Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy Defends Rian Johnson and THE LAST JEDI and Admits to Deliberately Challenging Fans

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In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy answered questions about the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and what it took to get to the final episode. One thing that stuck out to me is when Kennedy opened up about Rian Johnson, and how she feels he did with The Last Jedi.

While there are fans that do not like the movie, Kennedy defends Johnson and the choices he made in the film. Obviously, the Star Wars fans who hated The Last Jedi aren’t going to like this.

When asked about the controversial choices that Rian Johnson made in The Last Jedi and if they were deliberately setting out to challenge fans and their expectations, Kennedy said:

“We definitely did. We’re talking all the time about how we move Star Wars forward and how we keep it relevant. Obviously, we don’t want to just keep making the same movie over and over again. So I agree with you. I mean, I love what Rian did. It’s an absolutely wonderful movie. I think he’s an extraordinary filmmaker. And I really appreciated the bold moves that he did make. I think people forget that, especially when you’re doing a trilogy structure, the first movie is setting things up, the second is usually the conflict, and the third is the resolution. So you’re bound to have that second movie, much the same way Empire Strikes Back was probably the darkest and most dramatic of the three. We talked about it with Indiana Jones! You know, we did Raiders of the Ark and then we did Temple of Doom, which was dark and created a lot of controversy, and people were surprised at where it went with the storytelling, but, frankly, that’s the whole point!

“I love that we have these amazingly passionate fans who care so much. And I know sometimes they may think we don’t listen, but we do, and I thought it was fantastic that people got that engaged. It just showed me and everybody else how much they care. And that’s important for all of us that are doing this. We really look at them as the custodians of this story as much as [we are]. We look at it as kind of a partnership.”

I know that it’s not the popular opinion, but I really enjoyed TLJ. The story was fun and the action was amazing. I also liked the risks that were taken. I see where people can find faults in the film, but I can look past the imperfections. I am excited about the trajectory that Johnson set the Star Wars story on and where we will go in Episode IX.

Good or bad, how do you feel about Kennedy’s backing of TLJ? Let us know what you think.

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