Rian Johnson is “even more proud” of Star Wars: The Last Jedi now

Cameron Frew
Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive blockbusters of all time – and after five years, Rian Johnson is “even more proud” of it.

It had been 10 years since the prequel trilogy concluded with Revenge of the Sith. In 2015, the galaxy far, far away made a triumphant return with The Force Awakens, kicking off a new trilogy to cap off the Skywalker Saga.

If J.J. Abrams’ relaunch was sugar-coated nostalgia, Johnson’s The Last Jedi subverted and exceeded expectations, upending and challenging what we thought about the Star Wars mythology.

It parted fans like the Red Sea and sparked some of the most insufferable discourse in history, and with The (abysmal) Rise of Skywalker, it’s not hard to see which side Lucasfilm took. Nevertheless, Johnson is proud of The Last Jedi – perhaps “even more” so.

Rian Johnson says he’s “even more proud” of Star Wars: The Last Jedi now

In a new interview with Empire ahead of the release of Knives Out 2, Johnson reflected on The Last Jedi. While some fans would have you believe it’s an abomination, the director views his work far more positively.

A still from Star Wars The Last Jedi
And some people think The Last Jedi is bad.

He said: “I’m even more proud of it five years on. When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball.

“I think it’s impossible for any of us to approach Star Wars without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with, and how that myth, that story, baked itself into us and affected us.

“The ultimate intent was not to strip away – the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth. And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”

Rian Johnson responds to Luke Skywalker criticism in The Last Jedi

One of the main criticisms against the film was its treatment of Luke Skywalker. Arguably Star Wars’ greatest hero, he was presented as a recluse who drinks blue milk and rejects the Force – until he doesn’t.

“The final images of the movie, to me, are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they’re building it, and they’re him embracing it,” Johnson continued.

“They’re him absolutely defying 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.”

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