Sometimes it seems like all that can be said about The Last Jedi has already been said. No movie has split fans and critics quite so starkly. The backlash was ferocious and the reactions remain visceral to this day.
Whereas The Force Awakens was almost machine-tooled to tick boxes and provide fan service after the Prequels, Johnson’s follow up went a different way. It often seemed to rally against those same expectations – leading to the now-infamous catchphrase about subverting expectations.
This week the director, whose new whodunnit comedy Knives Out hits cinemas in November, has spoken on the Creative Processing Podcast at Cinema Blend and explained the decisions he took with his Star Wars film:
“I think the instant you start thinking in terms of how do you not step outside of the bounds of what the original movies did, you’re not thinking the way the people who made the original movies did. They were with every movie, they were pushing it forward, with every movie they were stepping outside those bounds and pushing the characters into new, emotionally honest, but surprising places.
That’s why those movies are great. That’s why they’re alive. If they had been looking at something that came before it and saying, ‘Oh, we better not do this because that is outside of this or that,’ it would’ve been different.”
How much of his work will be re-retconned when Abrams’, the safe pair of hands, returns for Episode IX?
The Mandalorian is also looming large. The first live-action Star Wars series premieres November 12th and executive producer Jon Favreau has had plenty to say about it in the last couple of days.
Johnson meanwhile is working on further Star Wars films for Disney, though those have yet to be locked down.