A New Behind-The-Scenes Look At ‘The Last Jedi’ Shows Rian Johnson Giddy That His Dream Has Come True

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In its 40 years of existence, the Star Wars franchise has planted seeds of creativity, inspiring kids who grew up on tales of lightsabers and Force powers to be major influencers of the galaxy far, far away. One of those kids was The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who was only four years old when A New Hope released in theaters (back when it wasn’t even called “A New Hope”). Now, he’s guiding Mark Hamill and the next generation of stars through the eighth chapter of the Star Wars saga. It’s enough to make anyone emotional, especially a fan who holds George Lucas’ universe so near and dear.

As we near the release December 17th release date for Episode 8, a new behind-the-scenes mini-documentary by USA Today follows Johnson as he recalls stepping onto the Millennium Falcon for the first time: “I flash back to when I was a kid with the action figures. Suddenly I had a big lump in my throat. This is how it gets you.”

It’s a reminder that the people who are working on The Last Jedi, even with their spats with Luke Skywalker himself, are doing everything they can to have their own creation and vision live up to the impossibly high standards that their imaginations created in their childhoods. “It’s hard to go too long on set without having something remind you you’re standing in the middle of your Kenner toys you grew up with, the spaceships and everything,” Johnson said. “There’s something every hour on the hour that makes you zoom back and think, ‘I’m the luckiest person on the planet right now to be doing this.’ ”

A $215 million opening weekend is also something that children dream of, maybe.

(Via USA Today)