Despite an impressive box office run and a staggering 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has proved to not only be one of the most divisive films in the science-fantasy franchise but arguably one of the most controversial movies released this decade.
While many fans see The Last Jedi as a subversive chapter in the ever-evolving series, filled with shocking twists and deeply complex characters, others view it as a betrayal of what they love most about Star Wars; just another victim to an overly progressive culture.
The discourse around the sequel has proved so hot, in fact, that cast members have deleted their social media accounts, petitions have called for the movie’s erasure, and director Rian Johnson has received numerous threats against his life. In the 17 months since The Last Jedi ’s release, conversation amongst the film’s fans and detractors is as lively as ever.
In fact, just recently, Rian John had to take to Twitter to once more defend his decision to kill off Supreme Leader Snoke in the movie’s climax, despite the series taunting him as the Sequel Trilogy’s biggest bad:
Yes absolutely I agree that you should not kill off a villian without explaining their AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH MAHDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK pic.twitter.com/VurFr7ppgO
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 4, 2019
One could easily compare Snoke’s death in The Last Jedi and Emperor Palpatine’s “death” in Return of the Jedi: Both villains are set up as their respective trilogy’s biggest antagonists; Both characters are easily killed by their direct underlings after a climatic throne room speech; and, as Johnson points out in the tweet above, both character’s motivations are shrouded in secrecy, even after their deaths. In fact, the Emperor’s name isn’t even mentioned in the Original Trilogy, but fans had no problem accepting his introduction (with brand new force lighting powers) in the final film at the time.
While it’s rumored that Disney could be planning to cancel Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars trilogy, these rumblings seem unsubstantiated and localized to a specific pit of the Internet actively rooting for Johnson to fail. Just last week, Disney revealed a ton of new release dates for their biggest franchises, including three different unnamed Star Wars film projects. Unless the planned trilogy led by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss shoots in rapid succession, it’s safe to bet that at least one of Johnson’s spinoffs takes a date.
Until we find out more information regarding the future of the franchise though, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promises to wrap up many of the saga’ biggest questions left unanswered by The Last Jedi. Palpatine’s return from the grave has already been confirmed, but are we likely to see Snoke’s revival as well? We’ll have to wait until the film’s release on December 20th to find out.