Rian Johnson Last Jedi premiere
More info i
Credit: Getty Images

Last Jedi's Rian Johnson explains why he deleted 20,000 tweets after James Gunn's firing

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2018, 7:00 PM EST (Updated)

Following the recent firing of James Gunn over the resurfacing of old tweets, Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson deleted some 20,000 tweets of his own. Since Johnson is also a Disney employee, many assumed that this was done as the result of an order from on high, so the company could avoid any further embarrassment/PR nightmares, should any offensive remarks be lurking in the filmmaker's old Twitter history.

The Mary Sue published an article on the very subject, writing, "You probably know what that means by now."

In response to the post, Johnson tweeted that the deletion was not an order from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy or any other head honcho at Disney. Rather, it was done more as a preemptive measure against the same kind of trolling that ended Gunn's involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

"No official directive at all, and I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted anything that bad," he wrote. "But it’s nine years of stuff written largely off the cuff as ephemera, if trolls scrutinizing it for ammunition is the new normal, this seems like a 'why not?' move."

Johnson is no stranger to Internet trolls, having faced an intense fan backlash after the release of Last Jedi. Many felt that it disgraced the entire Star Wars franchise, and others petitioned to have it remade, while some even sent Johnson death threats. Nevertheless, he's been a good sport throughout the entire affair, while busy crafting a brand-new Star Wars trilogy for Lucasfilm. 

As for James Gunn, an outpouring of support has rolled in since the Guardians of the Galaxy director's termination last week. More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition for Disney to reinstate him, while Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Selma Blair, Jim Starlin, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, and his own brother, Sean, have all come to his defense. 

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker