When Disney bought Lucasfilm, everyone thought they had an unending amount of sure-fire hits with Star Wars. Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in 2015, each Star Wars movie released has had its fair share of critical and fan backlash. To say that the backlash for these films pales in comparison to the fan outcry over Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be an understatement. Rian Johnson’s foray into a galaxy far, far away has fans picking and defending sides in Twitter threads and online forums across the web. One fan who chooses to defend the film is long time Johnson collaborator Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
In a well written, lengthy article titled A New Old Skywalker, Gordon-Levitt defends Johnson’s choices in the characterization of Luke, stating:
“That a big Hollywood studio would take such risks on such a big property?—?again, to present their central hero in a drastically different light than ever before, to unflinchingly deliver the ominous message that even the most pure-hearted idealists can struggle through darkness and doubt?—?these are not the kinds of decisions that get made when short-term profitability is prioritized above all else. These are risks taken in the interest of building a world that is not only good for selling popcorn and action figures this year, but that thrives in the long-run on a bed of literary substance and artistic dignity.”
Whether you love or hate Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Gordon-Levitt makes a compelling argument. It is easy to keep the status quo. It is rewarding to push the boundaries of what we think we know.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was written and directed by Rian Johnson, and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Benicio Del Toro, and Frank Oz.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now in theaters.