Fans have been skeptical of Disney ever since the multimedia conglomerate acquired the rights to Star Wars in 2012. While the Sequel Trilogy has been hugely successful in theaters, the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the final nail in the coffin of distrust and hate that eventually spiraled out of control.
The House of Mouse tried to win back the hearts of fans by focusing on all-new original content in the form of The Mandalorian and a new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show is also something that folks have wanted for a long time. But are these enough to wash off the stain of TLJ?
When The Last Jedi came out, critics praised the film for its boldness and complex psychological themes, but many fans believed the movie strayed too far from what Star Wars should be about. A great deal of this negative backlash was focused on Rian Johnson who both wrote and directed the pic. Even to this day, there are people who harass the director on social media platforms as a way of venting their anger.
After firing back at haters who dismissed the movie because of its diversity, Rian has now opened up about his own feelings on how the fans received his sequel.
Appearing on the ReelBlend podcast, Johnson addressed the backlash and how it changed his mindset towards online culture.
“In terms of the bad stuff, I’ll tell you it’s interesting. That’s been one of the really healthy things for me about the past couple of years, is getting exposed to it,” He said. “Before I made The Last Jedi, I had never had anyone hate me on the internet. If during the course of a year I got one negative tweet I would go into a panic. I’d be like ‘Oh my god, someone out there doesn’t like me. I need to fix this!’ The thing is though, I am really really thankful. Because what that meant is that my sense of self-worth was attached to the notion of everybody liking me online. And the fact that this process has made me, out of survival, disconnect from that.”
The filmmaker went on to say that you can also find genuine and great interaction on social media, and once you’re used to the ‘systemic trolling,’ it gets boring and insignificant.
In spite of all his shortcomings, Johnson was bold with The Last Jedi and largely successful, so much that it’s inspired J.J. Abrams to also take risks with the last movie in the Skywalker Saga – Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – which will hit theaters in less than a month, on December 20th.