It has been two years now since the release of The Last Jedi and yet the conversations persist. The film proved to be one of the most divisive in the Star Wars franchise, perhaps even one of the most divisive films of all time, and received much more than its fair share of fan backlash, with some of it being reasonable and the rest of it being quite toxic. The Last Jedi director has spent more time discussing this than he has anything about the film itself, yet he remains positive, even thankful for the response - both good and bad.
"In terms of the bad stuff, I'll tell you it's interesting. That's been one of the really healthy things for me about the past couple of years, is getting exposed to it. Before I made The Last Jedi, I had never had anyone hate me on the internet. If during the course of a year I got one negative tweet I would go into a panic. I'd be like 'Oh my god, someone out there doesn't like me. I need to fix this!' The thing is though, I am really really thankful. Because what that meant is that my sense of self-worth was attached to the notion of everybody liking me online. And the fact that this process has made me, out of survival, disconnect from that."
Rian Johnson has to be commended for taking such an upbeat lesson from something that has driven other actors and celebrities to the brink of despair. Johnson then added how the experience has transformed his perception of social media and has made his response to the platform much healthier.
"And also it's given me a more realistic view of the system that is social media. There's a lot of great, genuine interaction that goes on. The bad stuff, the systematic trolling, the almost gamified abuse that some people devote their entire online presence to; honestly, once you've seen enough of it, you see the pattern of it.
It just sort of gets boring after a while. It doesn't even give me that little negative ping anymore. And I don't think it's even my skin growing tough. It's just I've put in perspective. I realize this is kind of a byproduct of this social Twitter system. There's going to be some degree of people where this is their hobby, basically. So overall I found it made me adjust to social media where I'm seeing it and using it in a healthier way."
It sounds like the more toxic side of social media and Star Wars has far from put Johnson off the franchise, such it has with other directors, and his almost philosophical approach to the whole affair is quite aptly rather Jedi-like in its way.