Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Notes How Small a Part of Fandom Are Toxic Trolls

The release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi has earned the stigma that it turned a large portion of fans against writer/director Rian Johnson, though the filmmaker recently pointed out how, despite the most toxic fans being the loudest, it only represents a small part of the overall Star Wars community he has interacted with over the years. There's no denying that there is a large number of hateful fans on various social media platforms, but it's clear that Johnson knows how much larger the world of Star Wars fandom is than just what happens on the internet, with most of his interactions, even with dissenters, being thoughtful and engaging.

"You always have to contextualize how small a part of the fandom that section is," Johnson shared with Variety about online trolls. "I’m not talking about people who like or dislike a particular movie. I’m talking about the people who have dedicated themselves to abusing people who are involved in the films. It’s so small, but it gets blown up. Having been in the hurricane for the last two years, I can tell you that 95% of what I get even on Twitter is lovely and thoughtful and engaged, even when people don’t like my movie. Having said that, it’s a problem that every type of fandom is dealing with. It’s almost a byproduct of this system that is the internet."

Despite it being two years since The Last Jedi landed in theaters, virtually every discussion about Johnson, whether it be in regards to his previous Star Wars film or his planned trilogy of new films, results in angry reactions from those who didn't like his film. Earlier this year, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stepped away from their plans to deliver Lucasfilm new Star Wars movies, with at least one source saying the pair didn't want to subject themselves to the toxic Star Wars fans after already experiencing abuse and harassment in response to the final season of their HBO series.

These recent comments echo remarks Johnson made last year about how much positivity he has experienced from fans, despite the vicious attacks he was subjected to.

“There were death threats. It’s balanced by a few things — 90% of the stuff I got online was not only lovely and encouraging but phenomenally thoughtful," Johnson shared with the Standard. "Fans would send me essays on the movie. The other 10% is just loud and gets amplified. At first I was freaked out but then I realized the things people were angry about are the things I’m most proud about.”

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While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit theaters on December 20th, there are no official details on when to expect Johnson's new Star Wars films.

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