The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has responded to the complaints about the high body count in his Star Wars movie. His tweet was in response to a transcript from the production of the original Star Wars trilogy where George Lucas revealed that he did not want to kill off any characters.
It's no secret that a number of Star Wars fans were furious with what Rian Johnson did with the franchise, specifically with Luke Skywalker, who was found in hiding at the beginning of the movie, having completely given up on the galaxy. They were even more furious when Rian Johnson had Luke Skywalker killed off at the end of the movie, bringing a not-so-exciting conclusion to his story. Even though Mark Hamill revealed that he agreed with the decisions made for his character after seeing the movie himself, a number of Star Wars fans still argued with Johnson's decisions, and even misquoted Hamill on a regular basis to try to prove that Johnson did a horrible job.
Earlier this week, Twitter user SYNCHRONIC DESIGNER tweeted a transcript of a conversation from the development stages of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi between George Lucas and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, where Lucas argued that no characters should ever have to die in a Star Wars movie, comparing them to fairy tales. He brought up the fact that killing off beloved characters could potentially alienate fans, which is why Lucas didn't want Luke or Leia to die in Return of the Jedi. In fact, he didn't even want Yoda to die.
The Twitter used this transcript as an argument for why Rian Johnson's decision to kill off characters like Luke Skywalker, Admiral Ackbar, and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a horrible idea. Johnson responded by sharing numerous pictures of character deaths in the original trilogy, including Yoda, Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, and Obi Wan Kenobi, pointing out the hypocrisy in Lucas's argument.
Johnson went on to explain the reasoning for his decisions in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, explaining that the deaths and decisions made the movie more personal. Here is what he had to say.
"For me TLJ 100% distills what the spirit & heart of SW has been in my life. But yes it is personal, it's a certain pov, and it has to be - originals were personal for GL, that's why they're alive. SW films will truly betray the heart & spirit of the originals if they lose that, and become soulless clean homages. But being alive means being messy, and it means every film won't line up exactly with what every fan is expecting or wants. I'm sorry TLJ didn't line up with your own certain pov, really, honestly I am. MTFBWY."
While Rian Johnson's comments may not be enough to get a number of Star Wars fans to forgive him, he does raise some great points. One of the biggest factors that led a lot of people to disliking The Last Jedi was that they expected the movie to go a certain way, and answer a few specific questions like Snoke's origin, leading to quite a bit of disappointment when the movie didn't go the way fans expected. All in all, the decisions made by Rian Johnson were personal, and overall they arguably did improve the movie as a whole.