Star Wars novelist Alan Dean Foster says The Last Jedi is a "terrible film." Foster wrote the original novel for A New Hope, along with Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye and the 2015 novelization for The Force Awakens. In addition, Foster also contributed the novelizations for Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3. In a recent interview, the author claims that he wrote a partial treatment to retcon everything that Rian Johnson did with The Last Jedi.
While the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been criticized since day one, The Last Jedi could quite possible be the most divisive installment in the entire franchise. Rian Johnson took some bold risks when penning the screenplay, which some fans either appreciated, or flat out hated. As for Alan Dean Foster, who has a pretty good history with the franchise, he falls into the latter category. He explains.
"Episode VIII was out, it was a done deal. And I went and saw it, and I thought it was a terrible film. I thought it was a terrible Star Wars movie, and there's no need to go into why because every fan already has. I thought, 'How can this be retconned? How can we fix as much as possible from Episode VIII in a proposed Episode IX?' And I wrote a partial treatment for that, attempting in that storyline to explain a lot of the really silly things that happened in Episode VIII."
The Rise of Skywalker had already entered into production, so Alan Dean Foster was not able to get his ideas into the movie, though they probably would not have been included either way. "I did that for the fans," Foster said. "I never expected Disney to do anything with that." In his treatment for The Rise of Skywalker, Foster wanted to explain why the untrained Rey (Daisy Ridley) "suddenly has more Force powers than anybody" after visiting Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. "How can I explain that away? And can I somehow tie that into the fact that she was abandoned on her planet on Jakku and bring those two things together?," he asked.
Alan Dean Foster decided that Rey needed something extra to explain why she was becoming such a powerful Jedi so quickly. The author wanted to give Rey an undefined disease, which would have found part of her brain replaced with electronics, which could help accelerate her learning. "That gives her the ability to learn remarkably quickly and also enhances her existing Force powers, and that's how she can throw boulders around at the end of Episode VIII," Foster said. "Also, it allows her to be instantly simpatico with other droids. I thought this would be a really fun story element, as well as explaining why and how she's able to do these remarkable things."
In the end, Alan Dean Foster says, "I don't know. I tried, anyway. I tried." As for bashing The Last Jedi, it should also be noted that Foster currently has some personal problems with Disney at the moment, as he claims that they owe him over 4 years of back royalties. The author alleges that he has not been paid since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. "I don't think Walt would approve of how you are currently treating me," he said in a statement. "Maybe someone in the right position just hasn't received the word, though after all these months of ignored requests and queries, that's hard to countenance." You can check out the interview with Alan Dean Foster above, thanks to the Midnight's Edge YouTube channel.