Rian Johnson defends use of comedy in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: “I don’t know if they’ve seen ‘Return of The Jedi’”

Rian Johnson has defended the use of comedy in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Since its release in 2017, the eighth instalment of the so-called Skywalker saga has caused much division among Star Wars fans, with many original trilogy purists passionately criticising it.

Johnson, who took over the reigns of the franchise after JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens, has repeatedly defended his film over the past few years, and has done so once again in a new interview.

While speaking to GQ, the Glass Onion director discussed one particular scene in which Po Dameron (Oscar Isaac) playfully toys with General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) over the intercom, in what is ostensibly a serious moment.

The comedic scene didn’t sit well with many diehard fans, but Johnson described it as “essentially Star Wars“.

“For me, everything in the movie is Star Wars, and everything in the movie I can trace back to deeply, in a deep way, what Star Wars is for me,” he said. “Everyone has a different take.”

He continued: “I know there are Star Wars fans who somehow think that Star Wars was a serious thing, like the Batman movies or something.

“I was so young that when I watched Empire Strikes Back, it had this deep, profound impact on me, because it was terrifying, because I was just young enough to not experience it as watching a Star Wars movie, but to have it feel like too real.”

'Knives Out'
Rian Johnson. Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix

Johnson argued that the original trilogy itself had some similar comedic moments, saying: “Anyone who thinks that slightly goofy humour does not have a place in the Star Wars universe, I don’t know if they’ve seen Return of The Jedi.

“Even the first movie, they’re in the heart of the Death Star and they’re trying to do this desperate gambit to get out with their lives and save the princess, where they’re pretending that Chewbacca is their prisoner. The little imperial droid comes up, Chewbacca roars at it, and the droid, like a scared dog, goes screeching and wheels away.”

He added: “The slightly self-aware element of gleeful humour is something that is part and parcel to Star Wars. It’s not the whole thing – we get very serious in the movie as well, and I think that brazen balance of those things is also something that is part of Star Wars.”

Last month, Johnson expressed his desire to “hop right into” making Knives Out 3. Glass Onion, the second film in the murder mystery franchise, will be released on Netflix on December 23.

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