Rian Johnson addresses fan backlash against The Last Jedi

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI may be among the best-reviewed movies in the whole saga by critics, but as of now, the movie has the lowest audience score on Rotten Tomatoes in the whole series (excluding CLONE WARS) at 55%. No doubt the low rating is the work of trolls ganging up on the movie, but there are plenty of fans out there who did not like Rian Johnson’s approach to the movie and his attempt to break new ground. Fans have been coming at Johnson heavily on social media but, as a STAR WARS fan himself, Johnson recently came out and said he’s not taking any of it personally.

Anyone who takes on a STAR WARS movie must come to terms with the fact they will indeed face the wrath of fanboys who didn’t get what they want like tweens on Christmas, and during an interview with Business Insider, Johnson spoke about how that’s a reaction he came to expect:

I'm aware through my own experience that, first of all, the fans are so passionate, they care so deeply — sometimes they care very violently at me on Twitter. But it's because they care about these things, and it hurts when you're expecting something specific and you don't get it from something that you love. It always hurts, so I don't take it personally if a fan reacts negatively and lashes out on me on Twitter. That's fine. It's my job to be there for that. Like you said, every fan has a list of stuff they want a "Star Wars" movie to be and they don't want a "Star Wars" movie to be. You're going to find very few fans out there whose lists line up.

Because there are so many fans with their own dream list of stuff they hope happens in the next movie you must step back and realize there’s no way to please everyone. This is why you have to ignore everyone and make the best movie possible because, no matter what, some fans are going to despise you:

And I also know the same way the original movies were personal for Lucas. Lucas never made a "Star Wars" movie by sitting down and thinking, "What do the fans want to see?" And I knew if I wrote wondering what the fans would want, as tempting as that is, it wouldn't work, because people would still be shouting at me, "F--- you, you ruined 'Star Wars,'" and I would make a bad movie. And ultimately, that's the one thing nobody wants.

Anyone who has been on Twitter that last few days has seen countless, hateful tweets aimed at Johnson for “ruining their childhood” by not telling us Rey is the secret lovechild of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia, but Johnson said the responses he’s gotten has actually been mostly positive:

And let me just add that 80-90% of the reaction I've gotten from Twitter has been really lovely. There's been a lot of joy and love from fans. When I talk about the negative stuff, that's not the full picture of the fans at all.

THE LAST JEDI is not without its faults, but Johnson's take was ultimately an epic, emotional breath of fresh air that also happens to be one of the boldest blockbusters I've seen. He didn't care about fan theories or desires and made his movie the best way he thought how. Everyone assumes these movies are afraid to take chances (given the rights are owned by Disney), but THE LAST JEDI proved the contrary, and Johnson should be commended for being brave enough to take the series in such a wildly unexpected direction. Or, we can all just keeping bickering with each other until SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY comes out. 

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is in theaters now!



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