Rian Johnson Uses Star Wars' Original Trilogy To Defend The Last Jedi

If you thought the controversy and criticism surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi would start to die down now that an entirely new Star Wars movie was released, you, unfortunately, thought wrong. Rian Johnson has been the target of continued criticism for decisions made in the film ever since it was released and that's still going on over six months later. Most recently, Johnson responded to fan who posted old quotes from George Lucas where the Star Wars creator stated that killing Luke Skywalker was a bad idea because the movie was ultimately a fairy tale where people should live happily ever after. Johnson responded with a series of original trilogy images that include several characters who don't see things end well.

The images cover the death of Luke Skywalker's aunt and uncle who got torched by Stormtroopers, the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi at the hands of Darth Vader, Luke losing his hand at the hands of his own father, and the passing of Yoda. Rian Johnson's point, of course, is that Star Wars is no stranger to death. These pictures are only limited to the original trilogy. It doesn't get even get into George Lucas' prequels, where nearly every Jedi in the galaxy gets slaughtered and Anakin Skywalker murders a room full of children.

A lot of Star Wars fans have been critical of Star Wars: The Last Jedi for a lot of reasons. Many have taken issue with the way that the character of Luke Skywalker was handled, believing his character arc was antithetical to his story in the original trilogy. Even Mark Hamill admitted to having some issues with the way his character was handled but has since come to the defense of Rian Johnson's vision.

It seems like Rian Johnson has been forced to defend every individual plot point of Star Wars: The Last Jedi since its release. His point here, that George Lucas had no problem killing characters is certainly valid. It's also not like Johnson is the only one guilty of killing off major characters. J.J. Abrams offed Han Solo before Johnson came along.

Specifically in the quotes referenced, George Lucas is talking about killing off main characters, and the fact is that in the current trilogy, Luke Skywalker isn't a main character. The movies aren't about him anymore. His position in The Last Jedi is very much on par with Obi-Wan or Yoda, and Lucas had no problem killing them off when the story required it.

One thing is for sure, or good or ill, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has had a major impact on a lot of people. At this point, we can expect to be arguing about until December 2019 when Star Wars Episode IX comes out and we have something new to argue about.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.