Director of ‘The Last Jedi’ grew up in Denver as ‘Star Wars’ fan

DENVER -- The movie magic in the latest "Star Wars" film might have gotten its start in a backyard in Denver.

Rian Johnson, director of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," grew up in Colorado. He attended Dry Creek Elementary School in Englewood.

Part of his early exposure to "Star Wars" happened in the Mile High City. When "Return of the Jedi" came out in 1983, Johnson saw it at the Continental theater in Denver.

As a child playing in backyards of Denver, Johnson said he would invent Star Wars movies in his head while playing with toys.

Looking back on his childhood, Johnson said he misses the mountains.

"We would go skiing. We would take the family up to Beaver Creek," he said. "A lot of my family is still back in Denver, so I go back there quite a lot."

The highly anticipated "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opens on Thursday.

Watch Channel 2 News all week for Colorado-exclusive interviews with the cast, a spoiler-free review from Chris Parente, and live coverage on opening night.