– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Did you love Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Did you hate it? If the internet is anything to go off of, it may feel like those are the only two opinions anyone has of the film. To call the movie divisive would definitely be an accurate assessment, and it’s hard not to wonder what director Rian Johnson thinks about the ongoing debate.

RELATED – Why Fans Are Wrong About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

While the director has expressed his thoughts regarding certain criticisms of the movie, we haven’t heard much from him in regards to the controversy itself. One Twitter user took to the social media platform to ask him if he thinks it’s good that the film was polarizing since it inspires conversation.

Here was Johnson’s response:

“The goal is never to divide or make people upset, but I do think the conversations that are happening were going to have to happen at some point if sw is going to grow, move forward and stay vital.”

For those who have been following my personal coverage of the film, it’ll likely not come as a surprise that I agree with him. This is a franchise that will need to continue to grow and evolve in order to stay relevant. Of course, Johnson and the rest of the crew would have preferred the film to be universally loved, but his thoughts make sense.

What do you think? Do you agree with him, or do you think it’s just positive spin of a bad situation? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Rian Johnson

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Rian Johnson is like Private Pyle, standing in the barracks while we all are doing push ups. Kennedy shoves a jelly donut in his mouth and says “They’re paying for it, you eat it!”

  • Rad4Cap

    ” This is a franchise that will need to continue to grow and evolve in order to stay relevant.”

    Except a majority of the complaints have to do with the execution of that growth and evolution, not of growth and evolution itself.

    • Kindofabigdeal

      I was fine with all of the liberties and growth that The Clone Wars took. Even when they went to that Force Vortex thing with the Qui Gon ghost.

    • Tonk99

      The comment about ‘evolving to stay relevant’ is such an empty platitude. Bullshit it has to evolve. Star Wars is popular because its Star Wars. Its a proven formula that has broad cross-generational appeal because we understand what it is and why we like it. If you start fucking about with what works it ceases to be the thing that makes it so popular. Like it or not, Star Wars has rules, aesthetics, tones that define it and when you break from that you distance your audience and established fan base. If you’re clever and creative you can achieve new things within those constraints, you don’t have to break them down in order to tell your story. There are too many moments in TLJ that feel un-Star Wars and laboured to the extent that I really question why Rian Johnston was chosen for the job and how a movie in which really, not a great deal happens, winds up being the longest in the Saga.

      • Rad4Cap

        Except they DIDN’T mess with ‘the formula’. They followed Empire to the
        letter – just in REVERSE. It really appears that Lucasfilm wanted the second Episode to be Empire – but NOT Empire. And Rian said: “I can do that! I’ll give you Empire, but I’ll reverse EVERYTHING. Genius, right?!”

        I’ve noted elsewhere, Rian used Empire as a roadmap, and followed it exactly BACKWARDS. He REVERSED every story beat and every characterization. There is NO originality in this film WHATSOEVER.

        And I don’t mean it imitates Empire in just in one or two places. It is EVERY detail in the film.

        Crait is Hoth. But instead of being in the first act, we get the reverse – it’s in the last act.

        Instead of fleeing FROM Hoth, we get the reverse – they flee TO Crait

        Instead of powdery snow, we get the reverse – hard salt.

        Instead of a Rebel canon shooting at the Empire, we get the reverse – a First Order canon shooting at the Resistance

        Instead of snow creatures being kept out of the base, we get the reverse – crystal creatures brought into the base.

        Instead of “I know” said to a lover as a relationship climax, we get the reverse – “I know” said to a stranger as character introduction.

        Instead of a fast paced chase FROM Hoth, we get the reverse – a slow speed chase TO Crait

        Instead of lightspeed as the way to escape the empire, we get the reverse – lightspeed will get them caught by the First Order

        Instead of the roguish scoundrel Han getting the Leader Leia to ‘lighten up’, we get the reverse – the tough Leader teaching the rogue scoundrel to
        follow orders.

        Instead of a working (mining) city in the clouds, the solution to the hyperspace problem is to be found in its opposite – a resort (gambling) city on the ground.

        Instead of being betrayed by the suave leader of that city, we get the reverse – they are betrayed by a stuttering captive of that city.

        Instead of Boba Fett chasing Han and Leia, we get the reverse – Finn and Rose are brought TO Phasma.

