'The Last Jedi': Rian Johnson Says He's 'Even More Proud' of 'Star Wars' Flick

The director looks back at his Star Wars entry five years later.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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Luke Skywalker wields a blue lightsaber in The Last Jedi

Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi.


It's been five years since Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi was released, and writer-director Rian Johnson says he's "even more proud of it" now.

"I think it's impossible for any of us to approach Star Wars without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with, and how that myth, that story, baked itself into us and affected us," Johnson told Empire during an interview to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the film's release. "Ultimately, I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives."

As for the decision to make Luke Skywalker a recluse living on a porg-infested planet and drinking blue milk -- and then coming out for one last epic showdown -- Johnson says this was about building up the Skywalker myth even further.

"The final images of the movie, to me, are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they're building it, and they're him embracing it," Johnson said.

The Last Jedi was released in theaters in December of 2017, and followed Rey as she trained with Luke to become a Jedi. It also revealed Kylo Ren's origin story.

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With some fans disappointed at the direction the film took, there was soon a "remake The Last Jedi" campaign, and Johnson even received death threats over the movie. At the time, Johnson said he believed the minority of fans who didn't like the film also happened to be the loudest voices in the Star Wars fandom.

The movie grossed $1.33 billion in the global box office, however. By comparison, Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker grossed just under $1.1 billion, while Episode VII: The Force Awakens grossed around $2 billion.

You can read the entire interview with Johnson in the latest edition of Empire magazine, and you can watch The Last Jedi on Disney Plus now.

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