as General Leia.
Director Rian Johnson confirmed he is working on the final mix of the film right now -- as it hits theaters Dec. 15, 2017 -- and welcomed members of his cast to the stage: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Laura Dern, Benicio Del ToroGwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
Here are some select quotes from the cast during the panel:
"Finn's about to have a fight with a formidable opponent," Boyega said, turning onstage to Gwendoline Christie, who plays Captain Phasma, and staring each other down.
"The suit can get quite warm," Christie revealed of her Stormtrooper armor. "I tend to pop a casserole in there and then it's ready for lunch."
Tran, playing a character named Rose Tico, gushed, "I got this golden ticket. I felt like I was Charlie in the Chocolate Factory." She joked that, while on set, she subscribed to the motto, "What would John Boyega do?"
"Why did any of us join Star Wars? It's the dream of our life!" Laura Dern, who plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Hold, said as a photo of her holding a blaster appeared onscreen. Johnson teased Dern for saying "pew" whenever she would shoot the gun, to which she replied, "I didn't remember you didn't have to say the words you said when you were eight."
"There's one more character we can't do The Last Jedi panel without," Johnson said as he welcomed Mark Hamill to the stage. Hamill, who appeared as Luke Skywalker only in the final minutes of The Force Awakens, calls the film a "game changer."
"When I read the script, there were so many unexpected elements, which is great for a Star Wars film," Hamill said. D23 was then treated to this behind-the-scenes featurette:
"It's about family," Carrie Fisher says at the end of the clip. "And that's what's so powerful about it."