UPDATED to include comments from director Rian Johnson’s comments to Uproxx.
It’s fair to say we have never seen a fan base as divided as we are seeing with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, people love it, others hate it. The debate has raged since the movie’s release and if you want to join in the battle of wills, you can certainly do that here.
One of the more contentious points seems to be in the way Johnson handled one key character in the movie.
Warning, if you have not yet watched The Last Jedi then come back when you have, as there are heavy (SPOILERS) below:
Rian Johnson certainly subverted expectations when he chose to have Kylo Ren sneakily slice Snoke in two halves about mid-way through the movie. Snoke went from being the Supreme Leader of the First Order into the supreme bear rug in Kylo Ren’s new throne room.
Now writer/director Rian Johnson has weighed in with his explanation for why this made sense to his story in an interview with EW:
“When I was working on the character of Kylo, I came to a place where I thought the most interesting thing would be to knock the shaky foundation out from under him at the beginning of this movie. By the end of this film, he’s gone from being a wannabe Vader to someone who is standing on his own feet as a complex villain taking the reins.”
“[I thought it would be] a really good setup going into the next movie. But then the question is: What place would Snoke have at the end of that? That made me realize the most interesting thing would be to eliminate that dynamic between the ‘emperor’ and pupil, so that all bets are off going into the next one. That also led to the possibility of this dramatic turn in the middle, which could also be a really powerful connection point between Kylo and Rey.”
So what about all the fan’s disappointed that their theories were basically moot?
“I do think it’s interesting. I never want to poo-poo the fans coming up with theories. It’s part of the fun of being a Star Wars fan. If there is a place for it in another story, I hope it gets told.”
And the director goes on to say why for him, it didn’t feel right to do deep into Snoke’s backstory in this movie:
“It would have stopped any of these scenes dead cold if he had stopped and given a 30-second speech about how he’s Darth Plagueis.”
“It doesn’t matter to Rey. If he had done that, Rey would have blinked and said, ‘Who?’ And the scene would have gone on.”
By the way, Johnson also added, “And I’m not saying he’s Darth Plagueis.”
In addition, when asked by Uproxx if his move to kill Snoke came from his not knowing what Snoke’s overall plan was, Johnson said:
“Um, no, yeah, that’s not really the driving force behind it. But I did definitely think the notion behind this movie, for me, from the start, was to evolve Kylo into a complicated, more solid villain. I guess ‘villain,’ for lack of a better word. But someone who takes the reins and steps up and is no longer just pretending to be Vader, but has become his own version of a formidable force. And going into Episode IX, that’s the strongest launching pad. That’s where you want to put your money down. And if you’re dealing with a superior of his, that just seemed less interesting to me than clearing the deck so Kylo can be the main guy. And it gives an opportunity for a big, dramatic beat that’s really interesting and we get to have some fun with him.”
So there you have the thinking behind this twist from the man who wrote and directed it. Some people will be happy with this explanation and agree with it, some people will not and be furious, and as such, the debate will carry on. Let us know what you thought below?
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