‘The Last Jedi’ Was Extremely Controversial – But Rian Johnson Probably Doesn’t Mind

Rian Johnson is a Hollywood filmmaker that is praised by critics and adored by fans. He is a talented director credited with “breathing new life into Star Wars” with his rendition of The Last JediAlthough wildly successful, the film was not received well by everyone. Some felt that Johnson ruined the franchise storyline. The movie was considered by many to be controversial and for all the wrong reasons.

What made ‘The Last Jedi’ so controversial

Screen Rush reported that “The Last Jedi remains the ninth-biggest movie in U.S. history, and the 13th-biggest movie ever worldwide.”

Fans of the Star Wars franchise complained that Luke Skywalker was made to appear a bitter old man instead of the space hero they had grown to adore. Screen Rant claims moviegoers found the film to be “too jokey, or breaking certain established rules of Star Wars physics, or espousing progressive values, or dismissing some of the larger mysteries established in The Force Awakens.” Angered fans went as far as to say that The Last Jedi was an “anti-Star Wars” film.

Johnson took the criticism in stride, confident that he needed to allow the franchise to evolve past what it has been for the past four decades, according to Forbes. He believes that the fans’ desire for the films to return to the same concepts is no longer relevant.

Even the ever-knowledgeable Yoda suggested that Star Wars needs to stop living in the past within the film. While fans wanted Skywalker to continue being the hero, Johnson is moved away from the original films to create a trilogy that is more modern and relatable.

Rian Johnson’s other film projects

Fans of Rian Johnson’s work are quick to recommend his other movies to one another. Getting his start in 2005 with Brick, the 46-year-old filmmaker is best known for his work on the sci-fi thriller Looper. In 2013, he received the DGA award for outstanding directing in a drama series for his contributions to the television series Breaking Bad.

His other films include The Brothers Bloom and his first major feature, Evil Demon Golf Ball from Hell.

Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’

RELATED: Who Will Star in the ‘Knives Out’ Sequel? Director Rian Johnson Is Taking Suggestions

Johnson’s most recent project, Knives Out, has exceeded the expectations of fans and critics alike. The whodunit is a modern mystery film that highlights a family gathering gone terribly wrong when the patriarch turns up dead. Stars include Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, and Christopher Plummer. The movie was well-received, receiving a 97 percent score on the film critic website, Rotten Tomatoes. 

A Reddit user commented, “It was just delightful fun to watch and you could tell the cast were enjoying themselves.” Another viewer stated, “It’s undoubtedly my favorite mystery movie of all time. It’s just too good.”

There is reportedly a second Knives Out in the works, and moviegoers are hoping that James Bond alum Daniel Craig is once again part of the project. Star Wars fans that have experienced Johnson’s most recent work are saying, “A lot of Star Wars fans have always been excited for this trilogy, but after Knives Out, the audience grew WAY beyond the Star Wars fandom.”

Waiting for the trilogy

Rian Johnson attends the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Rian Johnson (R) | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As fans await the highly anticipated Star Wars trilogy, they explain that they are excited to see what Johnson does with the storyline. A Reddit user said, “Creativity is definitely his strong suit so it will be amazing to see what he does with a blank slate!”

Lucasfilm has not yet announced a timeline for the trilogy. Fans realistically speculate that it may be quite some time before they see what comes next for the franchise.