While Star Wars' sequel trilogy saw its fair share of controversy, almost nothing was more divisive than 2017's Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson. With Johnson taking over from J.J. Abrams after Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the second movie in this trilogy incited some of the most heated debates about any Star Wars project to date, both positively and negatively.
Even though the movie performed well from a financial standpoint, reception to this movie came in with everything from "amazing" to "an absolute train wreck." While it's unclear if his work on The Last Jedi is to blame, Johnson's planned Star Wars trilogy remains in a state of flux, leading to even more questions from fans about why this movie earned that kind of reception.
Abrams even admitted that Star Wars didn't necessarily have a solid plan for the trilogy from the get-go, which takes at least some of the blame off of Johnson for how his work on The Last Jedi turned out. Now, for the first time since its release, fans may be in for some deeper information on what actually happened with the most controversial Star Wars release of the millennium.
Rian Johnson Teases Last Jedi Deep Dive
On the cover of the latest edition of Empire Magazine, the outlet notes that it will feature a story on director Rian Johnson revisiting his work on Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. While no details from the story are confirmed yet, this will be the first time Johnson has taken this deep of a look into his movie since its release in December 2017, while also looking back at the rest of his career to date.
In a separate interview with Cinema Blend, via IGN, Johnson looked back at how he took the negative reception to The Last Jedi, noting how he would often worry about negative social media posts in the past:
“In terms of the bad stuff, I’ll tell you, it’s interesting. That’s been one of the really healthy things for me about the past couple of years, is getting exposed to it. Before I made The Last Jedi, I had never had anyone hate me on the internet. If during the course of a year I got one negative tweet I would go into a panic. I’d be like ‘Oh my god, someone out there doesn’t like me. I need to fix this!’"
Even with the negativity, though, he remains thankful after being able to adjust his way of thinking about how people see him through his work. He's noticed the patterns of how people devote their efforts to trolling and online abuse, but he also loves the "great, genuine interaction" that happens too:
“The thing is though, I am really, really thankful. Because what that meant is that my sense of self-worth was attached to the notion of everybody liking me online. And the fact that this process has made me, out of survival, disconnect from that. It’s given me a more realistic view of the system that is social media. There’s a lot of great, genuine interaction that goes on. The bad stuff, the systematic trolling, the almost gamified abuse that some people devote their entire online presence to; honestly, once you’ve seen enough of it, you see the pattern of it. It just sort of gets boring after a while."
Johnson confirmed that it doesn't affect him whatsoever anymore, as his experience with The Last Jedi made him "adjust to social media" and tackle it in "a healthier way:"
“It doesn’t even give me that little negative ping anymore. And I don’t think it’s even my skin growing tough. It’s just I’ve put in perspective. I realize this is kind of a byproduct of this social Twitter system. There’s going to be some degree of people where this is their hobby, basically. So overall I found it made me adjust to social media where I’m seeing it and using it in a healthier way.”
What Will Johnson Share About Star Wars?
It's going on nearly five years since The Last Jedi made its run in theaters, where it actually earned $1.3 billion at the box office, becoming one of the 20 highest-grossing movies ever. But considering how divisive the reception to the movie was, fans will be curious to hear exactly what Johnson has to say about the experience once the interview is released.
At the moment, it's unclear how much detail he will go into looking back at the movie, whether it be on the filmmaking process itself or his time working with Disney and Lucasfilm. He may even comment on the status of his originally planned trilogy, especially with barely any theatrical Star Wars projects having been confirmed for release in the next couple of years.
Regardless of what happens, hearing Johnson's side of things will hopefully at least bring some closure to fans on what went wrong with The Last Jedi, which remains a hot topic even with the Skywalker Saga having ended in 2019.
Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is available to stream on Disney+.