‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson Just Explained Exactly What Makes George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy So Special

George Lucas’ “galaxy far, far away” hasn’t always pleased fans. In fact, the director’s prequel trilogy created a huge rift in the fan base. But nonetheless, the Star Wars saga continues to be revisited and re-evaluated.

Fans can’t seem to stop discussing how the decades-old films have aged. And a recent social media trend challenged fans to name something they genuinely enjoyed about Lucas’ prequel trilogy.

One of the biggest names to weigh in? Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

Stormtroopers at the London premiere of 'Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith'
Stormtroopers at the London premiere of ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’ | Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The ‘Star Wars’ prequel trilogy has divided fans over the years

Much like the Ewoks before it, the Star Wars prequel trilogy has become a litmus test for fans. Generally speaking, those for whom the prequels were their first introduction to the saga tend to revere them. Many veteran Star Wars fans, meanwhile, regard them as supremely subpar to the original trilogy.

Since Star Wars has been around for more than 40 years, this kind of generational perspective is natural. After all, young fans now will likely revere Daisy Ridley’s Rey the same way their elders did Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. But surely, fans can find something positive even in movies as divisive as the prequels. Right?

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‘The Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson put the prequels into a new context

Johnson went even further than most. Many fans called out Ewan McGregor’s performance or the lightsaber duels. But the filmmaker presented a broader perspective on the Star Wars prequel trilogy. On his Twitter account, he outlined the underlying themes of Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side.

“Lucas made a gorgeous 7 hour long movie for children about how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists, and did it while spearheading nearly every technical sea change in modern filmmaking of the past 30 years,” Johnson wrote.

Indeed, the director — who earned an Oscar nomination for Knives Out in 2020 — has handily laid bare the political and social commentary at the heart of the Star Wars prequels. How well Lucas told that story in the prequel trilogy is, of course, up for debate. But his intentions do line up neatly with Johnson’s explanation.

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Fans will come to appreciate ‘The Last Jedi’ as they did the prequels

Much like the prequels, Johnson’s own contribution to the Star Wars saga has proven incredibly divisive. Although some fans blame The Last Jedi for destroying the franchise, others consider it among the best of the saga. If the changing attitude to Lucas’ prequel trilogy has revealed anything, it’s that the attitude toward Johnson’s own movie may shift as well.

Following the backlash, some fans have re-evaluated the prequels. The trilogy has gained a bit more respect, and likewise, The Last Jedi could follow a similar trajectory. Lucasfilm is likely hoping that’s the case. After all, Johnson is still reportedly attached to direct his own Star Wars trilogy, though no details have been officially announced.