A substantial portion of the Star Wars fanbase was turned off the franchise after Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi back in 2017. Though a substantial amount of the outrage people saw online following the film's cinematic release was evidently due to Russian bots, there were more than a few real fans who reacted negatively to the film and toward Johnson, who wrote and directed it.
That was exemplified by the events that unfolded on Twitter recently, when a rumor began to circulate that Johnson was going to be stepping back from the franchise and that his planned trilogy had been canceled. These rumors spread fast, thanks in part to SuperBrosMovies, only to be debunked just as quickly, much to the disappointment of Johnson's most ardent detractors. The site has since published an apology, which Johnson has humbly accepted.
There are a lot of Star Wars fans out there that would love to see Rian Johnson removed from the franchise, just because of a few elements of The Last Jedi, which is somewhat unreasonable. The film was far from perfect, and some of the most vocal critics have established some valid reasons for wanting to shun it, criticizing specific elements as opposed to writing off the entire film like some. However, no matter what your stance is on the matter, there's no denying that Johnson was able to produce something unique, which is exactly what the Star Wars franchise needs going forward.
Before some of you leave to grab your pitchforks, let's take a look at what the film saga thus far has brought us, along with the anthology films and television shows.
The original trilogy offered something new to cinema with its setting, characters and concepts. The story revolved around Luke Skywalker discovering the Force, learning how to connect with it and break through the limitations he imposed on himself so he could free his father and the galaxy from the evil of the Emperor. The prequel trilogy built on that by presenting the story of Anakin Skywalker to show us how someone could easily fall, no matter how noble their drive.
It's been 40 years since A New Hope, and the franchise continues to revolve around the Skywalker bloodline without really providing audiences with anything new. To do that, Lucasfilm has nearly exhausted the franchise of any kind of much needed mystery until, as we've started to see, the smallest details are being mined for narrative building material. Nowhere was that more painfully clear than in Solo: A Star Wars Story (directed by Ron Howard), which many fans found to misuse the characters and world at its disposal in order to expand on generally uninteresting details like the origin of those dice or how Han Solo got his blaster.
The entirety of Rogue One (directed by Gareth Edwards) revolved around one very specific detail from A New Hope and it was a great film, but using minor details from beloved films as the basis for an entire story is no way to continue a franchise. Star Wars -- with regard to the films in particular -- needs to start innovating with characters and stories.