Filmmaker Rian Johnson staged a surprise meet-and-greet for fans lining up early to attend Friday’s (14Apr17) The Last Jedi presentation at the Star Wars Celebration in Florida.
The film’s writer/director decided to forgo a good sleep before the Friday morning unveiling of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer to personally thank fans for their support as they patiently waited to be among the first allowed into the event.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Rian made sure devotees were well aware of his unexpected visit by using a bullhorn to introduce himself, urging the thousands of attendees not to crowd around him as he vowed to make his way down the entire line.
“Just stay where you’re at!” he said, according to video footage of the special appearance. “I promise to come to you. I’m psyched to meet you guys. You guys are hardcore.”
He was joined by his longtime producer, Ram Bergman, as they spent Thursday night (13Apr17) mingling with fans, which continued well into the early hours of Friday as Rian signed autographs, shook hands, and posed for pictures along the way.
His visit was well-received by devotees, who took to social media to share their appreciation.
“At Star Wars Celebration and @rianjohnson has been here the past hour going down the line signing autographs and meeting EVERYBODYYYYY (sic),” wrote one fan, while another posted, “What a great guy! @rianjohnson giving signatures and selfies to all the fans at #SWCO (Star Wars Celebration Orlando)”.
Johnson was back in the building on Friday morning as he appeared at a panel for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, during which attendees were treated to the first teaser footage for The Force Awakens sequel.
The Last Jedi, starring returning actors Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and the late Carrie Fisher, is set for release in December (17).