As everyone could’ve probably expected years in advance, director J.J. Abrams has been receiving complaints from fans over the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And in an interesting response, fellow Star Wars director Rian Johnson, who helmed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, decided to come out and state that pandering to fans is a “mistake.” In fact, he made the following statement:
“I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theater.”
He explained it all while on a podcast interview with the Swings & Mrs. podcast,
“I think approaching any creative process with [the purpose of making fandoms happy] would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result. Even my experience as a fan, you know if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like ‘oh, okay,’ it might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.”
“What I’m aiming for every time I sit down in a theater is to have the experience [I had] with Empire Strikes Back, something that’s emotionally resonant and feels like it connects up and makes sense and really gets to the heart of what this thing is and in a way that I never could have seen coming.”
“I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be thrown off-guard, I want to have things recontextualized, I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theater.”
It turns out Rian Johnson did not attend the premiere for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and perhaps we now know why. Of course, for being the final film in a sequel trilogy that has been wildly uneven, perhaps a little pandering is in order to set things on track for a final installment that needs to answer and conclude the questions that have popped up across the prior eight movies.
What do you think of Johnson’s comments? Agree or disagree? tell us in the comments down below!