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NME Festival blog: Rian Johnson delivers defiant message to ‘Star Wars’ critics

Rian Johnson has claimed that there is nothing he would do to change Star Wars: The Last Jedi, despite facing a backlash from fans.

Although critically acclaimed, the sci-fi sequel proved immediately divisive among fans – with some criticising the characterisation of characters including Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.

But while the 44-year-old director admits that he initially worried of hatred towards the film, he’s now standing firm.

“The crazy thing is, I had no perspective on these tweets. I had no perspective in terms of how big a group of people this was, even what they were upset about specifically”, Johnson told The Playlist.

“Over the next few weeks, I was able to contextualise it and feel much better about it. But at the time, I thought, ‘Oh my God, does everybody hate this? Did I totally mess up, was I wrong?’ And I had a very dark hour of the soul … because I had no context for this.

“[But] there’s nothing I’ve read or seen that’s made me think, ‘Oh God, I did kind of mess that up, I would’ve done that differently if I could go back.’ I still genuinely believe in all the decisions I’ve made.”

He’s been defended by his close friends too, with Joseph Gordon Levitt recently penning a 2000 word essay to explain the film’s complexities.

Describing the characterisation of Luke Skywalker, Gordon Levitt wrote: “We all get older, and those of us who are lucky enough to survive our youth all face the joys, the terrors, the puzzles, the pitfalls, the surprises, and the inevitabilities that come along with doing so. Re-meeting our beloved protagonist decades after we last saw him, only to learn that the passing years have changed some of his most fundamental qualities, I’ll admit, it’s almost hard to see.’


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