Rian Johnson, while promoting his new Knives Out movie, was asked a few questions about his divisive middle instalment in the most recent Star Wars trilogy. According to Empire, Johnson isn’t bothered by the backlash or even any anger regarding 2017’s The Last Jedi. “I’m even more proud of it five years on,” he said during his interview. “When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball.”
He goes on to describe how he imagined his chapter in the trilogy as a commentary on Star Wars itself, embracing the myth, magic, and addressing a lot of the casual horrors that often go unsaid in a massive franchise that’s based around fighting fictional fascists in space. He wanted to go meta with it, and he took on the challenge of Luke Skywalker’s passing with the kind of appreciation for the saga that comes with growing up with Star Wars.
The final shots of the film, Johnson said, are part of that. He didn’t want to destroy the myth of Luke Skywalker, but he’s there to immortalise it, to create a kind of living legend that will be embodied in future generations. Luke Skywalker is dead, long live the ethos by which he lived, the good he strived for, the bravery he had. “[The Last Jedi] absolutely [defies] the notion of, ‘Throw away the past,’ and embracing what actually matters about his myth and what’s going to inspire the next generation. So for me, the process of stripping away is always in the interest of getting to something essential that really matters.”
Say what you want about The Last Jedi, the film was bold, and gave us some of the most memorable scenes out of the whole trilogy. The attack on Crait lives in my head rent-free, an absolutely stellar depiction of a last stand that fully understands how important it is to resist, even when it seems like help will never come.
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