To say that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was met with a controversial fan response would be a bit of an understatement. Acclaimed writer/director Rian Johnson took a very different approach to the Star Wars franchise with Episode VIII and it caused a pretty bug schism in the franchise fandom. A vocal pocket of Star Wars fans made their displeasure with The Last Jedi abundantly clear, with a few going as far as to harass the cast and crew online. Johnson has certainly faced enough toxic criticism from The Last Jedi to last a lifetime, but he has taken it all in stride, knowing that there are two sides to every coin.
There is no shortage to the passionate negativity facing Johnson and The Last Jedi, but there is also a large portion of the fandom that considers this Star Wars film to be the best in the entire franchise. The passion goes both ways with Star Wars, which is what makes the franchise so great in the eyes of Johnson.
During an interview Uproxx about his new film Knives Out, Johnson talked about The Last Jedi's reception over the last two years, and how it reminds him of the way he felt watching The Empire Strikes Back as a kid.
"Yeah. It sticks," Johnson said of Empire's not-so-happy ending. "That’s why that’s the one that, even though at that time I had that reaction to it, it stuck in me and it resonated with me. I remember the Prequels, that acrimony of the prequels. I think people forget exactly the tenor of the danger. We remember because we were in the thick of it. So, I mean, I don’t know. I think that anything with a passionate following always has a passionate following and Star Wars is that, even more so. You can’t be angry at one side of it when it’s also the reason the positive is so passionate, you know? It’s all part of the same thing and it always was like this basic thing. That’s why I love it."
The passion of Star Wars fans knows no bounds. Sometimes it's negative and that negativity gets taken entirely too far. Fortunately the positivity has pretty much drowned out its counterpart, as The Last Jedi made more than $1 billion at the box office and the excitement for December's The Rise of Skywalker only continues to grow.
Rian Johnson's Knives Out arrives in theaters on November 27th and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to debut on December 20th.