Rian Johnson Received Death Threats After Star Wars: The Last Jedi Was Released

Luke on Crait in The Last Jedi

While it was released back in December, fans and cinephiles alike haven't stopped dissecting Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations, and expanded what the galaxy far, far away was capable of. But not everyone enjoyed these risks, and some fans took umbrage with Johnson's liberal changes to the canon, especially hero Luke Skywalker. While everyone involved in the latest sequel seems to be happy with Johnson's work (Lucasfilm gave him a new trio of movies to develop), some fans are still super pissed with the director. In fact, Johnson recently revealed that he'd gotten some death threats once The Last Jedi hit theaters, saying:

There were death threats. It's balanced by a few things --- 90 percent of the stuff I got online was not only lovely and encouraging but phenomenally thoughtful. Fans would send me essays on the movie. The other 10 percent is just loud and gets amplified. At first I was freaked out but then I realized the things people were angry about are the things I'm most proud about.

Despite Rian Johnson's life being threatened by angry Star Wars fans (via his conversation with The Standard), the director seems to really take it all in stride. He's confident with his bold choices for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and seems to believe that most of the response has been positive. Of course, those haters are especially loud.

Indeed, The Last Jedi seemed to have plenty points of contention for fans to hem and haw about in the following months. Johnson challenged what The Force was capable of, taking inspiration from text that hadn't been adapted in live-action. Luke's Force Projection and Leia's ability to survive in space were each challenged by the fans. Luke's jaded attitude was met with similar backlash, and even surprised Mark Hamill himself.

While some fans has problems with The Last Jedi to the point of threatening Rian Johnson's life, the sequel did a very good critical response. Most professional critics enjoyed Johnson's unexpected choices, while also praising the performances of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Ultimately it made a ton of money for Disney, and the House of Mouse handed the director a new trilogy of films to play with for after Episode IX hits theaters. It's currently a mystery what those movies will be about, but clearly Johnson isn't one to pull any punches when it comes to George Lucas' beloved space opera.

Ultimately, we'll have some time to wait before finding out what Rian Johnson has in store for the Star Wars franchise. Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to arrive in a few months, and J.J. Abrams will complete the trilogy he started with Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available On Demand and for home release now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.