Reading the various comments and articles, such as the piece by Chris Agar from Screenrant, it’s easy to think that fans of Star Wars are attempting to cause more trouble than Rian Johnson would ever think to since his praise of the Rise of Skywalker was kind of surprising. Given how ROS appeared to almost negate The Last Jedi in some ways it’s very easy to think that there might be a few hard feelings between Johnson and J.J. Abrams, who directed ROS and was a bit vocal about Johnson’s attempt with the second movie in the trilogy. But at the moment there’s nothing else to be said about it as both directors are willing to give each other praise and fully enjoy the movies that were put forth. Johnson’s ability to actually enjoy ROS was kind of surprising since one might have thought that he would think that it was an attempt to ‘fix’ what so many fans believed was wrong with TLJ considering the backlash what was felt online. It only takes a quick search to figure out what fans had to say about Johnson’s contribution to the Star Wars legacy since those that felt a certain way about the movie were bound and determined to have their say.
While it’s a big desire to see Rian Johnson step away from the Star Wars franchise and not return it’s likely that he’ll be back at some point, even if it takes a while for people to trust him again. But at this point the fans are being far more divisive than TLJ could have ever been since many people that one would have expected to enjoy ROS were those that criticized it the most. In a way it’s kind of amazing to think that Abrams came in and gave the fans more of what they were wanting, but the fans were still ready to continue the barrage of negative comments as though TLJ had just been released the month before and the sting had yet to fully die down. Unfortunately this proves that the fans are insanely fickle and are bound to find fault with just about anything, especially when it comes to Star Wars fans, who will go absolutely rabid when trying to explain why their way of thinking is right and that the story we’ve been given can’t possibly be worth watching despite the fact that they’ll watch it over and over to point out any and all inaccuracies to those that ‘just don’t get it’. Seriously, it’s enough to make a person want to roll their eyes and wonder just why in the world we’re bothering to argue over a fictional story that, admittedly, could have been a lot more entertaining had Disney taken up the Legends canon, but was still given a very powerful finish.
Johnson was actually the person that stated that catering to fans wasn’t a good idea as Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap has written. The need to be challenged as an audience member and to be entertained at the same time, in other words being ‘catered to’ is entirely possible since a director can adjust their vision and adjust a story to where a fan might fully enjoy it and still get the idea that the director is trying to push. Unfortunately in Johnson’s case, compromise didn’t appear to be on the list of things to do when he was directing TLJ since he forgot that there are some characters in the movies that it’s wiser not to mess with, such as a Jedi Master that had the unfortunate fate of being turned into a moping old hermit after his school was burned down and his students were killed by his own nephew. Seriously, who wouldn’t go on a tear trying to dismantle the First Order after that? The old Luke would have likely joined back up with the Rebels and gone on another tear to destroy the First Order and face down his nephew yet again. It was already established that he had the skills, the knowledge, and the experience to out-duel Kylo Ren, so taking him on would have been a simple matter, though Snoke might have been a little more of a challenge.
It’s still amusing to think that Johnson actually enjoyed ROS if only because it means that he didn’t mind being catered to as a fan, and whether he was challenged or not doesn’t really matter. The movie was quite well done in any case, though there were plenty of questions that still needed to be answered, and hopefully will be in some way through literature or another movie in the coming years. Erik Kain of Forbes has more to say on this subject. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Rey no matter what has been said in the past, as the Jedi are still a large part of Star Wars that people want to see return.