The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy has been mired in controversy since it launched with The Force Awakens, and that controversy only deepened with the highly divisive response to Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi. However, while some Star Wars fans have been tearing into Last Jedi since its release, the actual cast and crew involved with making these Star Wars movies have been publicly supportive of Johnson and his film - at least until now. J.J. Abrams was recently doing an interview about his upcoming Skywalker Saga finale The Rise of Skywalker, and while he took time to restate his support for The Last Jedi, he also gave what can only be described as a criticism of one aspect about Rian Johnson's approach to Star Wars!
According to J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is great in that it is, "full of surprises and subversion and all sorts of bold choices."
Now here's where J.J. Abrams' opinion takes a serious turn: "On the other hand, it’s a bit of a meta approach to the story. I don’t think that people go to ‘Star Wars’ to be told, ‘This doesn’t matter.’”
There's no real way to square away what J.J. Abrams implies in that statement as anything but a criticism of Rian Johnson's main goals in The Last Jedi, which was clearly subversion of fan predictions and expectations. From the "reveal" of Rey's non-important parentage, to the somber characterization of former galactic hero Luke Skywalker, to the death of Snoke - Johnson seemed to delight in pulling the rug out from under fans. Of course, this wasn't done as frivolous trickery: a lot Johnson's thematic focus in The Last Jedi is escaping the same cycles of the past, as well as doing away with the notion that not only those with the last name "Skywalker" are capable of being great Jedi and/or Force user heroes.5comments
That may (eventually) prove to be a prophetic step forward for the franchise as the Skywalker Saga comes to an end - but for now, it seems The Last Jedi will retain the title of most divisive movie in the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on Decemeber 20th. The Mandalorian is now streaming Fridays on Disney+.