Director Rian Johnson Reflects on ‘The Last Jedi’ Five Years Post-Release: “I’m Even More Proud of It”

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In 2017, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiered to global fanfare, grossing over $1.3 billion USD and cementing itself in cinema history as the ninth highest grossing film of all time.

The second installment of a trilogy, following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi follows Rey as she seeks the aid of Luke Skywalker in strengthening the Resistance forces in their ongoing battle against the First Order, a movement that seeks to place the galaxy under a military-style dictatorship.

Five years on from The Last Jedi’s debut, Johnson, who wrote the movie in addition to directing, is reflecting on his contribution to the Star Wars legacy.

“I’m even more proud of it five years on,” Johnson said in a recent interview with Empire. “When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball.”

“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,” he continued. “The ultimate intent was not to strip away – the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth. And ultimately I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of Star Wars in our lives.”

Some fans were surprised to see that the film depicted Skywalker as a hermit who had left behind the Force to live in self-imposed isolation on the planer Ahch-To. When approached by Rey, he’s initially hesitant to help her in the fight against the First Order.

Skywalker’s character arc opens up the Jedi Master to new interpretations and a layered, complex storyline.

“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 told Empire.

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