Star Wars: Rian Johnson Wished The Last Jedi Could Have Gotten Test Screenings at One Point

The massive amount of anticipation surrounding Star Wars films prevents them from having test screenings with the general public, though Star Wars: The Last Jedi director shared on the home video release of his latest film, Knives Out, that there was a point where he was desperate to get the film in front of the general public to see their reactions, even if that meant holding a test screening. Clearly the test screenings weren't necessary, as the film sits at 91% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, but given how much time he spent working on the film without being able to discuss it, his patience for keeping the film a secret seemingly began to run out.

"It was like a party in the theater, it was really fun. It was like the first time I was like ‘Oh wow, this actually plays. This is good,’" Johnson shares on Knives Out's commentary track about the film's test screenings, per ScreenRant. "Which is really nice and that’s something on Star Wars, you can’t test Star Wars movies for a lot of different reasons. I’ve always hated test screening, and when we were making Star Wars, at a certain point in the process you’re like, ‘God, I would give my left arm to put this in front of 300 people in Burbank and just see how it plays.’"

In recent years, few films have been as anticipated as entries into the Star Wars saga or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which results in those films avoiding any test screenings as a precaution to avoid any potential details becoming public. Despite those protocols, this doesn't stop rumors from emerging prior to a film's release regarding original cuts or details that were witnessed in such screenings.

While Johnson might have been interested in seeing how audiences reacted to the film, it likely wouldn't have impacted his plans for the narrative, as one of his goals was to deliver viewers an unexpected adventure.

"I think the instant you start thinking in terms of how do you not step outside of the bounds of what the original movies did, you're not thinking the way the people who made the original movies did," Johnson shared on the Creative Processing with Joseph Gordon-Levitt podcast. "They were with every movie, they were pushing it forward, with every movie they were stepping outside those bounds and pushing the characters into new, emotionally honest, but surprising places. That's why those movies are great. That's why they're alive. If they had been looking at something that came before it and saying, 'Oh, we better not do this because that is outside of this or that,' it would've been different."


Stay tuned for details on Johnson's future with the franchise, as he was previously announced to be developing a trilogy of films for the series.

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