‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ was THE movie event of the year for 2017, and rightfully so. As the second film in the new trilogy of the most storied franchise of all time, ‘The Last Jedi’ had a lot to live up to with both fans and critics alike. With Rian Johnson in charge as a writer and director, a consolidation that usually results in a cohesive story, fans were excited. Johnson had honed his sci-fi chops on the cult hit ‘Looper’ and he had shown his ability to tell a riveting story with the indie hit ‘Brick’. With an All-Star cast and a plot capably set up by ‘The Force Awakens’, what could go wrong?
Fortunately for Johnson and Disney, ‘The Last Jedi’ opened up with the second highest opening weekend of all time at the box office, trailing only ‘The Force Awakens’. Unfortunately for Disney, ‘The Last Jedi’ was not nearly the thunderous success with critics and fan reception that they may have expected. While the film is still highly rated on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, the fan review score has been plummetting ever since the release. Many fans are pointing to a subversion of the foundation laid by JJ Abrams in ‘The Force Awakens’. Others are pointing out long segments of the film which seemed pulled straight from the prequel trilogy, a comment that is definitely not a compliment to Disney. Fans were mostly upset by the lack of cohesiveness between ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi’.
Rian Johnson spoke in an interview about his pitch to Kathleen Kennedy, the head honcho of the entire Star Wars empire. His pitch was relatively revealing in that it showed just why the two films might not be as cohesive as fans would have liked. Johnson says, “My entire pitch to Kathleen Kennedy and Disney was, ‘Let’s tell a new Star Wars story.'” Johnson goes on to admit, “That was the extent of it. I didn’t pitch an idea or a time or anything like that.” Johnson goes on to explain that he is excited about the potential of the new trilogy.
Unfortunately, the lack of direction that Johnson proudly attests to may end up being a scar on the franchise for years to come. Right now, every Star Wars release is going to be met with an energetic response. However, as the releases become more commonplace, Johnson and co are going to need to start crafting decent projects to keep people excited.