Home Entertainment Rian Johnson explains why he made those bold decisions in The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson explains why he made those bold decisions in The Last Jedi

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Thanks to the internet, we’ve come to realise just how fickle fans can be about franchises they are passionate about. No franchise more so than Star Wars, as its legacy has just continued to build over the more than 40 years of its existence. Perhaps a reason why almost every time a new move is made, there are many criticisms that it’s just not like the original trilogy was and has lost the plot. Headcanon is a weird thing.

The point is though that part of what made that first trilogy of films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi) so special is that they actually broke conventional storytelling moulds of their time and took cinema into a new and unexpected direction. So, for future movies to honour this direction should they just keep telling the story the way it has always been or capture that spirit and try something new?

That was the dilemma that Rian Johnson was faced with when he directed The Last Jedi, arguably the most maligned and criticised Star Wars film, where he made the decision to break with many Star Wars conceptions and try to be bold in taking it in a new direction, as he shared in a recent podcast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

I think the instant you start thinking in terms of how do you not step outside of the bounds of what the original movies did, you’re not thinking the way the people who made the original movies did. They were with every movie, they were pushing it forward, with every movie they were stepping outside those bounds and pushing the characters into new, emotionally honest, but surprising places. That’s why those movies are great. That’s why they’re alive. If they had been looking at something that came before it and saying, ‘Oh, we better not do this because that is outside of this or that,’ it would’ve been different.

It’s a concept which I can connect with in what Johnson tried to do with his Star Wars film, though I do feel like he did overdo it a little by trying to deliberately break fan expectations. He broke a lot of what JJ Abrams popular The Force Awakens had been building towards. (It was also ruined by some pointless casino diversions too).

I do feel though that Johnson has the right idea, and though his movie served as a poor sequel to The Force Awakens, it was still a great Star Wars movie – just one that should’ve perhaps been shaped with characters that people weren’t already very attached to. It does give me hope though that whenever we do get to see the trilogy of films he is working on, that he can not just create a great Star Wars experience, but one that pushes the boundaries and expectations of the franchise too.

Last Updated: August 23, 2019

20 Comments

  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 23, 2019 at 10:16

    It’s not what you did, it’s how you did it.
    https://media.giphy.com/media/65os7odbIW6pa/giphy.gif

    Reply

  2. Stoompot

    August 23, 2019 at 10:52

    Johnson rubbed his johnson all over the Star Wars franchise. One could almost hear the blap blap

    Reply

    • Dr Webster Flexington

      August 23, 2019 at 13:28

      He subverted expectations to such a degree that former fans absolutely hate the franchise. I mean that has to net him an award or a badge or even a tiny trophy.

      Reply

  3. Dr Webster Flexington

    August 23, 2019 at 13:28

    It was certainly “something”. Is this part of Disney’s damage control to get bums in seats for episode Jar Jar later this year? I don’t think it’s very effective.

    Reply

  4. Admiral Chief Umbra

    August 23, 2019 at 10:31

    I have a New Hope for the next movie

    Reply

  5. Raptor Rants

    August 23, 2019 at 12:41

    Unpopular opinion: The movie was great and I enjoyed it.

    Reply

    • Gareth Lagesse (eXCheez)

      August 23, 2019 at 12:48

      Yours is actually the popular opinion. Unfortunately it’s the vocal internet that creates the otherwise impression.

      Reply

      • Dr Webster Flexington

        August 23, 2019 at 13:28

        Then why aren’t people going to Disney’s Galaxy’s edge, and why aren’t the toys selling? If Star Wars was still healthy, none of what I said earlier should apply.

        Reply

        • Gareth Lagesse (eXCheez)

          August 23, 2019 at 13:36

          We’re talking about two different things now. I have no interest in amusement parks, yet quite enjoyed the movie.

          Reply

          • Dr Webster Flexington

            August 23, 2019 at 13:42

            Is it really two different things? The reason theme parks and toys exist is because fans of a movie or a game indulge in them precisely because they enjoyed the movies or game. If those fans no longer buy the toys or go to the theme parks, surely that means that the movie (or even the franchise) no longer resonate with them.

            I’ll make a concession on the theme parks, because you could argue that the reason people aren’t going to them is because the whole experience have become so monumentally expensive, but when toys aren’t selling, it means kids aren’t interested. And if kids aren’t interested, that’s bad…

          • Dr Webster Flexington

            August 23, 2019 at 13:52

            You could argue, the toys aren’t selling because kids don’t like the characters or don’t find them appealing. Why would that be? Surely it can’t be because the movie(s) just didn’t do their job? It didn’t create new fans and nor did it satisfy old fans – not even the collectors are buying the toys. That’s utterly amazing.

          • Gareth Lagesse (eXCheez)

            August 23, 2019 at 13:52

            Yet, I quite enjoyed the movie.

          • Dr Webster Flexington

            August 23, 2019 at 13:52

            And that’s fine. We can hate or love what others enjoy or dislike, but your point was that your opinion was actually the popular one. All I’ve done is to show that that’s not the case.

      • Raptor Rants

        August 23, 2019 at 15:00

        I’m not alone! WOOOOOOOOO

        Reply

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