5 years ago now, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released and divided the franchise’s fanbase into a rift that’s still present today. But if you ask director Rian Johnson about it, he’s even happier with how the final product turned out.
Johnson’s words on The Last Jedi 5 years after its release are definitely in line with what the film was going for. It’s a film that’s very much trying to juggle the expectations of an action spectacle with themes of looking to the future rather than being stuck in the past that ultimately ends on a hopeful note for said future. The way it gets there was not to many peoples’ tastes, but the film’s intent was to try and push the franchise forward while also embracing the elements that many people love about it.
“I’m even more proud of it five years on,…. “When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball.” The film, he says, is not just a Star Wars movie – it’s a movie about Star Wars, and what it means to fans (himself included). “I think it’s impossible for any of us to approach Star Wars without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with, and how that myth, that story, baked itself into us and affected us,” Johnson explains. “The ultimate intent was not to strip away – the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth. And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”Rian Johnson
Whereas many SW fans have accused Johnson of not understanding the franchise or what it means to those who cherish it, it’s clear here that he too holds it in a special place within his heart. However, his films have always tried to subvert the audience’s expectations, whether it be the sci-fi action film Looper or the comedic whodunnit Knives Out. This desire to subvert expectations is on full display in The Last Jedi, with Johnson presenting Luke Skywalker as a disillusioned hermit rather than the noble hero we saw at the end of Return of The Jedi, the defeats of both Captain Phasma and Snoke during the film’s final act, and the revelation (at that time anyway) that Rey’s parents weren’t individuals of great note as far as the wider franchise was concerned.
More People Love The Last Jedi Than You Might Think
To be clear, there are many people who adore The Last Jedi for its thematic ambition and subversive twists. Just log onto Twitter at any hour of any day and you’ll find someone discussing their adoration for it. You’ll find just as many people who felt the complete opposite and have continued to dismiss its existence (with even some suggesting it be de-canonized entirely). This divisive reaction among fans reached such levels that The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams was brought back to direct The Rise of Skywalker, which walked back on many elements established in The Last Jedi in an effort to appease the fans who disliked it. This led to a mixed-largely negative reception from both camps, doubled when it was also meant to cap off The Skywalker Saga onscreen.
Since then, the franchise has seen far greater success on the television front, with each series dominating online conversation during its week-to-week airings. Regardless, it’s nice to know that Johnson still takes pride in his work on the franchise even if some of its fans don’t. It’s one of the three absolutes: Death, taxes, and Last Jedi discourse. Whether you’re a fan of the film or not, May The Force Be With You All.
What do you think of Rian Johnson’s Last Jedi analysis 5 years on? Do you enjoy The Last Jedi? Would you see the long-rumored Rian Johnson trilogy if it ever comes to pass? What’s your favorite Star Wars film and/or TV show? Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter. Make sure to follow us so you don’t miss more content like this, we’re always watching.