In the five years since Star Wars: The Last Jedi landed in theaters, writer/director Rian Johnson has both directly and by proxy been subjected to torrents of harassment and threats from certain corners of the Star Wars fandom, but despite all of that, the filmmaker expressed that he feels he loves the franchise even more than he did before making the film. These remarks bode well for the future of the franchise, as Johnson was announced in 2017 to develop a trilogy of films for the series, yet no updates on the timing of those stories have been revealed in the years since. While some fans think this means those movies will be scrapped eventually, Johnson and Lucasfilm both claim it's just a matter of finding the right timing for such an endeavor.
When asked by The New Yorker if he still gets excited about the franchise as a fan, Johnson proclaimed, "Oh, f-ck yeah. Yeah. My God. Yeah. In terms of that, I think I love Star Wars even more now. I think what actually frustrates me is people's perception that I had a negative experience somehow, or people's perception that it was somehow a traumatic experience, or something. The reality is that it was a completely joyful experience even through the back end of it, the past few years, the reception of it."
Fans having conflicting reactions to Star Wars movies isn't at all a new concept, with the prequels notably being met with disappointment from adult fans while younger audiences felt the same magic that older fans felt when seeing the original trilogy. The big difference, of course, is that social media allowed those toxic reactions to The Last Jedi feel louder and even offered the opportunity for critics to directly attack Johnson and members of the film's cast.
In regards to whether he took vocal criticisms personally, Johnson confirmed, "No. And, when I read what those people were actually saying, I was, like, 'Oh, I completely disagree with this.' They're wrong. For me. Everybody can like whatever they want and not like what they want. And Star Wars fans, in particular -- growing up as one, arguing about other people's opinions being wrong is sort of the bread and butter of it all. I didn't feel crushed. Like, 'Oh, no, I didn't make a real Star Wars movie.' I felt, like, 'No, I did.'"
Even though there haven't been official updates on Johnson's planned trilogy of films, there doesn't seem to be any love lost between him and Lucasfilm, yet with reports that Disney isn't happy with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy announcing filmmakers who don't have firm plans for a project, it's still possible that Johnson's trilogy will never move forward.
Stay tuned for updates on Johnson's Star Wars projects.