Exclusive: Five Years Later, Rian Johnson is “Even More Proud” of Star Wars!
“This is not going to go the way you think,” Luke Skywalker says in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which feels especially appropriate. In addition to continuing the stories of Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and Poe Dameron, writer-director Rian Johnson’s middle installment in the Sequel Trilogy delve deeply into the character of Luke Skywalker himself, decades after Return Of The Jedi’s triumphant conclusion.
It was full of surprises along the way, expanding on the themes of The Force Awakens in new and unexpected ways. It was another box office success, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide, but it also presented challenges to its audience that some weren’t quite prepared for at the time.
In a new interview with Empire, director Rian Johnson reflects on the fifth anniversary of The Last Jedi and his role in the Skywalker Saga after a few years have passed. He claims that he is even more proud of it five years later. When I was in the box, I swung at the ball.
According to him, the film is about Star Wars and what it means to fans, rather than simply being a Star Wars film (himself included). Johnson claims that no one can approach Star Wars without thinking of it as a myth we were exposed to as children and how that myth that story ingrained itself in us and had an impact on us.
“The ultimate goal was to get to the fundamental power of myth, not to strip it all away.” Finally, I hope the film demonstrates the impact of the Star Wars myth on our culture.
This includes the divisive portrayal of Luke Skywalker as a reclusive hermit who has cut himself off from the Force after sensing evil in his nephew Ben Solo and unintentionally inciting him to turn to the Dark Side as Kylo Ren.
Even though he begins the film in a very different place than we left him at the end of the Original Trilogy, Luke’s journey throughout The Last Jedi, which culminates in his death and the creation of a new Skywalker legend, causes him once again to become a universal symbol of hope and rebellion.
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According to the director, the film’s final shots “are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they’re building it, and they show him embracing it.” They represent him firmly rejecting the notion that the past should be forgotten and embracing the most important aspects of his myth that will inspire future generations.
As a result, removing things always serves the purpose of getting to the heart of what truly matters. Something vital, something that truly matters? He could be referring to The Last Jedi.
The Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery issue also includes a first look at Johnson’s upcoming murder mystery and brand-new images from Johnson’s archive spanning his filmography, from The Last Jedi and Looper to Brick and Breaking Bad. You can read Empire’s complete The Last Jedi five-year anniversary interview with Rian Johnson there.