Star Wars has always divided its fanbase, right from the release of its first sequel in 1980. It’s largely forgotten now, but The Empire Strikes Back, the film that many consider to be the best of all 12 theatrically released movies, was certainly not met with universal acclaim. (STARBURST’s very own review by the legendary critic John Brosnan slammed it.) Return of the Jedi was despised by many for its perceived pandering to merchandisers, The Phantom Menace for Jar-Jar, Attack of the Clones for a clunky mishandling of a pivotal romance, Revenge of the Sith for “Noooo”, The Force Awakens for leaning too heavily on the past, Rogue One for underdeveloped characters, Solo for being unnecessary, and The Rise of Skywalker for trying to satisfyingly service so much plot while adequately serving none. We’ve all heard these criticisms ad infinitum, yet in every instance, each film commands millions of fans worldwide that will vehemently disagree with that take. It’s a testament to the scope of storytelling that the Star Wars property allows that it can appeal to so many generations, and within those generations, individual film-fans with such varying tastes.
The Last Jedi is no different or special in that it mobilized a subsection of fans to decry it, and it’s noticeable that the backlash is now lessening the further away we get, and more elements are fleshed out in comic books, novels, and The Mandalorian itself, something that has benefitted every film from the original onwards.
That said, the following development will entirely depend on your current relationship with TLJ in how you’ll react to it. For some, this will be the greatest Star Wars news they’ll hear this year, for others, they’ll be reaching for the Death Sticks. But as long as we don’t lose sight of the fact that whichever camp we belong to, we’re all reading this page for one reason and one reason alone: we love Star Wars.
Writer Sariah Wilson recently conducted an interview with The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson, and while the piece is yet to be released, she did provide a little advance insight on Twitter - in particular, an interesting update on the filmmaker’s plans to create a new Star Wars trilogy. The secretive project was announced one month before the release of Episode VIII in 2017, but as the controversy over that film’s narrative heated up post-release, bubbling over for years to come, the new trilogy’s viability was frequently questioned. By the time company President Kathleen Kennedy unveiled Lucasfilm’s huge slate of Star Wars films and TV shows in development late last year, it was understandably considered to be dead in the water due to its absence. But not so, reports Wilson: “Rian’s trilogy is still on. No dates or timelines because he has other projects going on, but it is happening.”
I'm just going to post this now because I can see that I'm going to get a lot of requests -Yes, Rian's SW trilogy is still on. No dates or timelines because he has other projects going on, but it is happening.THAT IS ALL I KNOW ABOUT IT. 😁😁😁— Sariah Wilson (@sariahwilson) February 16, 2021
With other films lined up first (only one of which we’re currently privy to – Knives Out 2), it means that this trilogy is still a long way off, but it’s exciting / worrying [delete as applicable depending on your TLJ stance] to hear that Johnson hasn’t lost hope of revisiting the galaxy’s greatest mythology which he helped beautifully enrich / flush down the toilet [delete as applicable depending on your TLJ stance].
We’ll have more on this as it develops, but in the meantime… may the Force be with you.
To get up to speed on all the other Lucasfilm projects in development, read our comprehensive rundown The Future of STAR WARS.
John Brosnan may have famously disliked THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, but for its 40th anniversary last year, other STARBURST writers got together to talk about what they loved about it. Read Commemoration of an Empire.