Rian Johnson Praises Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker And I Don’t Buy It!

Rian Johnson speaking at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Rian Johnson speaking at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Whatever you think about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is of course up to you. I have yet to find a reasonable argument that the movie does not take a massive dump on what happened in The Last Jedi. I was most definitely not a fan of the Rian Johnson joint The Last Jedi, I’ve written about that quite enough here on LRM. However, I also found it jarring the way The Rise of Skywalker simply ignored that movie at times.

This week MTV News caught up with Rian Johnson at the Oscars. Johnson was, of course, there due to his current, critically-lauded whodunit Knives Out. As you would imagine though, talk turned to Star Wars. Johnson was asked to give his thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and here is what he said. (You can catch the full interview in the video link below.)

“I had a blast, man. Made me so proud and seeing the heart and soul that [director] J.J. [Abrams] put into it. And seeing my friends who were in the movie just like, bring the whole thing to a conclusion. Yeah, for me as a Star Wars fan, it was a really special experience.”

So What?

Here’s the thing, I simply don’t buy this praise. If I was in Johnson’s position, I would be pi**ed at the way this movie shakes out. I just cannot fathom a situation where Johnson truly believes that Abrams respected The Last Jedi and made a sequel that took that film into account.

We here at LRM have talked about The Rise of Skywalker in some depth already, whether in articles or podcasts. Not a single contributor here believes that the movie does not have several moments that feel like a backhand to the face against Johnson’s movie.

I’m not going to argue whether it was Johnson’s fault for going so far away from where Abrams was making plans initially. Frankly, he handed in his draft and Lucasfilm said green light. Lucasfilm then, after seeing the feedback against The Last Jedi, decided to remove Colin Trevorrow, who had written a sequel which DID follow The Last Jedi. The studio then hired J. J. Abrams and again gives the green light for a finale — a finale that almost misses out that middle movie and instead concludes what began in The Force Awakens.  I guess I am saying the studio themselves and those in charge at Disney are the ones to blame here.

Was Johnson ever told where the third movie was supposed to go? Impossible, because Trevorrow’s script is proof that Lucasfilm themselves had no idea where this trilogy was going. Trevorrow’s Duel of the Fates is so unlike The Rise of Skywalker it’s clear Abrams started again from scratch on that script. We know that no one had any thoughts of bringing back Emperor Palpatine until Abrams took back over and made the phone call to Ian McDiarmid to check if he would return. McDiarmid’s own words.

RELATED: Star Wars: George Lucas Told Ian McDiarmid Palpatine Was Dead

So is Johnson just being kind and supportive to Abrams like he always claims to be in return? That’s about all I can see right now, because there is no way Johnson can be happy with how his movie was received or then treated by Disney after the fact. To take us back full circle to the tile of this piece, I have to say what I hear from Rian Johnson is platitudes. I just cannot believe this praise is his genuine thoughts right now. Looking back, I think that’s exactly what we got from Abrams about Rian Johnson’s movie as well. I can’t see these two sharing cards in the holidays going forward. Can you?

What do you think of Johnson’s comments, genuine, forced, lying through his teeth? Leave your thoughts below as always.

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Campbell Clark

Cam is Senior Editor at LRM Online, and has a passion for all things geeky, including sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book movies.

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