        Instead of keeping Han and Leia alive, we get the reverse – Finn and Rose are to be executed

        Instead of Yoda wanting the Jedi to return, we get the opposite – Luke wanting the Jedi to die.

        Instead of Yoda training Luke to be a Jedi, we get the reverse – Luke refusing to train Rey as a Jedi.

        Instead of a Dark tree cave, we get the reverse – a Dark sea cave.

        Instead of Luke being shown in his father (that their destinies are related),
        we get the reverse – Rey is her own past and future. There is no destiny,
        there is the opposite – making one’s own path.

        Instead of Luke fighting Vader and triumphing by turning Vader, we get the
        reverse – Luke evading a fight with Kylo and failing by not turning Kylo

        Instead of a climactic battle, we get the reverse – an anti-climactic non-battle

        Instead of leaving the story on a cliff-hanger, we get the reverse – a conclusion to the whole story bringing it full circle back to Episode 1

        The list goes on and on – even throwing in the final Emperor sequence from Return of the Jedi, ALSO reversed:

        Instead of Luke not wanting to kill a mass murderer, we get the reverse – Luke wanting to murder an innocent child

        Instead of a connection between Luke and Vader AFTER their relationship is revealed, we get the reverse – a connection between Kylo and Rey which MAKES their relationship.

        Instead of a futuristic technological throne room, we get the opposite – an old style flash gordon throne room

        Instead of the Emperor being killed by Vader at the end of a lightsaber fight, we get the reverse – Snoke killed before the lightsaber fight

        Instead of Vader betraying the Emperor out of love of his son, we get the reverse – Kylo betraying Snoke out of hatred of Snoke

        Instead of Vader and Luke fighting each other, we get the opposite – Kylo and Rey fighting together

        Instead of a clash of lightsabers, we get the reverse – no lightsaber duel ever

        Instead of Vader turning to the Light, we get the reverse – Kylo going fully to the Dark.

        Instead of all of this being the CLIMAX (of Return), we get the reverse – all this is in the middle act of TLJ

        Even the denouement is not original. It is simply Anakin in Phantom, but his opposite:

        Instead of a force sensitive young slave boy who races speeders, we get the reverse – a force sensitive young slave boy who tends racing animals.

        Of course there is a TON more examples – because the entire FILM is one BIG reversal. EVERY “creative” choices was made by asking “What is the
        reverse of Empire?”

        And don’t even get me started on the THEME and PLOT-THEME – and the story’s failure to support them at ALL.

        So One can see every “thought” (lol) that went into SLAVISHLY following it’s ‘formula’. TLJ is a completely UNORIGINAL, FRACTURED IMITATION of a GOOD film.

        It is the ANTI-Empire Strikes Back.

        • Tonk99

          I’m on board with your reading of the film, man. Where it strayed for me was with the out-of-place humour, the art direction (Canto-Bight, Holdo, the Dickensian kids, etc) and the pacing. There was an awful lotta jibber-jabber for a SW movie. Some of it was cool ie: the throne room stuff. But jesus, some it dragged the film down. The whole Canto Bight/DJ story arc was totally redundant. And don’t start me on what a massive misstep the character of Rose was.

          • Rad4Cap

            I agree. The humor was intentionally undercutting the drama. The pacing was intentionally NOT dramatic.

            I didn’t have much of a problem with the ‘look’ of Holdo. She’s just another in a long line of female leaders who wear dresses, not uniforms. Canto was a bland Monaco riff which failed to match the grandeur of a MINING(!) city. I know why the Dickensian kids were put in there. That was pure Rian – and was for the SOLE purpose of getting the ending image.

            And Rose is THE theme. She is the ICON (even more than Holdo) – the EPITOME – of the theme. That is why SHE is the one to speak it.

            Of course the THEME is ridiculous and is undercut by EVERY action IN the film, so she is just the BIGGEST symptom of the MASSIVE thematic misstep.

  • claudiomario

    F this tool- didnt they use the same word in the movie

  • the50sguystrikesback

    I agree with you (Jammer) and Rian

  • claudiomario

    The execution was poor. The essence of characters were mishandled and a lot of wasted time esp w the casino scene.

    “Say it”

    The movie was not executed well.

