Rian Johnson Says ‘The Last Jedi’ Reaction Not Influencing His Approach to New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

     March 23, 2018

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Fan reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi was loud, that’s for sure. With a worldwide gross of $1.3 billion, the Force Awakens sequel was seen by a lot of people, but if you went on social media there was a heated divide between some fans—those who loved writer/director Rian Johnson’s bold new direction for the franchise, and those who hated it. Regardless of how you feel about the film, Johnson isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had such a positive experience with the filmmaker on The Last Jedi that she signed him to create a brand new Star Wars trilogy with new characters and a new setting, and he’s hard at work crafting that three-film arc right now.

This new trilogy was announced before The Last Jedi hit theaters, but now that fans have seen the sequel some are (wrongly) less than enthused about the prospect of Johnson sticking around the Star Wars franchise for even longer. But if those same people are holding out hope that maybe Johnson will take into account some of the more vocal fan criticisms of The Last Jedi when crafting this new trilogy, that ain’t gonna happen.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Speaking with Fandango’s Erik Davis at SXSW where the incredible making of documentary The Director and the Jedi premiered, Johnson said he’s not taking into account fan criticisms over The Last Jedi for his new trilogy:

“No, not really. I feel like every Star Wars thing that ever gets made has a big, loud response because Star Wars fans are passionate and that’s what makes them awesome. But no, and I don’t think it’s possible—if you’re really telling a story you care about and having it come from your heart, it’s just not possible to be intellectually processing what everyone else wants. Nor would it be a good thing, a healthy thing. I don’t think that’s a good way to tell a story.”

He’s not wrong. If a director tried to please everyone, they’d end up pleasing no one. Johnson is and has always been a unique filmmaker in his own right with a strong handle on the stories he wants to tell, so if you look back on his filmography it wouldn’t make sense for the guy to suddenly be soliciting story ideas from the general public.

As someone who loved the direction Johnson took The Last Jedi, and the care with which he did so, I can’t wait to see what he brings to a brand new Star Wars story not tied to the Skywalker saga. Watch the full interview below.

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