Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi

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The Star Wars franchise is one of the most beloved in film history, with entire generations of moviegoers brought up on the galaxy far, far away. But because the property means so much to the fandom, various collaborators from the franchise have faced backlash over the years. Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi is perhaps the most divisive entry of the property, but it's been more appreciated in the years since it hit theaters. And on the third anniversary of Episode VIII, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker took the time to thank the public with photos from the set-- including one of the late Carrie Fisher.

Rian Johnson made his Star Wars debut with The Last Jedi, with a story full of twists that subverted fan expectations. The filmmaker faced a ton of backlash as a result, and has spent years defending his creative choices and responding on social media. But on the third anniversary of the iconic blockbuster, Johnson took the time to thank supporters of Episode VIII, saying:

While he might have faced the Dark Side of Star Wars community, Rian Johnson still believes the fandom is the best out there. And on the third anniversary of The Last Jedi, the Knives Out director shared some private photos from his first entry into the colorful world of the galaxy. Let's break down what we're being shown here.

The above image comes to us from the personal Twitter of Rian Johnson. He regularly uses the social media outlet to communicate directly with fans, especially about his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He's shut down haters, defended his choices, and continued to praise everyone involved in his Star Wars debut. And while all eyes on what he'll do with another Star Wars movie outside of the Skywalker Saga, for now we can go back to his work on Episode VIII.

The series of four photos start off with none other than the late Carrie Fisher. The beloved actress/writer is wearing Leia's full costume and hair, and interacting with her beloved dog Gary. For his part Gary went viral during the marketing of The Force Awakens, and seeing Fisher back with her furry companion is sure to warm hearts.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently streaming on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Another notable image from Rian Johnson's post shows none other than Master Yoda. Frank Oz once again reprised his role to bring the little green guy to life for The Last Jedi, who appeared to Luke as a Force Ghost in Ach-To. Fans were thrilled to see Yoda brought back via classic puppetry rather than CGI, and the image shows the inner workings of bringing him to life.

There's also a photo of both R2-D2 and C-3PO from the set of the Millennium Falcon. It's great seeing that duo back together, especially in the most iconic ship in the galaxy. Actor Anthony Daniels has spent years playing the beloved protocol droid, and it showing no signs of slowing down. We'll just have to see if 3PO factors into any future installments of the Star Wars franchise.

While Rian Johnson faced some backlash when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters, Lucasfilm was clearly happy with his work. He was given the keys to another Star Wars movie, this time disconnected from the main story. Unfortunately the timeline on this project is unclear, as Johnson is seemingly working on a Knives Out sequel first.

The Star Wars franchise continues with Season 2 of The Mandalorian, as various film projects are developed. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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