The Last Jedi Director Gets Candid About ‘Incredibly Painful’ Online Backlash

It’s been almost five years since Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hitting theaters and the fan base around the franchise has never been the same. The Rian Johnson-directed sci-fi epic has divided audiences (and some actors), with some loving it and some absolutely hating it.

This caused a massive rift among Star Wars fans, with vitriol hurled at actors, directors, and even other fans. This angry contingent of the fan base has given Star Wars a bad name, with some of Hollywood’s best and brightest calling the fandom the “most toxic” in movies.

But now that half a decade has passed since The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson decided to revisit the film and reflect on his time working on the galaxy far, far away. Some of that came to terms with the online abuse he and others involved with the film have faced for years.

Rian Johnson reflects on online hate

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In the latest issue of Empire Magazine, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has addressed the online hate he’s faced since the film’s release.

Johnson said that “it was a process,” call experience “incredibly painful” and one that made him want to “to fix” people’s dislike of him and his work:

“It was a process. At first it was not easy. It was incredibly painful. It was horrible. Before the movie came out, if someone said something slightly sarcastic to me on Twitter, I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s someone out there who doesn’t like me… I gotta fix it. that.”

He said now he is “Healed of this”, and called the whole experience of “[being] set on fire” a “very wholesome thing:”

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

The filmmaker remarked that he still enjoys engaging with fans on social media and loves criticism. He noted that where he received the hate from was not from “Star Wars fans who didn’t like the movie” but even more so a contingent of fans who “are actively hostile and toxic” on line:

“The element I’m talking about when I talk about a small fraction that gets amplified isn’t the section of Star Wars fans that didn’t like the movie; it is the part of them that is abusive online, and is actively hostile and toxic. And it’s very important to make that distinction, because I don’t want people to think that I’m marginalizing somebody who doesn’t like the movie, and say that’s just a small percentage . Growing up as a Star Wars fan, part of the fun is that everyone likes different things and talks about it and argues and fights about it.

Part of being a Star Wars fan

It’s good to know that Rian Johnson put the vast amount of hate he received at this point behind him. No matter what we think The Last Jedithere’s no reason for someone like Johnson to suffer the online abuse he’s been subjected to.

The director mentioned that he was willing to accept different opinions, saying there was nothing wrong with meaningful criticism. He even talks about his favorite part of being a Star Wars fan in this “Everybody [likes] different stuff.”

So a valid review is completely acceptable. But when that criticism becomes the kind of verbal venom that’s been thrown the director’s way, that’s when problems arise.

But Johnson doesn’t seem to have let it affect him too much. He’s still planning on making a trilogy of movies set in the Star Wars universe, and is apparently looking back on his time on The Last Jedi affectionately.

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