Rian Johnson Wanted to Give The Last Jedi a Hell of an Ending: Thats What Makes a Movie a Movie

Since “The Last Jedi” came out in 2017, director Rian Johnson has defended the film from many a “Star Wars” fan who disagreed with how the middle installment of the sequel trilogy played with the conventions of the franchise. In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Johnson spoke about the film’s divisive ending, saying that he wanted to give it an air of finality to combat the “poisonous idea” of intellectual property that has affected storytelling in film.

“Look, in terms of the Star Wars movie I did, I tried to give it a hell of an ending,” Johnson told the Atlantic. “I love endings so much that even doing the middle chapter of the trilogy, I tried to give it an ending. A good ending that recontextualizes everything that came before it and makes it a beautiful object unto itself — that’s what makes a movie a movie. It feels like there’s less and less of that. This whole poisonous idea of creating [intellectual property] has completely seeped into the bedrock of storytelling. Everyone is just thinking, ‘How do we keep milking it?’ I love an ending where you burn the Viking boat into the sea.”

This isn’t Johnson’s first time revisiting “The Last Jedi” in the press. In a career-spanning video interview with GQ, the “Glass Onion” director addressed criticisms of the comedy in the film, which some fans criticized as too broad.

“Anyone who thinks that slightly goofy humor does not have a place in the Star Wars universe, I don’t know if they’ve seen ‘Return of The Jedi,’” Johnson said. “The slightly self-aware element of gleeful humor is something that is part and parcel to ‘Star Wars. It’s not the whole thing, and we get very serious as well. And I think that kind of brazen balance of those two things is also something that is part of ‘Star Wars.’”

Although “The Last Jedi” has remained a controversial entry in the divisive “Star Wars” franchise, Johnson has stood by the film, saying he is “even more proud” of it five years on in a recent interview with Empire Magazine. The director is currently still attached to spearhead a new trilogy of “Star Wars” films, although he recently said “it wouldn’t be the end of the world” if the project didn’t pan out.

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