Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi had mixed reviews on its initial release back in 2017. Some fans loved the direction that Johnson was going towards for the movie yet others feel like Johnson has completely ruined the iconic Star Wars franchise.
In relation to that, The Empire Strikes Back, the second movie to be released of the Star Wars franchise, also garnered mixed reviews on its initial release back in 1980 as well.
The topic surfaced within a recent interview that Rian Johnson had with Uproxx, although he was hesitant to share stories about Star Wars since he is promoting Knives Out, with which he directed. Despite this, he opened up his thoughts on how the backlash he has been receiving from The Last Jedi reminded him of this situation that The Empire Strikes Back has gone through.
He thought this was similar in a way because he mentioned a vivid memory of his where his dad took him to the movies, where they saw A New Hope and later, Return of the Jedi, and remembering that he loved and “adored” the aforementioned movies as a kid.
In contrast, he also shared that as a kid, he “distinctly remembers being disappointed by The Empire Strikes Back." With this being said, he added that he later grew into loving the movie and that it slowly became his favorite Star Wars movie after all.
The Empire Strikes Back received mixed reviews, even garnering negative feedback such as the movie being racist or sexist, thus it also wasn’t recognized as the “best Star Wars movie” back in the days. Not until a few years later, where younger ones have acknowledged the movie’s prominence, the division between the remarks over the aforementioned movie has deemed out and it became a favorite amongst Star Wars fans.
“I think that anything with a passionate following always has a passionate following and Star Wars is that, even more so,” says Johnson
It would be interesting to see the fans’ thoughts on Rian Johnson himself, his past movies and ones he’ll be releasing in the future.
The Star Wars franchise will continue with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on December 20th.