Luke Skywalker brushes dirt off his shoulder in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Rian Johnson Now ‘Even More Proud’ That He ‘Really Swung at the Ball’ With ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

The discourse around Star Wars: The Last Jedi was so much so that if you dared speak about how you thought the movie was good, someone would come breathing down your neck about how you were wrong. There was no nuanced conversation, and it felt very much like Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar saying, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.” Now though, people are slowly coming back around on The Last Jedi, and it has left those of us sitting on the sidelines, who liked it, feeling a little smug. (At least, that’s my feeling, but hey, I can feel smug all on my own.)

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For director and writer Rian Johnson, he’s always stood behind his movie, but he’s now being more vocal about how he feels about The Last Jedi since five years have passed. And spoiler alert: He’s just even happier about it now than he was before.

Johnson did an interview with Empire where he talked a lot about his Star Wars film and how, as the years have passed, he’s gotten prouder of the movie—which makes sense because, in general, The Last Jedi is the kind of movie that stays with you even after the film has come and gone, in a good way.

“I’m even more proud of it five years on,” he said. “When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball. I think it’s impossible for any of us to approach Star Wars without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with, and how that myth, that story, baked itself into us and affected us,” Johnson went on. “The ultimate intent was not to strip away – the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth. And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”

“I really swung at the ball.”

Johnson recognizing that he really swung for it with the film is honestly what makes him such a good director. It’s easy to “play it safe” with Star Wars. Quite frankly, I think that the J.J. Abrams movies are a perfect example of that, and that’s why Rise of Skywalker felt like such a downgrade given what The Last Jedi gave to us, whether people ultimately liked the movie or not. It showed so many fans that you can have a creative lens with the franchise and can do you own thing as a creator, and it can really work and bring new life to these characters.

Instead, we had a lot of angry “fans” screaming about Luke Skywalker (as if he wasn’t always dramatic), and it resulted in a lackluster conclusion to the sequel trilogy when we could have continued the story that Johnson set up.

I am part of the group that wants Rian Johnson to have his Star Wars trilogy. I would also love it if he just came back to the franchise at all to tell whatever story he wanted. He did a great job, in my opinion, with The Last Jedi, and I’d like to see more of it.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.