Why Do ‘Star Wars’ Fans Hate Rian Johnson So Much?

Taking on the directorial role for a Star Wars movie is almost as risky as becoming President of the United States for obvious reasons. You basically find yourself between a rock and a hard place in pleasing your constituents while still inspiring newcomers to accept you.

Such was the case for Rian Johnson stepping in to direct The Last Jedi several years ago. Because he took the Skywalker saga in new and almost shocking directions, the backlash was more than a little intense on social media, including people attacking him there.         

Fortunately, Johnson didn’t leave Twitter. He has a specific way to respond to fans and also has a lot of other cinematic aces up his sleeve in the months to come. It may be enough to redeem himself to Star Wars fans if he begins another trilogy at the turn of the decade.

What’s the beef with the ‘Star Wars‘ community?

Rian Johnson
Rian Johnson | Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

You’ll find numerous essays over the last couple of years about what bothered Star Wars fans when Rian Johnson made TLJ. Most reasons were because he went far and above what fans expected and took the story into left field, including surprising arcs for the main characters.

Taking hold of a major media property and going against fan wishes is true bravery. However, it tells something a bit chilling about how many fantasy movie properties are more or less claimed by the fans with adamant demands on where the direction of the stories should go.

We all saw what happened to George Lucas when he went against the canon of what many fans wanted the prequels to be. Fans simply couldn’t accept his own vision, which was admittedly weaker than what Rian Johnson came up with anyway.

Maybe you can blame the advent of fan fiction in the online age. Also, with countless Star Wars novels written by others, you could say this franchise was hijacked by others and taken in various directions not everyone could agree to.

Some fans will never forgive Johnson for ‘The Last Jedi’

The true diehard Star Wars fans still aren’t happy with TLJ for him killing off Luke and the trajectory of Rey as just starters. At the same time, you’ll find other fans who say it helped set up a bigger creative challenge for upcoming The Rise of Skywalker. J.J. Abrams has already stepped up to make this happen, and we have a feeling some major curveballs are going to be thrown when it releases in December.

Before then, though, Johnson is going to be having a new movie out already being hailed as a masterpiece at recent film festivals. Knives Out will likely remind everyone of how brilliant of a filmmaker Johnson is.

He’ll be taking the old Agatha Christie formula of the ensemble murder mystery and offering some daring, new twists.

In other words, Johnson is truly a rule-breaker, something not always going over well in fan communities or even in Hollywood itself. We’re pretty sure Knives Out will do well at the box office, though, thanks to its all-star cast. There’s a good bet it’ll set Johnson up for redeeming himself within the Star Wars community if his proposed new trilogy has a green light.

Maybe Johnson won’t direct more ‘Star Wars’ after all

A recent report says Rian Johnson isn’t really sure if he’ll be directing a new Star Wars so soon since the schedule isn’t quite worked out yet. At the moment, there’s a tossup about whether he’ll go first or if David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will do their trilogy starting in 2022.

If we had any say in the matter, we’d say Johnson should wait even longer before revisiting Star Wars. Doing so helps further prove him as a innovative filmmaker as he already has before TLJ thanks to sci-fi films like Looper.

Not that he can’t handle all the critical Star Wars fans with his affable social media approach. Considering he’s always open to conversations on Twitter, he’s been able to quell the tidal waves of criticism as a form of a miracle.

Waiting more years to revisit the galaxy far, far away will give more time and distance so he can provide something refreshing rather than feel like he’s crashing a party where he’s no longer welcome.