Rian Johnson has a new movie out – the Knives Out sequel Glass Onion. Crime mysteries have long been a feature in his career – including Brick, Looper, and The Brothers Bloom – but there’s one movie that Johnson will always be associated with and asked about. For better or worse, it’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi – which prompted something of a “love it or hate it” response from fans of the franchise.
Speaking to GQ about his iconic movies, Johnson says; “I definitely didn’t approach the entire thing as a meta exercise, because I think, first and foremost, it has to be an honest expression of what the characters are actually going through. It’s not very interesting to just think in a meta way about Star Wars.”
This has been an accusation leveled at some of the Disney Plus Star Wars series, which (up until Andor, at least) have been heavy on Easter eggs, cameos, and nostalgia eg. featuring a de-aged Luke Skywalker.
Speaking of the role of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, Johnson says; “You’re dealing with a story that’s about heroes and about the younger generation meeting their heroes, and a generation that is now the older generation of heroes dealing with being role models for the younger generation, and still being human beings with faults and foibles, and somebody who has the role of a legend, but who feels fallible as a human being.”
Johnson continues; “By the end of the movie, realising the value that that legend has, and realizing that their place is to step up and be that for the younger generation. When you’re dealing with all of these things, the legends that I grew up with were the characters in Star Wars. If I think about the thing in my life that’s been the most consistent thing, it’s been these movies. Anyone who makes a Star Wars movie today is, in some way, going to be engaging with their relationship with Star Wars itself.”