There’s been a lot said about Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but if you follow the headlines, you’d think all of it was bad (despite the fact that critics loved it). That’s not entirely a bad thing. Because eight films into a franchise, if you’re still making headlines, that’s because you’re still making compelling choices. And there’s no doubt that Johnson made some bold ones along the way.
While many have chosen to focus their attention on the perceptually bad choices made in TLJ, one prominent Star Wars franchise writer, Gary Whitta, sees all the good.
“Look, I would not necessarily have made every choice that Rian made because I'm not the same person or writer or fan that he is, but I respect and admire and appreciate and support every choice he did make," Whitta recently told the U.K.’s Jedi News. "The film he wrote is far braver and more mature and more challenging than I could ever have written.”
And Whitta — who wrote Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, episodes of Star Wars: Rebels, and contributed to the prose anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View — obviously understands better than most what it takes to keep the galaxy far, far away spinning ever more interestingly. And he understands the world of TLJ too, as he’s currently writing Marvel’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation.
So yeah, Whitta's making a powerful statement by saying Johnson wrote a braver and more mature movie than even he could have written. It'll be interesting to see if fandom as a whole eventually pays Johnson respect for making such bold choices, even if not everyone necessarily agreed with them.