Rian Johnson: ‘Pandering to film fans is a mistake’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson believes creating storylines with the sole purpose of pleasing fans is a mistake.The filmmaker, who faced a barrage of criticism from die-hard fans for making unexpected choices when he directed The Last J…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson believes creating storylines with the sole purpose of pleasing fans is a mistake.

The filmmaker, who faced a barrage of criticism from die-hard fans for making unexpected choices when he directed The Last Jedi in 2017, explained that he doesn’t consider pandering to fans to lead to a satisfying final product.

“I think approaching any creative process with (making fandoms happy) would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result,” the 46-year-old said during a recent interview on the Swing & Mrs. podcast. “Even my experience as a fan, you know, if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like ‘oh, okay.’

“It might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.”

While the director’s instalment in the Star Wars saga divided fans, he said he simply wanted cinemagoers to have the same experience with The Last Jedi that he did when watching George Lucas’ The Empire Strikes Back for the first time in 1980.

“I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be thrown off-guard, I want to have things re-contextualised, I want to be challenged as a fan when I sit down in the theatre,” Johnson explained.

“What I’m aiming for every time I sit down in a theatre is to have the experience (I had) with Empire Strikes Back, something that’s emotionally resonant and feels like it connects up and makes sense and really gets to the heart of what this thing is and in a way that I never could have seen coming.”

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Harrison Ford’s Han Solo jacket set to sell for over $1 million at props auction

A jacket worn by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars is estimated to sell for over $1 million (£762,000) at an upcoming auction.The navy jacket featuring four front pockets that Ford donned in 1980 cinema classic The Empire Strikes Back is part of …

A jacket worn by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars is estimated to sell for over $1 million (£762,000) at an upcoming auction.

The navy jacket featuring four front pockets that Ford donned in 1980 cinema classic The Empire Strikes Back is part of 600 lots being sold off by Prop Store during a live auction on 20 September (18) at London’s BFI IMAX cinema.

The fedora hat worn by Ford’s other famous alter ego, Indiana Jones, in Raiders of the Lost Ark is also going under the hammer, with experts estimating it will fetch up to $397,000 (£300,000), while adventurer Indy’s bullwhip from The Temple of Doom is poised to fetch up to $92,000 (£70,000).

There will also be lots of other Star Wars props on offer for fans of the sci-fi franchise, including a Stormtrooper helmet from the first Star Wars film as well as a similar helmet from 2017’s The Last Jedi.

And judging by a recent auction held in Las Vegas, appetite for original Star Wars props is high, with a blaster used by Han Solo in Return of the Jedi fetching $550,000 (£419,000).

Among the other lots at the upcoming Prop Store sale is the costume worn by Johnny Depp in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, the robe worn by Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, the Jumanji game board from the 1995 film, Marty McFly’s (Michael J. Fox) hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II, Forrest Gump’s (Tom Hanks) Bubba Gump Shrimp hat and a Wonka Bar from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

And for movie fans whose pockets aren’t that deep, all items will be on display for the public to view from 6 September.

“Our auction on September 20 2018 will once again raise the bar, presenting some of the most iconic cinematic artefacts of our time,” Stephen Lane, chief executive of Prop Store, said in a statement.

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