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.”
© Cover Media