1. We know that Rian Johnson will write and direct the eighth installment of Star Wars. But who is Rian Johnson?
2. He’s the coolest person in the world, that’s who.
His name looks like “rain,” but rhymes with “lion.” So cool.
3. His previous work includes three feature films, three episodes of Breaking Bad, and a music video for The Mountain Goats.
4. Brick, his first feature film as writer and director, stars a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is known for its throwback noir-style dialogue.
Brick won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at Sundance in 2005.
5. His next film, 2008’s The Brothers Bloom, is about two con men, starring Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rinko Kikuchi, fresh off her Oscar nomination for Babel.
6. Johnson’s most well-known film is Looper, the 2012 science fiction thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (again), Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Jeff Daniels.
7. He’s down with with audience interactivity: When Looper came out, he released a downloadable commentary track for fans to listen to in theaters.
8. And in that Looper commentary, he revealed that he likes to reference his previous films in subtle ways.
The storm drain symbol used in Brick is spray painted on a similar drain in Looper.
9. He’s really into working with his family.
His cousin, Nathan Johnson, composed the scores for all of his films. Another cousin, Marke Johnson, did graphic design for Looper. Zach Johnson, also a cousin, performed on the soundtrack for Brick and The Brothers Bloom and created an animated trailer for Looper. That’s a lot of Johnsons.
10. He’s even in a band called The Preserves with his cousin Nathan!
Maybe they’ll write a new cantina song.
11. So what can we expect from a Star Wars film with Rian Johnson at the helm?
12. Johnson’s previous work tends to take a relatively lo-fi approach to science fiction.
His levitation effects in Looper involved literally dangling objects on strings. Movie magic!
13. All of his films have featured quick, clever dialogue and doggedly determined antiheroes. His protagonists have also all existed slightly outside of the law.
Basically, he’s going to write the shit out of Han Solo.