Rian Johnson Says Star Wars: The Last Jedi Haters Won’t Change A Thing


Because The Last Jedi is, on paper, the middle chapter in Lucasfilm’s current Star Wars trilogy, writer-director Rian Johnson made a point of challenging his characters – both the old, and the new.

From the world-weary Luke Skywalker to Poe Dameron, the trigger-happy Resistance pilot with more brains than sense, Johnson’s space-faring adventure is a ballsy expansion of the Skywalker Saga, even if a vocal minority say otherwise.

You see, though the critical consensus deemed The Last Jedi to be a meticulously crafted sequel that helps accelerate Lucasfilm’s franchise toward a bright future, one in which the galaxy’s fate rests on the shoulders of Rey, not Luke, the fans said otherwise. With Luke Skywalker ostensibly out of the picture – barring a ghostly cameo in Episode IX – a fair amount of viewers rallied against Disney and, in particular, Rian Johnson for “ruining” the franchise.

Faced with a torrent of criticism from fans annoyed that the film didn’t fit in with their idea of what a Star Wars movie ‘should’ be, the writer/director has been manning the barricades on Twitter ever since and doling out some pretty hilarious responses in the process. This campaign, if that’s what you want to call it, still continues to fester online and while speaking to /Film, Johnson has once again weighed in on how he’s dealing with the haters.

When asked what he thought once the backlash started pouring in, he said:

“The crazy thing is, I had no perspective on these tweets. I had no perspective in terms of how big a group of people this was, even what they were upset about specifically. Over the next few weeks, I was able to contextualize it and feel much better about it. But at the time, I thought, ‘Oh my god, does everybody hate this? Did I totally mess up, was I wrong?’ And I had a very dark hour of the soul…because I had no context for this.”

/Film then asked him if all the criticisms would change the way he’ll be approaching the new Star Wars trilogy that he’s been put in charge of, and he said:

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t even know what that kind of approach would be. You have a way that you tell stories…you just do that. And there’s nothing I’ve read or seen that’s made me think, ‘Oh god, I did kind of mess that up, I would’ve done that differently if I could go back.’ I still genuinely believe in all the decisions I’ve made.”

Despite Johnson’s comments here, there’s no doubt that Lucasfilm has heard the backlash from fans and taken it into account. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be drastically altering their plans for future projects, but the various criticisms lobbied against The Last Jedi might make them think twice before killing off another major character, or trying to be too progressive, or even too funny – or any of the other things that they caught flak for. Or maybe it won’t? Maybe they just don’t care?

After all, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a critical darling and is now closing in on $1.3 billion at the global box office. With that in mind, Johnson must’ve done at least a few things right, and he even told /Film that 95% of the comments he gets are positive. So who knows?

Either way, it’ll certainly be interesting to watch what direction J.J. Abrams heads in with Episode IX. Look for that one to touch down in theaters on December 20, 2019.