As the largely positive first reactions to STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER have arrived, those of us who must wait a few more days to see it are left wondering just how director J.J. Abrams will bring the Skywalker Saga to its conclusion. As STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI remains one of the more divisive films in the franchise, I would imagine that Abrams might have felt some pressure to give STAR WARS fans the film they want, but STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI writer/director Rian Johnson believes that catering to fans is a mistake.
I think approaching any creative process with that second thing you said [making fandoms happy] would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result. Even my experience as a fan, you know, if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like ‘oh, okay,’ it might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.
“What I’m aiming for every time I sit down in a theater is to have the experience you were describing with ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ something that’s emotionally resonant and feels like it connects up and makes sense and really gets to the heart of what this thing is and in a way that I never could have seen coming,” Johnson continued. “I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be thrown off-guard, I want to have things re-contextualized, I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theater. I think what you want from a movie guides, inevitably, how you go about making them.” What do you think of Johnson’s comments? Do you agree, or is there a way to both cater to and surprise fans?
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER will hit theaters on December 20th.