Kevin Smith Explains Why There’s So Much Hate For Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Spare a thought for Rian Johnson.

For two long years, the writer-director was placed in control of The Last Jedi, during which time he was forced to walk on eggshells in order to shield the story of his Star Wars sequel from the prying eyes of the public.

Against all odds, Johnson managed to achieve the impossible, as most, if not all of The Last Jedi‘s major twists (see: Luke’s Force projection and subsequent death, Rey’s parentage, Leia’s spaceflight) remained under wraps. His secret? Unplugging from the Internet and using that time to work on the film’s script in isolation. That doesn’t mean that everything went over well with the fans, however, and ever since its release, the pic has inspired some heated debate online.

Of course, one of the biggest things people have taken issue with is the aforementioned death of Luke. Actually, it’s really the whole portrayal of the iconic character that isn’t sitting well with viewers, and that’s something Kevin Smith recently touched on when trying to explain why The Last Jedi has become so divisive.

Speaking on his Fat Man on Batman podcast, Smith said:

“I think at the end of the day audience expectation plays into it. Like when, you know, you’re like ‘alright the next movie is going to be all about Luke and I’ve seen Luke in the trailer and I know exactly who Luke Skywalker is and now he looks like Obi-Wan so he’s going to be like this version of Obi-Wan,’ and then they give you a version of Luke that even Mark Hamill reportedly was like ‘I don’t know, is this really supposed to be Luke Skywalker? He’s not the one I remember.’

Some people, it hit them the wrong way in a big way. I’ve seen, it’s not just people going like, ‘oh, I didn’t like it,’ when they don’t like it. It’s vitriolic, as if somebody f–cked up their childhood.”

Continuing on, the director/writer also noted that The Force Awakens was better received because, among other reasons, it had the benefit of having a “nostalgia rush” to it.

“With Force Awakens you get the nostalgia rush, like, maybe we weren’t as judgy about that movie as people are being about Last Jedi because like we’re going to give you, we’re going to make three Star Wars movies, here’s the first one and there ain’t a hint of Jar Jar in it, enjoy and so the audience is ‘oh god it’s f–cking back’ and now that they’ve had that moment the next one had a tall order because you lose the joy of surprise and like your childhood is back and sh-t and now you just have to tell a real story.”

Smith makes some valid points here, especially with the stuff about Luke, but even despite how much debate it’s inspiring at the moment, we’re confident that one day, The Last Jedi is going to be considered in the same breath as The Empire Strikes Back as the very pinnacle of Star Wars quality, and the note-perfect send off to Hamill’s character is a huge part of that. It might be a long shot, but we’re also hopeful that the actor’s faith in Rian Johnson is rewarded with at least a couple of nods come awards season. He gave a tremendous performance in the film and deserves to be recognized for it.

Even if he isn’t, though, no one can deny that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a meticulously crafted sequel that helps accelerate Lucasfilm’s franchise toward a bright future, one in which the galaxy’s fate now rests on the shoulders of Rey, not Hamill’s Jedi Master.

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