Why Star Wars Director Rian Johnson Deleted So Many Old Tweets

It's an interesting time in the entertainment world. In the past year or so, the interpersonal interactions made on social media and real-life have had grave implications. Shortly after actress Roseanne Barr was fired from her series and ABC over a tweet deemed racist, the pendulum has swung over to the Marvel side of things when director James Gunn was canned at Disney and Guardians of the Galaxy over controversial Tweets that recently resurfaced. Things took an interesting turn when Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson recently deleted some 20,000 tweets from his years before Lucasfilm. Johnson was recently asked why he did such hardcore social media cleaning, and he took to Twitter to answer, saying:

No official directive at all, and I don't think I've ever tweeted anything that bad. But it's nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a 'why not?' move.

While Rian Johnson doesn't think he's ever Tweeted out something as controversial or insensitive as the remarks made by James Gunn or Roseanne Barr, the director decided to clean house regardless. He's going to have an increased role in the Star Wars franchise will his own upcoming trilogy, so Johnson wants to make sure he's watching his back and covered in the future from any past missteps.

Rian Johnson's Tweet does make sense, considering how quick studios are to distance themselves from problematic cast and crew members. Starting with the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal, there have been a ton of powerful Hollywood figures fired from their positions. Careers have essentially ended for actors and producers alike, as there's been a 0 tolerance for deviant actions or words. As such, Johnson wanted to make sure his bases was were covered, as he continues developing a new Star Wars trilogy with Lucasfilm and Disney.

The decision for Rian Johnson to clean out his social media comes straight off the departure of James Gunn from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Despite his massive success with the Guardians, Gunn was unceremoniously fired from Disney after controversial Tweets resurfaced from years ago. Gunn has since apologized for his insensitivity, although the entire Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is still very much in jeopardy. While fans and actors have come to the director/writer's defense, it doesn't appear that Disney is going to do an about face and change their mind about Gunn.

While Rian Johnson's Twitter purge may have gotten serious attention in the wake of James Gunn's firing, but you can't blame the guy. And considering the massive backlash he faced after The Last Jedi, Johnson is trying to do whatever he can to keep the angry fans off his back.

The next installment in the Star Wars franchise is J.J. Abrams' Episode IX on December 20th, 2019. 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.