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Warning: massive spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi! If you haven't seen the latest movie in a galaxy far, far away, then you should turn back now!
Many people who have seen Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi will tell you that it expertly deconstructs the events of The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi not only raises a ton of new questions about the franchise as a whole, but it also tells us that the questions raised by J.J. Abrams' movie weren't that important to begin with. On that note, CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg recently sat down with Rian Johnson to ask him how Abrams felt about The Last Jedi's s extreme left turns, and it seems that the upcoming Episode IX director was incredibly enthusiastic about the choices. Johnson explained:
He was into it. And I remember that I pitched him the story at the very beginning, and he had notes, but he wasn't like, 'Oh my God, what the hell are you doing?' [Laughs] No, he was into it because I think he was into the storytelling. He's a great storyteller himself and he saw the potential of each one of these beats. I think he saw it for what we were going for, which is not... we weren't going for, 'Let's subvert a Star Wars movie.' We were going for 'Let's make a great Star Wars movie that has things in it that will push the limits of what we can do.'
You don't have to wait long in Star Wars: The Last Jedi's story to see some of Rian Johnson's bold creative choices. From the astonishing opening battle to Luke Skywalker throwing his lightsaber over his shoulder to the decision to kill Snoke (Andy Serkis) and have Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) become the franchise big bad; everything pushes the limits of the series. Many of these creative choices directly contradict ideas presented in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it sounds like J.J. Abrams understands the importance of trying to intentionally or unintentionally undermine some aspects of the underlying mythos to push the franchise forward.
Despite the fact that J.J. Abrams reportedly supported Rian Johnson's vision, it also seems like Abrams gave Johnson as much creative freedom as possible to make Star Wars: The Last Jedi his own. When asked about whether or not Abrams provided any character input, Johnson explained:
No, he was really gracious, in just stepping back and giving us a blank slate to work with. The starting point was The Force Awakens script, which is quite a big, expansive, wonderful starting point. In that way, we are drawing directly from his work. But from that point forward it was a blank canvas.
From there, J.J. Abrams will take the torch back from Rian Johnson (who is moving on to his own trilogy of Star Wars films) and adapt to these significant creative changes. It's almost impossible to tell where the franchise intends to go after the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so we will have to wait and see what Abrams and Johnson manage to cook up for us.
SPOILERS: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Ending - What Happens And What It Means
Needless to say, Rian Johnson put that canvas to good use with some seriously big swings in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and many fans are excited to see what the future holds. The latest Star Wars film is now in theaters, so pick up your tickets now and check out our review and our To 3D guide to figure out which ticket is worth your hard-earned Republic credits!