LOS ANGELES — According to The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, there was no doubt John Boyega (Finn) would make it to L.A. for the world premiere of their new Star Wars film. Even after Boyega tweeted from snow-inundated Atlanta that he needed a pilot (in a cute reference to a line of his from The Force Awakens), Johnson wasn’t worried about Boyega.
“Did he arrive? Is he here?” Johnson asked USA TODAY, looking around on the carpet Saturday night. “I still have faith, I have faith he’s going to make it.”
Why? Well, Johnson needed the star to arrive. So he could “torture him some more,” the director joked.
“I would torture John by (playing) show tunes (on set),” said Johnson. “I would also find songs that John really loved, and I would play the bluegrass versions of them, the banjo covers,” to annoy Boyega.
New Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran joined in on the teasing, too, singing Hamilton songs with Johnson in between takes.
“(We) just loved torturing John,” said Johnson.
So this was good news for The Last Jedi cast: Boyega managed to land in time for the world premiere of The Last Jedi. The star smiled and sped by journalists in a sleek suit, despite missing his luggage as he tweeted.
“I had no doubt this guy would be here tonight,” Johnson said later about Boyega from the Shrine Auditorium stage, as he introduced the returning Star Wars actor. “He knows how to make an entrance.”
Boyegha wasn’t the only actor at the Shrine who has dealt with premiere travel troubles. Joonas Suotamo, the actor who has taken over the role of Chewbacca, had his own difficulties two years ago.
For the 2015 premiere of The Force Awakens, a movie that Suotamo was secretly featured in alongside original Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, “nobody thought of inviting me to the premiere until 24 hours prior,” he told USA TODAY. As a result, Suotamo took a last-minute flight out of Heathrow to L.A. that wound up being canceled because of service issues.
“I think the brakes of the plane (were damaged), to which I said, ‘Let’s just fly and we’ll (land) it manually … I have pretty thick soles on my shoes (to help stop the plane),” Suotamo joked.
Fortunately, no heroics were needed for the Wookiee star to make it to this event.
“We left 24 hours earlier (than last time), to leave room for any breakings of brakes or engines,” he said.