The wait’s almost over! The sequel to to JJ Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens will premiere on December 15th, 2017. The second in the new trilogy is Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The story is said to continue where the last movie left off – on the planet of Ahch-To where the mysterious scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) is presenting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) with the lightsaber that once belonged to him.

In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as age-old mysteries of the Force are unlocked, as well as shocking revelations of the past are revealed. That’s why they haven’t show the journalists the movie yet!

The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson, and along with Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley stars the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, John Boyega as Finn and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega were part of press conference for the film which was held in Los Angeles last week.

How does this movie feel different from The Force Awakens?

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Finn (John Boyega) battling Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd

John Boyega: I feel like JJ had a blueprint, a foundation of Force Awakens that was pretty good. Now it’s about moving forward with the story and just challenging the characters.

All the characters are under intense pressure, and so it’s a time which everyone has their own specific reckoning. (There’s) a lot going on. I’ve only watched it once and I want to watch it again, because of the amount of information and Easter eggs in there as well.

Daisy Ridley: People responded well to John and I as a team. I was a bit nervous about not being a team so much in this one. So I think for me personally it was a challenge. We’re in different situations, we’re with different people that we are learning about, we’re meeting for the first time, so yeah, it felt pretty different for me.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey, Daisy Ridley
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rey (Daisy Ridley) ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd

There are way more female characters in this move. That’s going to mean a lot to little girls. I want to know what it means to you?

Daisy: As a girl growing up in London, obviously I knew there was a disparity in films. But I wasn’t so aware of it growing up in a liberal household. So when I got involved I didn’t know it was a big deal. But the response was so beyond anything I could have imagined. It’s not like I ever took it for granted, but the response was just so monumental.

What’s great about everyone is it’s not like she’s a girl, this is a guy. (They’re) just great characters that happily are falling into broader categories now, so I’m thrilled. Yeah.

John, when did you feel you transitioned from fan to an actor in the Star Wars movies?

John: I’m still trying to get over it. I can’t lie.

It was about two years between (filming) Force Awakens before we started on Last Jedi. We went on to do other stuff, and then when you come back it just feels like you’re back in school, and it’s fun.

Every day was a new set. The practical effects I think doubled in this movie. The sets were bigger and it’s always exciting and amazing, but you still feel an intimacy when you’re doing these scenes. (It’s like an independent film) with a big ass budget.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd, photo David James

Obviously the death of Han Solo was a huge moment in The Force Awakens. How impactful is that, without giving anything away, to your characters?

John: I think we’re just keeping it moving, to be honest with you. It’s true, the pressure’s on, there’s no time.

I think the one thing that’s unique to me about watching this movie was just the commentary on war. I think there hasn’t been a Star Wars movie yet that has explored war in the way The Last Jedi does. It’s very messy. The categorizing of good and evil is all mixed together.

So in terms of Han, I’m sure we all feel sentimental, if someone was to sit Finn or Rey down. But Rey’s off training, she’s got stuff to do. I’ve got a back injury. I’ve got stuff to do. I can’t think about Han at the moment. He died.

Daisy: I will interject there. I would say that Rey at least is very much affected by it. Rey, as a character, has been alone for a really long time and she’s really open to love and friendship. So Finn and BB-8 come along and it’s like this amazing adventure. She seeks something from Han because there’s an intimacy and there’s a sort of figure of something she’s never dreamed of for her. And that gets snatched away. She’s understanding everything’s new to her.

Everything’s moving forward but Rey has some time to ask questions and wonder what it is that would have led someone to do something like that, and also how that directly affects the world around her. And she’s worried about Finn at home, so I would say she’s maybe a little more affected, at least emotionally on screen, than the others.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey, Daisy Ridley
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rey (Daisy Ridley) ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd

Any final thoughts on the movie?

Daisy: I think you really follow the story because you’re with every character. Everything you need to see is happening on screen. People asking questions on screen, they’re getting answers on screen, they’re having their adventure on screen.

So you’re with everyone every step of the way. And I think it makes for compassionate viewing, because you’re really understanding both sides, why people are doing the things they’re doing; how it’s being fed from everywhere and how things collide and the consequences of people’s actions, how they’re directly affecting other people.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.