"" is heading to a darker, more intimate place when it premieres this month, the film's cast and director said Sunday.
Director Rian Johnson and the stars of Episode VIII offered hints at a press event in Los Angeles that took place after the cast had a chance to see the final cut of the movie. Johnson in particular emphasized his plan to dive deeper into the story that kicked off with 2015's "The Force Awakens."
"I think we've been kind of trained to expect it will be a little darker and obviously it looks a little darker. We're going to go to some intense places in the movie but I hope also it's fun," Johnson said.
Johnson added that "The Last Jedi" will also keep a bigger focus on the perspectives of lead characters like Luke Skywalker and Rey (Daisy Ridley), with less time covering the story from the perspectives of droids C-3PO and R2-D2 as has been the case in previous Star Wars trilogies.
And when asked if we'll see Ewoks, Johnson joked, "It'll depend what drugs you take before you see the movie."
(who plays Supreme Leader Snoke) said he was blown away by what came together.
"I was so caught up with it not least because it was really intimate and very emotional and I wasn't expecting that at all. It's very very powerful, and it touches you," Serkis said. "What Rian's done incredibly is make this dance tonally, between these great epic moments, and hilarious antics, literally flipping on a dime and then going right into the heart of these beautiful characters and you really care."
Mark Hamill, who returns as Luke Skywalker, said that Johnson really pushed him out of his comfort zone for this movie.
"My line in the script that epitomized my reaction more than anything, 'This is not going to go the way you think,'" Hamill said.
Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, notes that his character and First Order General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) have a rivalry to be explored and that Johnson slows down the story to show some of their "bitchy infighting."
"The Last Jedi" continues the adventures of Rey, Finn and Poe (Oscar Isaac), who are now fighting alongside Luke Skywalker and General Leia. Once again they battle Kylo Ren and the villainous First Order, complete with loads of lightsaber duels and space battles.
Other returning characters include John Boyega as Finn and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma. With the help of CGI, Lupita Nyong'o plays Maz Kanata. The film also features the final performance from the late Carrie Fisher.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will be in theaters around the world on Dec. 14.
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