Director J.J. Abrams has revealed he's unfazed by the fan backlash following Star Wars: The Last Jedi as he prepares to return to the Star Wars universe.
Ahead of his return to the Star Wars universe for the still untitled Star Wars: Episode IX, director J.J. Abrams took time to speak with the folks at IndieWire regarding the backlash from some fans regarding the diversity of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson's film has been controversial for many reasons, however, for some groups of fans, the diversity was the biggest issue as they felt women had overtaken their beloved franchise. For Abrams, though, the backlash is nothing to fret over. As he told IndieWire, "Their problem isn’t ‘Star Wars,’ their problem is being threatened."
While sure to upset some fans, Abrams' words come after a "De-Feminized" fan-edit made waves back in January, with Johnson later taking to Twitter to laugh it off. The 46 minute log cut, which was titled "The Chauvinist Cut," hit torrent sites like The Pirate Bay back in January, and featured a "more badass" Kylo Ren, non-superpowered Rey, a defeated Phasma, and a non-speaking Rose, played by franchise newbie Kelly Marie Tran.
Expanding upon his comments, Abrams went on to say, “‘Star Wars’ is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in ‘Star Wars.'” He continued by saying, “If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’ You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
As to whether or not the backlash will impact Star Wars: Episode IX, Abrams insisted it won't affect his work a bit.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. The film is in theaters worldwide.