Star Wars: The Last Jedi will reportedly be divisive and may not go over well with some fans.
On Tuesday, it was announced that J.J. Abrams will be returning to the franchise to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX. In a podcast about this news, Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta mentioned that he has heard from a number of sources who have seen The Last Jedi and although they personally liked it, they said that it may not be for everyone.
“Almost everybody I’ve talked to has really enjoyed it,” Sciretta said of The Last Jedi. “Lucasfilm is supposedly over the moon with it. Almost the singular thing that I hear from everybody is that it’s different, and it’s going to probably not sit well with some Star Wars fans. It’s going to be divisive.”
Sciretta said that the movie will be so divisive that he spoke to a source who disliked what Rian Johnson did with The Last Jedi to the point that he was relieved that J.J. Abrams was returning.
“One person I know that has seen the movie messaged me after this news came up saying he’s happy that J.J. Abrams is coming on because he didn’t like some of the choices that Rian Johnson went with,” Sciretta said. “So take that for what it’s worth.”
Even those behind The Last Jedi have repeatedly said in interviews that the movie is going to be quite different than the other installments in the franchise, which seems like a direct response to the criticism that The Force Awakens was essentially the same movie as A New Hope.
In a behind-the-scenes video released in July, for example, Daisy Ridley said, “Rian has written a story that’s unexpected but right. Some of the stuff that happens, people are going to be like, ‘Oh my god.'” Mark Hamill agreed, saying that Rian threw things at him that he “never could have imagined.” John Boyega noted, “Everything is being shifted in the opposite way to what the audience expected after VII. Rian’s made Star Wars fresh and new.” And Rian Johnson himself said, “I’m hoping it’ll be a little shocking, but I’m hoping it’ll feel real and honest.”
So what about The Last Jedi might be divisive? That remains to be seen, but it could have something to do with the direction that Johnson takes Luke Skywalker. In an interview earlier this year, Mark Hamill said that after he read the script for The Last Jedi, his gut reaction was that he completely disagreed with Johnson’s take on Luke Skywalker.
“I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character,'” Hamill told Vanity Fair.
Hamill has said, though, that he soon realized his gut reaction was wrong, and he came around to Rian Johnson’s approach. Viewers got a tease of Johnson’s take on Luke Skywalker in the trailer for The Last Jedi; all these years after the triumphant ending of Return of the Jedi, Skywalker now wants the Jedi order to end. If Johnson turned Luke to the Dark Side, that would certainly be divisive.
It’s Rian Johnson himself who will be blamed by those fans who dislike The Last Jedi, as he says he was given complete creative control over where the story went and was given virtually no notes from Lucasfilm. Presumably, then, it will be up to J.J. Abrams where to take things from there and how to end this new trilogy of Star Wars films.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on December 15.