The May 2017 Vanity Fair cover story on The Last Jedi includes this:
But Johnson, in drawing up his screenplay, decided to raise the stakes further. ‘I started by writing the names of each of the characters,’ he said, ‘and thinking, What’s the hardest thing they could be faced with?’
I think it’s fair to assume that he didn’t need to think too deeply about that question for certain characters – Threepio, Maz Kanata, Phasma, Snoke, DJ, Hux, Holdo, or Yoda. But I certainly believe he entertained that question, and deeply, for Luke, Leia, Rey, Kylo/Ben, Finn, Poe, and Rose. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about what The Last Jedi tells us about Rian’s answers to that big question for each character. We’ll also talk about how The Empire Strikes Back, whether we knew it or not, was doing the same thing to Leia, Luke, and Han all those years ago. Punch it!