Rian Johnson has endured a great deal of fan backlash. Much of the complaints relate to his handling of the Star Wars saga’s core elements, such as character Luke Skywalker. Could a fresh trilogy be a bigger hit among fans?
Rian Johnson isn’t a bad storyteller. The Last Jedi was an ambitious story that took Star Wars to aggressive new levels. The problem wasn’t so much in the story, but in how the Jedi and Luke Skywalker were handled.
Johnson himself has confirmed his trilogy of films is still happening. While some of the fandom may take this as unwelcome news, it may be a good thing.
George Lucas faced a lot of criticism with the prequels regarding his handling of Darth Vader. We knew him in the original trilogy as a brutal and uncompromising dark lord.
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We then see Darth Vader as an ambitious little kid who grows into a naive and temperamental teenager. While highlighting these stages is necessary in the story of his transformation, it was still unwelcome by many.
The prequel films were also different in their stories.
The Phantom Menace wasn’t a rehash of A New Hope. The parallels also don’t exist for the other two films. They were fresh stories.
The former Expanded Universe is revered among fans because of its ambition. It wasn’t the same old, tired dark side user vs. light side motif. Stories were different than the movies.
The Jedi were not always seen as the good guys.
The Fate of the Jedi novels followed a somewhat similar theme as The Last Jedi. There was widespread distrust of the Jedi and a belief that they were too dangerous. This was due to the fall of Jacen Solo, son of Han and Leia, to the dark side. Similar to Kylo Ren, he sought to enact a dark reign across the galaxy.
The story itself isn’t bad, The Last Jedi just played with our nostalgic hearts by drastically changing Luke Skywalker.
Johnson also took a controversial avenue by casting doubt on the Jedi. Until this point, the movies have portrayed them in a positive light. In the prequels, they were the defenders of the republic. In the original trilogy, Luke was the new hope.
Legends has the Gray Jedi term, which refers to users who weren’t aligned with the High Council and could walk the line between dark and light without falling to the dark side.
Like with many other themes, the former Expanded Universe provided depth beyond the movies. Johnson appears to have the daring ambition storytellers have had for decades.
A new story, a new setting and perhaps a new world could be the best thing for everyone. Star Wars fans should give Rian Johnson a chance here.