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Star Wars 9 Destroys Star Wars 8: Fan Boys Shouldn't Be Directors

Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker Spoiler: In slow motion, Snoke slips from the throne, limp as a child dozed off in front of the television. What in J.J. Abrams went ahead when Kylo Ren dumped the new head villain on the blurry edge of this massive scene, nobody knows. But J.J. Abrams is a polite man.

Before the start of Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker, he did not pour oil into the fire, which is still burning in the divided fan camp two years after Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi. Some praise the middle part of the new trilogy as the bravest franchise contribution since The Empire Strikes Back. Others loathe Rian Johnson's film for its radicalism, humor, and veritable dizzying character turns. It's complicated.

After Star Wars 9, however, the cautious realization remains: Abrams is blazing. How indifferent can a director care that someone turns his Star Wars film inside out if he just turns his back on it for a moment?

There is a huge bang between the Star Wars directors

The two trilogy directors Johnson and Abrams lead the dispute over the interpretive sovereignty of Star Wars apart from their films through the flower. Abrams is flanked by his cast, Johnson supported by most of the American film critics. Your choked out sentence sleeves pack the sharp fan criticism in fluffy rhetorical cotton wool.

Star Wars 8 (left) and Star Wars 9 (right)

The interviews with the two directors published around the cinema release read like a passive-aggressive chat between two work colleagues who talked about one important point completely different view are.

Here are a few sorted excerpts, both of which of course also say other things about each other:

  • Abrams: "Oh, that's an interesting decision that I wouldn't have made."
  • Johnson: "Making fandoms happy would be a mistake"
  • Abrams: "The Last Jedi is full of surprises, subversion and brave decisions."
  • Johnson: "I want to be shocked, I want to be surprised, I want to be caught off guard, I want to get things re-contextualized."
  • Abrams: "[...] that's a little meta-approach to the story. I don't think people go into Star Wars and want to have said, 'It doesn't matter'"
  • Johnson: "I want to be challenged as a fan when I go to the cinema."

How the opposing attitudes affect Star Wars 9

Both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are aggressive films. Even their titles seem like a (very short) Dispute, a WhatsApp conversation in which one has definitely read the other's message (blue tick). But answers only after months, if at all.

Star Wars 8 announces an end (the "last") after the "awakening". Star Wars 9 marks a beginning, the "rise" of something. One wants to bury something, the other dig it up again.

The Star Wars tug of war

This is what the films look like in the end. The tatters are flying here. The first minutes of The Rise of Skywalker are a cinematic act of violence. Abrams uses the frantic entry to get the heavy trilogy tanker back on course after losing control, which is very tiring to watch. (Here is our opinion on the effect of the film.)

Johnson wiped out Abrams' Snoke, Abrams pays him back in his own currency. Here is a quick overview ...

... the 4 biggest points of contention in Star Wars 8

  • Let the past die!
  • Luke Skywalker as a bad-tempered hermit with a lightsaber aversion
  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) is a nobody and certainly not a Skywalker granddaughter or anything
  • The obliteration of Snoke as the great new top villain
  • The intrusive humor, especially the over-the-top General Hux
  • Kelly Marie Tran as Rose

... and how Star Wars 9 deals with it

  • The dead speak!
  • Luke now says, "That's not how you handle a lightsaber!"
  • Rey's grandfather is the returned Emperor Palpatine. She becomes the Skywalker, even if not related by blood.
  • Palpatine replaces Snoke.
  • Abrams turns Hux into a spy and uses it to repair his break.
  • Rose doesn't play a significant role in The Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars 9 destroys the most beautiful idea of ​​Star Wars 8

Abrams apparently felt himself in a hopeless situation after Star Wars 8 and responded with a remixed version of his successful trilogy debut. He misjudged the situation. Rian Johnson wasn't just looking for destruction.

If the inconspicuous slave boy on Canto Bight pulling a broomstick towards you and looking into the great, starry sky offers thousands of points of contact for telling new Jedi and resistance stories. Power, so the message, slumbers in everyone.

Why not benefit from each other?

Star Wars 9 doesn't mind this idea, the film erases them. Abrams, who was not originally intended to direct the last part, shows little interest in entering into dialogue with his predecessor. It's the saddest example of the lack of communication between the films and their makers.

That also applies to the connection to Star Wars 7. Johnson would have Don't have to kill Snoke right away. The villain existed in The Force Awakens, literally, only as a hologram. There would have been enough freedom here to fill the generic figure with original ideas - instead of lovelessly taking it around the corner. Because that's what I would say to J.J. Take Abrams' job personally too.

Why not a little harmony?

Star Wars 9, the third member of this trilogy, could have been great now if it had lit a fire from the sparks that result from the points of friction. Instead, J.J. Abrams the fires.

He compares the Star Wars films of the new trilogy in the New York Times with a pendulum, which is a very nice picture at first. It suggests a dialogue, coordinated movements. Harmony. On one creative exchange But both directors did not get involved. They stopped the pendulum and pushed it in the opposite direction.

What stopped Johnson and Abrams from just talk to each other?

Fan boys as directors: That might not be a good idea

J.J. Abrams is a Star Wars fan, no portrait or interview about him can do without this aside. As if it mattered than Star Wars director Star Wars fan to be. Incidentally, Rian Johnson is also a Star Wars fan, as is probably a large part of the directing generation of the two filmmakers who grew up with the blockbuster cinema influenced by Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas. (Abrams is seven years older than Johnson)

I still don't know what's going on in Abrams and Johnson's minds - and what studio decisions have affected the new film. But after Star Wars 9 at the latest, both seem like to me stubborn, a bit vain idealistswho have blinded their notion of what a good Star Wars movie should look like. Without regard to losses.

Star Wars fans like J.J. Abrams don't have to express their displeasure with their favorite franchises in comment columns (or interviews). You can implement your ideas and thoughts directly in the film. What remains is a tattered trilogy, bitchy and chaotic like fan chat.

What has to be different in the next Star Wars films?