Leading up to December 15th, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was described as many things – the Empire-esque continuation of The Force Awakens, for instance, while others viewed The Last Jedi as Carrie Fisher’s swan song, plain and simple.
But if there’s one word we didn’t expect Star Wars: The Last Jedi to become associated with, it’s ‘divisive.’ At the time of writing, its Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes is hovering precariously at 49 percent – a far cry from the 91 percent Tomatometer Score (and ‘certified fresh’ accolade) that’s based on 358 reviews.
However, like it or lump it, the Lucasfilm sequel continues to rake in the box office cash, and recently passed $600 million domestic – becoming only the sixth film to do so, after The Force Awakens, Avatar, Titanic, Jurassic World and The Avengers. It is a success, then, and while appearing on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Joe and Anthony Russo shared their own thoughts on The Last Jedi, beginning with Joe.
We love Rian Johnson as a filmmaker. When we heard he was gonna make that film, we sent an email to Disney saying, you couldn’t ask for a better creator as a Star Wars fan. It’s interesting because he’s a brilliant filmmaker, and the response has been really fascinating. [These fans] are tough, can’t please them all.
As for the vocal backlash, Anthony Russo is of the belief that one’s enjoyment of Star Wars: The Last Jedi can hinge on age, as Rian Johnson’s sequel serves up that sense of wonder and discovery that few other franchises can replicate.
It depends, though, on your age too. I watched the movie with my 11-year-old daughter who is very into serialized storytelling and novels primarily, but she loves the bigger story. And she was just thrilled throughout the movie, making connections to the larger Star Wars universe. And just to sit next to her and see that sense of discovery and excitement in her was an amazing experience.
Last and certainly not least, Joe Russo admitted that while Rian Johnson “took a lot of risks,” creative speaking, he believes The Last Jedi propelled Star Wars forward with a sense of confidence, as Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams begin drafting up the so-far untitled Episode IX.
I think the fault line is between new fans and old fans, seems to be where it’s lining up. When you’re dealing with a character like Luke Skywalker, historically may be the most famous and potentially popular character in the history of movies… he took a lot of risks with the film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is approaching the end of its theatrical run – and what a theatrical run it’s been. It’s currently simmering just below $1.3 billion worldwide, which is a milestone Avengers: Infinity War will hope to emulate on May 4th.