Rian Johnson excited for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson excited for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson is "so excited" for fans to see the finished product of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' when it hits screens this week.

The 43-year-old director helmed the eighth instalment of the popular sci-fi franchise, which is set to be released on Friday (15.12.17), and has admitted he can't contain his excitement at the prospect of being able to watch the finished product alongside legions of fans.

Speaking at the European premiere of the movie at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday (12.12.17), Rian said: "Well, 'Star Wars' fans are the best fans in the world, man. I've been a 'Star Wars' fan my whole life, and I'm so excited to sit down and watch a new 'Star Wars' movie with you guys. I'm talking directly to [the fans] now, I hope you guys enjoy it."

Rian's addition to the movie saw him take over the reigns from J.J. Abrams who had helmed the first instalment of the new trilogy - and seventh movie in the main series - 'The Force Awakens' in 2015.

And the filmmaker has said his first job was to develop the newly introduced characters such as Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, and Finn, played by John Boyega.

He said: "I loved the characters that were created in 'The Force Awakens' so much and these actors who brought them to life, so I just started with them. The job of this movie was to take each one of the characters, draw them forward, and figure out what makes them tick, and figure out what their next step was. And when you have an amazing cast like this, it makes it a joy to write for."

Rian then had room to add in a few new characters - such as DJ (Benicio Del Toro), Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) - whom he says he is "proud" to have had the chance to work with.

Asked if adding in new characters was easy, Rian said: "Yeah, because we had a big cast already in place, there was just room for a couple of new additions, and we got some spectacular ones. Benicio, and Laura, and Kelly, I think they are just amazing new additions to whole 'Star Wars' world, and I'm pretty proud to have worked with them."

The director - who was previously known for helming 2012 movie 'Looper' - had the best time on set, and says his time with the franchise has been an "amazing experience".

He said: "Every single day there was something that made me think 'Oh my god, I can't believe I'm here'. But I'll tell you the best part, at the end of the day the best part was getting to work with these actors. And just this amazing experience of working on this movie and all the folks I got to meet, all the new folks I got to become friends with. That was the best thing about it."