Rian Johnson is the director of The Last Jedi, which has proven to be one of the most divisive entries in the Star Wars universe yet.
Johnson is supposedly still working on his own Star Wars trilogy separate from the Skywalker Saga, but it is unknown how this will fit into Lucasfilm's upcoming slate of films. It is also unclear whether Johnson's Knives Out sequel could affect the project's development, after the critical and commercial success of the first film.
Rian Johnson is clearly a big Star Wars fan and has gone on to elaborate on this in the behind-the-scenes documentary The Director and The Jedi. The director has now given some of his thoughts on an area of Star Wars that he did not necessarily grow up with...
Lucas made a gorgeous 7 hour long movie for children about how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists, and did it while spearheading nearly every technical sea change in modern filmmaking of the past 30 years.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 29, 2020
WHAT THIS MEANS
Rian Johnson has clear respect for the prequels and the themes that those films tackled, particularly the way in which the Jedi and their beliefs are unable to prevent Anakin from being turned. This is something that was acknowledged in The Last Jedi, when Luke Skywalker criticises the actions of the Jedi Order under the rule of the Republic:
"Now that they're extinct, the Jedi are romanticized, deified. But if your strip away the myth and look at their deeds, the legacy of the Jedi is failure. Hypocrisy, hubris...At the height of their powers, they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader."
While the prequels have had few references in the way of returning characters, the concepts and themes laid out by Lucas fueled Luke Skywalker's motivations within the film.
Johnson also addresses the monumental technical advancements that George Lucas paved the way for. The original trilogy set a high bar through its use of groundbreaking practical and special effects, and the prequels' heavy use of CGI has influenced blockbusters to follow suit and build upon this foundation ever since.
Because of this, the Knives Out director feels compelled to give Lucas his fair credit in crafting such thematically resonant films and shaping the technical landscape of the film industry.