As of late October, almost no one has seen it yet, but Johnson seems eerily free of apprehension about its prospects. He exuded a similar calm on set, according to Adam Driver, who plays Han and Leia’s Darth Vader-worshipping prodigal son, Kylo Ren. “If I had that job, I would be stressed out,” he says. “To pick up where someone left off and carry it forward, but also introduce a vocabulary that hasn’t been seen in a Star Wars movie before, is a tall order and really hard to get right. He’s incredibly smart and doesn’t feel the need to let everyone know it.” (“It felt like we were playing the whole time,” says Kelly Marie Tran, cast as the biggest new character, Rose Tico.)
A few weeks after we talk, Lucasfilm announces that Johnson signed on to make three more Star Wars films in the coming decade, the first that step outside of the prevailing Skywalker saga, indicating that Disney and Lucasfilm matriarch Kathleen Kennedy are more than delighted with Last Jedi.