Rian Johnson didn’t know Rise of Skywalker plans while making The Last Jedi

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

If you were a major studio planning a sequel trilogy to one of the biggest franchises of all-time, you would think that you would have things mapped out from film to film. Marvel has found great success by connecting their dots well enough to make sure storylines flow from project to project as they expand on their cinematic universe and I would think that would be the same case for Star Wars. Director Rian Johnson still gets a lot of criticism for his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it seems as if he was given widespread creative freedom to do what he wanted with his installment. The same freedom was also given to J.J. Abrams on The Force Awakens and this could be why there seems to be a lack of a cohesive strategy in regards to the sequel trilogy. Johnson seems to give more credibility to that notion during a recent interview with author Sariah Wilson when he reveals that he did not know what the plan was for the installment after The Last Jedi.

During the interview, Johnson was asked about one plot point in particular that Wilson wanted clarity on. (SPOILERS AHEAD JUST IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE RISE OF SKYWALKER). Wilson asked Johnson if he knew Ben Solo (Adam Driver) was going to die in Star Wars 9 when he was developing The Last Jedi. Johnson gave her the simple answer of "No, I did not" and once he could see that Wilson let out a sigh of frustration, Johnson elaborated further by explaining there was more of a full hand-off between 7 and 8, just as it was from 8 to 9. Meaning that each director working on their respective installment seemed solely focused on their project and wasn't exactly given a plan that would span across the three films. Johnson goes on by saying he did his best to give the filmmakers of the next installment multiple directions they could go in the following film. You can check out Wilson's Tweet below where she details her exchange with Johnson:

To be fair to Johnson, and even to Abrams, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were both well-received critically when they were released. The latter became the target of a lot of hardcore Star Wars fans because of the choices that Johnson made but perhaps the producers should have had a more cohesive plan in place film to film to guide him. Johnson used the creative freedom they gave him and he tackled a direction that may have worked for some and didn't work for many but, at the end of the day, producers could've controlled that narrative a bit more if there was more of a plan in place. The sequel trilogy didn't see negative critical reviews until The Rise of Skywalker and that was mostly because it felt like a rush job with underdeveloped narrative threads. Can you make things up as you go along and find success? Absolutely! According to some involved with the original trilogy that seemed to be a common practice and that turned out fine but I think most would agree that when you have a vast universe like this with so many characters to juggle, it might be best to outline the big picture and not just the installment at hand.

Do YOU think there should have been a more cohesive plan in place while making the Star Wars sequel trilogy?

Source: Twitter

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