Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Rian Johnson Still Proud After Five Years

Five years after the release of 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson still has no regrets and the legacy the eighth episode of the Skywalker Saga has contributed to the franchise. The Glass Onion director opened up to Empire about his intentions behind the film and his controversial take on Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The film immediately follows the events of The Force Awakens, where Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds Luke on a remote planet to return his lightsaber and attempt to train as a Jedi while the First Order, led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), remain in hot pursuit of the Resistance led by Leia (Carrie Fisher).

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Image courtesy of Lucasfilm
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

"I'm even more proud of it five years on," Johnson said. "When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball." The director broke down how The Last Jedi is not just a Star Wars movie; rather, it's a movie about Star Wars and what it means to fans (himself included). "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," he explained. "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."

Star Wars: Yoda Actor Frank Oz Defends Last Jedi Dir. Rian Johnson
Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

The film also finds Luke jaded with the Force from a combination of events in attempting to train his nephew Ben, the future Kylo Ren, only to discover how the Dark Side has reached him and how he discovered the fall of the Jedi order during the Order 66 purge depicted in 2005's Revenge of the Sith. "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 said. "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." For more, you can check out the interview here.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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