  • Rad4Cap

    “The goal is never to divide or make people upset”

    This is gross disingenuousness. Even Kevin Smith, who loved the film, said TLJ is FILLED with “FU’s”

  • Moby85

    I critize Rian Johnson for his directorial effort. Meaning editing, pacing, a poor second act, and ignorance of even the most basic physics that even a sci-fi fantasy needs to follow. That’s on him, and if I could Vulcan mind meld with him you can damn well bet he wouldn’t be OK with my critism. Because it’s personal to him.

    • Rad4Cap

      “you can damn well bet he wouldn’t be OK with my critism. Because it’s personal to him”

      Is it? As I noted elsewhere here, even Kevin Smith (who loved the film) says Rian FILLED the movie with “FU’s”. He WAS trying to “make people upset”. So you don’t think he’d be OK that he succeeded?


  • Deathstroke936

    Don’t listen to the fans at your own peril. There’s a price to be payed by not accounting the audience… Ask DC about it…

    • Tonk99

      There was a fundamental lesson we were taught at school within our English/creative writing class: understand your target audience. Johnston failed in this critical area. He made the movie for himself, which is fine when you’re establishing your own IP. But he failed to appreciate the sandbox in which he was playing and now 50% of fans don’t know what Star Wars is supposed to be anymore. I honestly think JJ is the only person within Lucasfilm who gets it.

  • TheFrank

    The sweet sounds of damage control. Lovely.

    It still doesn’t remove the fact that TLJ is now roughly under 76% domestic revenue compared to where TFA was at this time. Christmas / New Year’s holiday period might cushion the fall but TFA had the same calendar advantages that TLJ is currently enjoying. I expect the holiday period to give TLJ a boost over the day-to-day from Jurassic World.

    Or that the petition to remove Ep. 8 from canon is now above 55K and climbing. I know that Disney will never remove Ep. 8 (or TFA, for that matter) from the official canon but 55K in roughly a week is not exactly something that you can sneeze at, either. I don’t necessarily recall a petition to remove any of the prequels from the canon, though.

    In the end, the fanbois can’t stop reality: Episode 8 is a stinker that continues to get bad word-of-mouth through a significant segment of the population. Disney is in clear full-on damage control and it’s likely that Rian will soon find himself unavailable for those 3 other Star Wars films.

    • Rad4Cap

      While I did not like this film at all, I don’t think anyone – not even Disney – was expecting it to do TFA numbers. That was the return of Star Wars. Since then, we’ve had another Star Wars film and expect to have numerous films in the future. Revenue was expected to be lower for this film.

      As to Rian, I suspect Disney has no problem with him. As he states, they all expected a backlash to occur when Disney necessarily started killing off the rest of the Skywalkers to make a new form of Star Wars. As a franchise this was going to happen no matter what. So Disney likely looks at this (and perhaps even the next SW film) as ripping the band-aide off and getting it over and done with so they can go in a different direction entirely.

      This is simply the inevitable course correction to them.

      • TheFrank

        I’m not expecting it to do TFA numbers: Attack of the Clones did 70% domestic revenue compared to Phantom Menace & Empire Strikes Back did 68% DM compared to A New Hope. That’s not accounting for inflation, which would make the percentages slightly lower.

        I expect that TLJ will get a few good days compared to TFA because of the Christmas / New Year’s period but it’s looking probable that TLJ will underperform whatever backroom expectations there were over at Disney. Furthermore, it remains to be seen how much this stinker of a film has damaged the overall brand so the financial success of the “Solo” movie now becomes even more critical; If that movie fails in any perceived way, “Kenobi” (which is currently slated to start production in 2019) might be shelved and the whole film series delayed after Ep. IX (slated to be released in 2019) considering that, at this point, they’ll have no new credible fictional stars to replace the OT characters and it wouldn’t have the weight of George Lucas behind it to satisfy that fanbase, either.

        And it all started because everyone couldn’t stop complaining about Jar Jar. Incredible.

  • SnokeYou

    BS. There would be no backlash if the original characters were treated fairly in a grand send off that honored them as heros and furthered the story for the new characters.

    Mace Windu, Obi Wan, Yoda, Vader were all killed off. It was cool, bad ass, and served the story.

    Han Solo’s death was not heroic…it was tragic. Luke’s death was not grand. It wasn’t that heroic either bc he was too scared to show up in person so he died alone on a rock with no one to see him disappear into nothing. Like a fart in the wind.

    • Sy Burr

      What movie did you see? He gave everything so the “rebels” could escape. Like Obi Wan, he knew he was sacrificing himself. That ending was amazing!

