Rian Johnson Looks Back at Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Backlash: "It Was Not Easy"

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi remains to be the most divisive film in the Star Wars franchise history as some fans have been vocal about their criticism of the creative decisions that director Rian Johnson did for the film, particularly on Luke Skywalker's arc. The choices that he made are still being debated up until today.

In an interview with Empire Magazine (via The Direct), Johnson looked back at the major backlash that he received during the release of The Last Jedi which he described as "not easy" and an "incredibly painful" experience for him.

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"It’s been a process. At the beginning, it was not easy. It was incredibly painful. It felt horrible," Johnson said. "Before the movie came out, if one person said something slightly snarky to me on Twitter, I felt a deep, ’Oh my God, there’s someone out there that doesn’t like me... I have to fix this."

However, Johnson feels better about the situation now and, despite the toxic responses, he still thinks that the whole experience of having "been put through the fire on" was healthy.

"In the context of social media, and maybe in the context just of being a human being in the world, it’s a very healthy thing to have been put through the fire on," he added.

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Johnson also iterated that he doesn't mind receiving criticisms and still enjoys interacting with fans on social media. He also acknowledged that the toxic responses that he got came from a "small percentage."

"The element that I talk about when I talk about a small fraction that gets amplified is not the section of Star Wars fans that didn’t like the movie; it’s the section of them that are abusive online, and that are actively hostile and toxic," he said.

"And it’s very important to make that distinction, because I don’t want anyone thinking that I’m marginalising anyone who doesn’t like the movie, and saying it’s just a small percentage. Having grown up a Star Wars fan, part of the pleasure of it is everybody liking different stuff and talking about it and arguing and fighting about it."

It is always unfortunate as a creative to hear a lot of toxic responses and backlash from the audience and it is great to hear that Johnson has already gotten over it. Despite his negative experience during the aftermath of the release, Johnson is still committed on developing his new Star Wars trilogy which he revealed recently that remains to be in the works.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available to stream on Disney+.