Recently, the most reactionary Star Wars fans have jumped into two camps: Those who hated The Force Awakens for being too faithful to the old movies, and those who hated The Last Jedi for being too different from the old movies. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson isn’t letting a small number of angry Star Wars fans bring him down, though, and he seems positively diplomatic about the whole thing despite the vitriol of some jerks.
Speaking with Business Insider, Johnson explained that he knows how important Star Wars is to people because he’s been a fan for his whole life. “The fans are so passionate, they care so deeply,” he says, adding, “sometimes they care very violently at me on Twitter.” Threats aside, Johnson gets it. “I don’t take it personally if a fan reacts negatively and lashes out at me on Twitter,” he explains. “It’s my job to be there for that.” Still, the vast majority of reactions to the movie he’s gotten on Twitter have bee “really lovely,” so even if some people are very negative, “that’s not the full picture of the fans at all.”
As for why he felt so confident making a Star Wars movie that subverts expectations of what a Star Wars movie can and should do, Johnson says he was inspired by the spirit that convinced George Lucas to make these movies in the first place. He says that Lucas never made a Star Wars movie by exclusively focusing on what fans would want to see, and he wanted to tell a similarly personal story. Besides, as Johnson explains, the movie would’ve been bad if it had just rattled off confirmation for everyone’s favorite theories and followed the exact plot people expected it to, and he would have had people whining at him on Twitter anyway.
Haters aside, Johnson also explains some of his process for making The Last Jedi, specifically the arc of a few villains and the reasoning for Luke Skywalker’s exile. He even reiterates that he has nothing to do with Episode IX (a point he made back when Colin Trevorrow was still directing it), and so he has no input in how J.J. Abrams will be rearranging the various pieces he just tossed all over the floor. Besides, he has his own Star Wars trilogy to focus on now.