You’d think that after almost two years, the controversy surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Rian Johnson’s bold risks to take the story on a different path would subside, but the director’s new comments prove that we may not be able to move on after all.
To be fair though, no Star Wars movie has been received with unanimous praise or backlash. Ever since the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, the level of involvement from the fans has led to many questions and debates about the creators’ artistic choices. The politically-charged Prequel Trilogy also left a very bad impression by receiving mixed reactions from both critics and fans at the time they were released.
But when Disney took over in 2012, the domain for such debates changed drastically, mostly owing to today’s political landscape. In fact, not all fans despise the Sequel Trilogy out of personal preferences, and many voice their anger by showing resentment towards the diversity presented in these movies. Whether there are too many female characters or people of color, some fans believe that Star Wars should not be used as a device for propaganda.
In a live interview session for Wired, director Rian Johnson and actor Chris Evans sat together to promote their new effort, Knives Out. Rian, in particular, had some strong words to say about people who attacked The Last Jedi because of its diversity.
“If someone’s responding to diversity negatively, f— ’em,” Johnson said, to which Evans nodded affirmatively. “If anyone didn’t like the movie, I’m not saying that’s why they didn’t like it… It wasn’t surprising at all to me, I grew up as a Star Wars fan. And I grew up- I was in my twenties when the prequels came out and this whole idea that it’s all been sunshine and roses and suddenly everybody’s yelling at each other is baffling to me.”
He went on to add Star Wars fans are “the best in the whole world” and that most of his personal interactions on social media are actually positive, even with people who didn’t like the movie.
Of course, Johnson was previously supposed to write and direct his own trilogy, and even though reports suggest Disney may not go ahead with the plan due to the continuous negative backlash, the director’s insistent that he’s still in talks to make more Star Wars flicks. We’ll just have to wait and see if he’s telling the truth or not, though.