Fans have already made their gripes known about the Disney-made Star Wars films. The Force Awakens was too much of a retread of A New Hope, and The Last Jedi…well, we could talk all day about the problems many have with that film, but if there’s one thing most people could agree on is that it wasn’t afraid to make bold choices and do some unexpected things.
I know there is plenty of criticism out there for the film that has nothing to do with those more unexpected choices, but I do think director Rian Johnson’s willingness to make the franchise his own is what made it so special in some ways. Regardless of how you felt about the movie, I do think it’s important directors feel a willingness to leave their mark on the franchise, even if it’s in a small way.
From the sound of it, The Last Jedi has emboldened The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams to take more risks, as he revealed to Total Film.
“On this one, I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer. In Episode 7, I was adhering to a kind of approach that felt right for Star Wars in my head. It was about finding a visual language, like shooting on locations and doing practical things as much as possible. And we continue that in Episode 9, but I also found myself doing things that I’m not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7.
“Rian helped remind me that that’s why we’re on these movies – not to just do something that you’ve seen before. I won’t say that I felt constrained or limited on 7, but I found myself wanting to do something that felt more consistent with the original trilogy than not. And on 9, I found myself feeling like I’m just gonna go for it a bit more.”
Whether or not this is a good thing will remain to be seen, but as someone who has eagerly been awaiting the Star Wars franchise to move beyond what we already know, I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. The Last Jedi, for all of its flaws, was an exciting thrill ride for me, and part of the joy in that was that I found myself not knowing how things would turn out.
If we have more movies from the franchise that are willing to take more risks, I think we’ll be headed in a much better direction. Then again, what do I know? I like The Last Jedi.
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SOURCE: Games Radar