Rian Johnson defends Last Jedi decisions amid unrest from a pocket of fans

A petition to strike the film from the Star Wars canon has garnered over 29,000 signatures

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' European Premiere - VIP Arrivals

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has defended dramatic decisions in the film, amidst a growing chorus of fan grumbling.


*Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to follow*

A number of fans appear to be unhappy with the way in which the two biggest questions from The Force Awakens – who is Supreme Leader Snoke? Who are Rey’s parents?  were answered. Plus, a grown man has even started a petition asking for Disney to “strike Star Wars Episode VIII from the official canon”, citing its mistreatment of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi legacy. Yeah, good luck with that one…

“I wrote this script before The Force Awakens came out, so when I wrote it, the ‘Who is Snoke?’ mania hadn’t arisen with the fans yet,” he told the LA Times.

“Even if it had, my perspective is it’s similar to how the Emperor was handled. The first three movies you know nothing about the Emperor because you don’t have to, because that’s not the story. You know exactly what you need to know. Whereas in the prequels, you know everything about him because that is the story.”

As for Rey, in the film, Kylo Ren reveals that she is not related to Luke, Princess Leia, Han Solo, or Snoke. Her parents are just normal people, who are unrelated to the story.

“It felt like the way to go because it’s the hardest thing that she could possibly hear,” Johnson said.

“It would be the easy thing for her to be defined by, ‘Yes, this is how you fit into this story — it’s because your parent is so and so!’ In that moment, for Kylo to be able to use that [information] as a knife and twist it to try and get what he wants, felt like the most dramatically potent option.”

The film brought in a remarkable $450 million at the box office on its opening weekend, and while over 29,000 people have signed the petition cited above, it likely won’t outweigh the millions of people that saw the movie and quite enjoyed it.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out in UK cinemas now.