‘Star Wars’ Fans Vehemently Defend Controversial ‘The Last Jedi’ as It Trends

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the last jedi lightsaber duel

Credit: Lucasfilm

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you undoubtedly know that the second film in the sequel trilogy — Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) — was controversial, at best. At worst, some felt it brought out the most toxic aspects of the Star Wars fandom, even sending Rose Tico actress, Kelly Marie Tran, to therapy.

rose tico (left) and finn (right) in the last jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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JJ Abrams’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) was, perhaps, the least criticized of the three sequel trilogy movies, but it still garnered backlash from those who felt the new core trio — Rey (Daisy Ridley)Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) — too closely resembled Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)Han Solo (Harison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from George Lucas’s original trilogy.

hamill last jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Then, when The Last Jedi hit theaters, iconic Jedi Master Skywalker dies alone on Ahch-To after using the Force to project his likeness across the galaxy to the planet Crait in a bid to stop his nephew — Leia and Han’s son — Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from destroying what is left of the Resistance.

kylo ren
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This upset many Star Wars fans who felt that Hamill’s character deserved a significantly more heroic ending. Well-known Star Wars writer, Alan Dean Foster, even retconned the entire story to “give fans the ending they deserved.”

Now, despite the controversial nature of the Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi has begun trending on social media — it released four years ago yesterday, December 15 — and some fans are leaping to its defense, vehemently going to bat for the film.

rey the last jedi on ahch-to
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Vincent wrote:

The Last Jedi slaps. Rian Johnson understood some of the most compelling aspects of the main themes of the series better than anyone else writing this trilogy, and breathed new life into them in a way I would’ve gone crazy for if they had been elaborated on or fully committed to

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Elize places TLJ third all-time among Star Wars movies, even above original trilogy finale Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983):

this is the objective definitive ranking of all Star Wars films 

A New Hope/The Empire Strikes Back
The Force Awakens
The Last Jedi
Rogue One
The Return of the Jedi
The Rise of Skywalker
Revenge of the Sith/The Clone Wars movie
Attack of the Clones
The Phantom Menace

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Another Tweet expresses massive support for the film:

4 years ago The Last Jedi changed me as a person and as an artist, it became my strong support through all these years and it still keeps giving. I am grateful for the people I’ve met because of TLJ and for the creative atmosphere we’ve developed together

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Taylor defended the movie, writing:

One of my favorite nerdy party conversations is why The Last Jedi is pretty much perfect.

Don’t ask me why because you’re in for at least 30 minutes of character analysis & connections to KotR [sic: KOTOR/Knights of the Old Republic].

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Finally, Anya summed up the TLJ defenders’ thoughts, posting simply:

the last jedi trending as it should

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At this time, director Rian Johnson’s (Knives Out, Knives Out 2) future with the Star Wars franchise is uncertain. Johnson himself has indicated that his trilogy — which was announced years ago — is still in development, but many online reports indicate otherwise.

Snoke and Rey in 'The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Director Rian Johnson Shares “Most Cursed Image of All Time”

Although the plot has not been confirmed, a rumored storyline for Johnson’s trilogy began circulating online last year. According to our previous coverage about those reports, the plot was set to “revolve around the Force-sensitive broom boy that was first revealed at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

What do you think about The Last Jedi?

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