If you're wise enough not to be on Twitter or Reddit, you may have missed an interesting phenomenon that's been unfolding in the wake of The Last Jedi's arrival in theaters: namely, Star Wars fans being very, very angry at Rian Johnson. It's the "You ruined my childhood!" thing all over again, and for anyone who was perfectly content with Johnson's film, it's been both baffling and breathtaking to witness. The vitriol is off the charts.
As it turns out, Johnson has noticed this phenomenon, as well, and in a new interview with Business Insider (as pointed out by our friends at Collider), Johnson shares his response to the backlash. Here it is, in full:
"Having been a Star Wars fan my whole life, and having spent most of my life on the other side of the curb and in that fandom, it softens the blow a little bit.
I’m aware through my own experience that, first of all, the fans are so passionate, they care so deeply — sometimes they care very violently at me on Twitter. But it’s because they care about these things, and it hurts when you’re expecting something specific and you don’t get it from something that you love. It always hurts, so I don’t take it personally if a fan reacts negatively and lashes out on me on Twitter. That’s fine. It’s my job to be there for that. Like you said, every fan has a list of stuff they want a Star Wars movie to be and they don’t want a Star Wars movie to be. You’re going to find very few fans out there whose lists line up.
And I also know the same way the original movies were personal for Lucas. Lucas never made a Star Wars movie by sitting down and thinking, “What do the fans want to see?” And I knew if I wrote wondering what the fans would want, as tempting as that is, it wouldn’t work, because people would still be shouting at me, “F— you, you ruined Star Wars,” and I would make a bad movie. And ultimately, that’s the one thing nobody wants.
And let me just add that 80-90% of the reaction I’ve gotten from Twitter has been really lovely. There’s been a lot of joy and love from fans. When I talk about the negative stuff, that’s not the full picture of the fans at all."
Real talk? Johnson's response is a lot more patient and understanding than I think most of our responses might be, were we to be inserted into his shoes for a day. It's also right in line with everything we've always heard about the guy: quite notoriously, Rian Johnson is considered one of the nicest people working in Hollywood. We're not surprised in the least to see him being thoughtful in the face of all that anger. By all accounts, dude's a mensch.
Anyhoo, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now. A bunch of people enjoyed it, some did not. If you're one of the latter, please consider expressing your disappointment in a more considerate manner than, say, tagging Rian Johnson on Twitter and inviting him to go to hell.