'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Director Responds to Criticisms Over Character Deaths

Recent weeks have seen a resurgence of Star Wars detractors taking to social media to display their disappointment over The Last Jedi, despite the majority of fans shifting their focus on the future of the franchise. One Twitter user attempted to discredit writer/director Rian Johnson's vision by citing an interview with George Lucas, leading Johnson to reply to the user with examples that contradict Lucas' comments at the time.

In the interview, Lucas claims, "You don't want to kill Luke," and adds, "I think you alienate the audience." Lucas then elaborated, "This is a fairy tale. You want everybody to live happily ever after and nothing bad happens to anybody... The whole emotion I am trying to get at the end of the film is for you to be real uplifted, emotionally and spiritually, and feel absolutely good about life."

Johnson replied by posting a series of violent and fatal incidents from Lucas' films.

As compared to many social media users who attempt to address Johnson, the user respectfully disagreed with Johnson and noted that the events of The Last Jedi seemingly went against what the saga's creator believed in.

rian johnson the last jedi george lucas

The filmmaker detailed, "For me TLJ 100% distills what the spirit & heart of SW has been in my life. But yes it is personal, it’s a certain pov, and it has to be - originals were personal for GL, that’s why they’re alive. SW films will truly betray the heart & spirit of the originals if they lose that, and become soulless clean homages. But being alive means being messy, and it means every film won’t line up exactly with what every fan is expecting or wants. I’m sorry TLJ didn’t line up with your own certain pov, really, honestly I am. [May the Force be with you]."

These comments from Johnson echo many of the themes of the film itself.

The release of The Force Awakens saw critics citing that the film felt too familiar and repetitive from things we had previously seen in the saga. Johnson knew that, for the franchise to thrive, the series had to explore new territory, even if that meant destroying the past, or audiences' preconceived notions of what a Star Wars film should be.

Regardless of whether you loved or hated the film, it fulfilled a necessary requirement for the overall health of the franchise, which was to take risks that audiences would either accept for the saga's future or abandon to focus on the past.

Ultimately, Lucasfilm made the decision to trust Johnson and allow him to tell the story he wanted to tell, which also resulted in the announcement that he would develop an all-new trilogy of films that are disconnected from the Skywalker mythology.

The next film in the franchise, Episode IX, hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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[H/T Twitter, rianjohnson]