Rian Johnson says Star Wars fans’ hatred and death threats were ‘incredibly painful’

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive movies in the trilogy, somehow more the the atrocious Attack of the Clones. It’s been five years since director Rian Johnson released the film in cinemas, and some fans still claim it’s the worst thing since polio.

As with all divisive films, The Last Jedi resulted in some horrendous acts by supposed fans of the franchise. Rampant death threats as well as sexual and racial harassment, which still occur to this day, surrounded the film from its most vocal “fans”.

Rian Johnson discusses The Last Jedi hate

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In an interview with Empire Magazine, Johnson discussed the vitriol surrounding the movie. Despite the movie receiving critical acclaim, a certain subset of fans decided to attack the director as well as stars of the film.

Johnson explained that the movie’s release period was an “incredibly painful” time. As a fan of Star Wars, it hurt to have fans of his favourite franchise treat him with such hostility.

“It’s been a process. At the beginning, it was not easy. It was incredibly painful. It felt horrible,” Johnson said. “Before the movie came out, if one person said something slightly snarky to me on Twitter, I felt a deep, ’Oh my God, there’s someone out there that doesn’t like me... I have to fix this.”

Rian Johnson continued to explain that it certainly wasn’t every Star Wars attacking him and others. In fact, it was a small minority of the gigantic fanbase, but they were very loud, and very cruel. The director explained:

“The element that I talk about when I talk about a small fraction that gets amplified is not the section of Star Wars fans that didn’t like the movie; it’s the section of them that are abusive online, and that are actively hostile and toxic. And it’s very important to make that distinction, because I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m marginalising anyone who doesn’t like the movie, and saying it’s just a small percentage. Having grown up a Star Wars fan, part of the pleasure of it is everybody liking different stuff and talking about it and arguing and fighting about it.”

Read More: It’s not The Last Jedi’s fault that Rise of Skywalker sucks

He will return to Star Wars

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Despite the vitriol that he has received for one movie, Rian Johnson is still looking to return to Star Wars. As Lucasfilm executives, including Dave Filoni, loved The Last Jedi, Johnson has been attached to a new trilogy for a while.

After the release of his final Knives Out film in a few years time, Johnson is expected to helm his movie trilogy. In a separate Empire article, the director explained that it would break his heart if he never returned to Star Wars.

“I’ve stayed close to Kathleen [Kennedy] and we get together often and talk about it,” Johnson said. “It’s just at this point a matter of schedule and when it can happen. It would break my heart if I were finished, if I couldn’t get back in that sandbox at some point.”

While The Last Jedi isn’t a perfect movie, it’s certainly the most creative of the sequel trilogy. With this in mind, we can’t wait to see what Johnson will do with his new trilogy. And remember: if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. It really is that simple.