The Last Jedi, despite being a commercial success, is considered by many as the most divisive Star Wars movie ever. You might think Disney and Lucasfilm and all the people involved with the movie would try their best to win back the hearts of the fans who were disappointed with the latest installment of the franchise, especially in light of the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story movie which needs to be a success. And now London based free daily newspaper Evening Standard published an interview with Rian Johnson. And he had a few things to say. Click through to find out what he said.
Rian Johnson had this to say about the reactions to his movie:
“There were death threats. It’s balanced by a few things — 90 per cent of the stuff I got online was not only lovely and encouraging but phenomenally thoughtful. Fans would send me essays on the movie. The other 10 per cent is just loud and gets amplified.”
Now, people who issued death threats over a movie are just sad and pathetic and they hurt the fandom. Of note is that Rian Johnson says that 90% of the reactions he received are positive and only 10% are negative, which merely gets amplified. On Rotten Tomatoes 53% of the fans disliked The Last Jedi, other websites have much better ratings. I suppose the truth is, it’s much less than 53% of the fans that disliked the movie, but also more than 10%. Is dismissing the criticism as merely being “loud” and “amplified” the right way to deal with it? It sounds as if Johnson won’t listen to the criticism at all.
But Rian Johnson goes on and has this to say about the most debated scenes and choices in The Last Jedi:
“At first I was freaked out but then I realised the things people were angry about are the things I’m most proud about.”
I get where Johnson is coming from. He sees himself as an artist who needs to stand by his choices. But nevertheless, statements like these might come across as somewhat arrogant? Is Johnson just the filmmaker who can do no wrong and is merely misunderstood by a good percentage of fans?
Does that mean Johnson is actually proud about the Canto Bight scene? That he is proud about the humor? Plot choices in general? If so, I can only hope that Johnson will get some oversight when he makes his new trilogy. A filmmaker standing by his choices is one thing, a filmmaker immune to criticism, valid criticism is quite another thing.
Of course, what is and isn’t valid criticism is a point of contention. But even most of the positive reviews of the movie singled out the Canto Bight scenes as not being real highlights of the movie. And tonal inconsistencies are abound in the movie too.
So, what do you think? Do you happen to agree with Rian Johnson? Should he dismiss the criticism or even be proud about the scenes that angered fans the most and realize his own vision of Star Wars? Or should he finally admit that maybe here and there his choices for The Last Jedi were not always the best, in the hope that he can learn from it and make a brilliant new trilogy?
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