Right away, just from the title of the article, a lot of Star Wars fans would likely recoil and give an emphatic ‘Hell no’ to the mere thought of Rian Johnson ever directing an episode of The Mandalorian. There shouldn’t be any reason to ask why this would happen since the mistakes and missteps made in The Last Jedi were enough to make Johnson notorious when it came to the franchise. He’s expressed the interest in directing an episode of the hit Disney+ show, but it’s more than likely that many people would be willing to sign a petition to keep him away from the Star Wars franchise in the future, despite the fact that it would do little good since Lucasfilm and Disney are bound to do something else with the petitions rather than give in as DC did with the Snyder Cut. The big difference here is that Disney has plenty of blockbuster material in their stable and doesn’t need to rely so heavily on one episode that might not be up to snuff, but one can imagine that if Johnson managed to get a hold of an episode with Ahsoka or Bo-Katan and botched it, his future with Star Wars would be worth quite a bit less since fans have already let him have it over what was done to Luke Skywalker. There are still folks that want to cast most of the blame on Johnson for the green-milk scene in TLJ, and the fact that Luke became a crusty old hermit instead of the hero of the Resistance that they were expecting.
Johnson is sticking around for Star Wars, that’s something that people are going to have to make their peace with since he does have a project in the wings at this time that he’s hoping to develop. But given that The Mandalorian has a great reputation already it does feel as though giving Johnson another chance to prove himself, with Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau looking on hopefully, might possibly be a decent idea. Johnson isn’t the worst director that’s ever existed in the history of cinema, since he does excel when it comes to movies such as Knives Out. But TLJ left such a bad taste in so many mouths that he was nearly labeled as Stars Wars Fanboy Enemy #1, even it’s likely that Kathleen Kennedy might have taken that spot. Giving him another chance does make it feel as though he might find a way to redeem himself and build faith with the fans when it comes to his own project. One never knows, if given leave to do an episode he could possibly surprise a lot of people and shine brightly this time around instead of creating something that was lambasted the moment it was released. It does feel that there are characters that Johnson would be wise to stay away from, and it might even be a good idea to have Favreau and Filoni there just in case he needs to be guided back to the main idea of the story and to keep any single aspect from getting a little too out of control. It’s easy to think that Johnson should be given complete creative freedom with this, but a lot of people saw what happened last time that was offered, and a lot of folks don’t want a repeat.
As one of those that didn’t really enjoy what happened to TLJ, I still feel obliged to state that while the latest Star Wars trilogy did go off the rails it feels as though it was due more to a series of missteps that were taken over and over, and were only compounded when those in charge didn’t feel the need to fix whatever needed fixing. But passing the buck is too easy while stating that things happen is far more forgiving and possibly more conducive to moving forward. It’s bound to be with great trepidation that any Star Wars fan thinks that Johnson should be given a chance, but if he does get that chance and proves that he can do something that is well within the realm of what’s desired, then perhaps it will go a long way toward convincing folks that his Star Wars project, whatever it might entail, could actually work. Much like a lot of Star Wars fans, I’ll be one of those watching carefully to see what happens if the next season of The Mandalorian does feature Johnson as one of its directors, but instead of presenting a wall of negative opinion, it’s time to mature a bit and realize that Johnson could possibly come back and surprise us all. There are a few characters that he might catch hell for if he messes with them in a way that people don’t like, but otherwise, it feels as though he deserves this second chance.