      • Games

        It’s like they saw a whole different movie. Maybe when they see it again they will understand what you are saying. Thought it was obvious but not everyone is at the same educational level.

        • Triple M

          Keep telling yourselves that.

          • Games

            Julie, don’t be mad. Go get a Quarter pounder with cheese or something. Add a milk shake. I swear after you do this you might get what we are talking about.

          • Triple M

            But Star Wars is like a brotherhood, and I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you

          • Games

            Merry Christmas!

        • Tonk99

          Ha! A lame ad hominem comment. The classic sanctuary of one who has no argument. Nice work.

      • SnokeYou

        That ending has polarized SW fans and the average movie goer will see this movie once. Amazing to few and disappointing to many.

        If Luke was powerful enough to force Skype then he could have owned the First Order in person but he didn’t leave the planet. He never left the planet. He went into exile and died alone.

        The ending was a dud in my opinion.

  • syambo87

    This is 1980 all over again… when Empire Strikes Back came out… was it loved? it was hated and criticized… but as time went by…. it has gone to be the number 1 film on most of star wars fans for best star wars films of all time…

    • SnokeYou

      ESB was different that ANH and it got criticized wrongly for that.

      TLJ is a piece of crap regardless of its connection to any SW movie. It’s not just different. It’s bad. Nobody cringes 10 times in ESB or rolls their eyes when people kiss or walk out the theater pissed off bc Han was frozen in Carbonite. No. We wanted to see the next movie.

      Nobody wants to see 9 bc 7 and 8 are worse than 1 & 2.

    • Tonk99

      Hated and criticised? No. No it wasn’t. To even attempt to make that comparision is revisionist bullshit of the highest order. Well done.

    • Rad4Cap

      ‘I can’t defend this movie, so I’m just going to claim people who disagree with me are wrong because other people were supposedly wrong in the past’

      Yeah. When you have to give UP reasoning in order to like your movie, its not other people who have a problem.

    • Ben

      You obviously weren’t even born. Quit trying to re-write history to make a case for your opinion. Typical millennial tactics…It was an instant hit. The reveal of DV as Luke’s father was genius storytelling and had people talking immediately.

      • Jamie

        No it was lazy, hack storytelling for simpletons. And plenty of those out there in the audience, so of course people loved it. Just like they loved Luke and Leia being siblings and Kylo Ren being Han and Leia’s son. It is horrible writing, but dumb people eat that sh*t up.

  • Brafdorf

    I enjoyed it

  • Daniel O’Connell

    Have to say, didn’t care too much for the movie. Just Luke seems wrong. I don’t know what they are talking about changing to stay relevant. Nothing changes. Seriously Lukes’ story is EXACTLY| the same as Obi Whatever..disappointing.

  • I’d watch Attack of The Clones on repeat for 24hrs straight before I watch The Last Jedi again. Rian Johnson can eat shit.

    • Unc Sam

      Harsh but fair.

  • Unc Sam

    Sunday 24th is pretty significant in that comparing TLJ to Rogue One and TFA (10 days after release, schools on holiday etc) the takings breakdown is as follows:

    TFA 43mil
    RO 25.8mil
    TLJ 14.6mil

    At the rate it’s losing momentum TLJ will be lucky to hit 500mil domestically.

    Presumably this movie is doing almost no repeat business which speaks volumes about how the public feel about it.

  • Ian Finnimore

    Sometimes it kinda feels like the movie “They Live” – especially as far as TLJ is concerned.

    Those annoyed at the movie have the glasses on & the others just Eat, Sleep, reproduce, buy etc without questioning the narratives that they are given.

    People say change was required in Star Wars & that THIS movie gives it to you .. when?

    # Star Wars needed to evolve into the future …. The Worst tripe argument so far:

    REALLY changing Star Wars would have been Finn being the Jedi, as teased in TFA trailers. Plenty of females in canon but as far as I know only Mace Windu as a POC jedi.

    REALLY changing Star Wars would be a FEMALE villain – hell on the Clone Wars/ Rebels shows the women bad guys own the screen.

    REALLY changing star wars would have been introducing the concept of grey Jedi & showing the murky morality at stake in the universe.

    TLJ changed ONE thing – they made Luke a coward for 30 years .. just coz ..

  • Food4Thought

    This douche admitted on Kimmel that he chose Porgs over Lando. Fucq him and the Bantha he rode in on.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.