It’s no secret that Star Wars fans took issue with The Last Jedi. But if their main reason for disliking the film is because of its diversity, writer and director Rian Johnson has a big problem with that.
During a live Q&A with Wired over the weekend, Johnson fired back at Star Wars fans who were upset at the diverse cast represented in The Last Jedi, which is considered the most inclusive Star Wars film yet, thanks to actors like Kelly Marie Tran, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley. Johnson shared that it’s okay for fans of the franchise to dislike the film, but if their reason for hating the film is based on the diverse cast, that’s a problem.
“If someone’s responding to diversity negatively, f— ’em,” Johnson said, before continuing, “If anyone didn’t like the movie, I’m not saying that’s why they didn’t like it… It wasn’t surprising at all to me, I grew up as a Star Wars fan. And I grew up — I was in my twenties when the prequels came out and this whole idea that it’s all been sunshine and roses and suddenly everybody’s yelling at each other is baffling to me.”
Johnson’s right: it’s not surprising for Star Wars fans to dislike any new movie in the franchise. Worldwide the fandom is known for being pretty possessive over Star Wars films: the original trilogy is known for being the best, the prequel trilogy is, generally speaking, by far inferior, and the two films in the most recent trilogy that have been released so far are quite polarizing. So disliking a Star Wars film as a Star Wars fan isn’t unprecedented.
But disliking a Star Wars movie because it’s more diverse than the ones that came before it? Johnson has a problem with that.
“I feel like people care deeply about Star Wars, and every single person has a slightly different version of what they think Star Wars is,” continued Johnson. “And so much of the fun of it is arguing about it. Since we were kids, right? On the playground, you’re yelling at your friends about who would win in a fight… It’s part and parcel about the passion of being a Star Wars fan.”
Luckily, it doesn’t seem as though the Star Wars fandom is getting to Johnson. While it’s been rumored that “toxic” fans led to Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff quitting their Star Wars film project — and fans who disliked Kelly Marie Tran’s character in The Last Jedi caused the actress to leave social media — Johnson still says that “Star Wars fans are the best fans in the whole world.”
And it’s a good thing he feels that way, because Johnson is set to continue his work in the Star Wars franchise. Or at least, that’s what he hopes. The writer and director shared just last month that he’s still having conversations with Lucasfilm to make his new trilogy happen — it’s mainly a question of when, although Johnson still remains hopeful.
What’s your take on Rian Johnson’s comments? Let us know your thoughts!