Disney’s The Last Jedi is one of the most divisive Star Wars movies to ever be released and it has sparked intense debate amongst hardcore fans. Rian Johnson has gone out of his way to appease fans and detail the reasoning behind every tiny decision that he made and one of the biggest problems from fans is the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the movie. It’s this problem that Director Kevin Smith bases his theory of why several fans hate The Last Jedi on, and it makes a lot of sense.
On his Fat Man on Batman podcast, Kevin Smith explains that fan expectations are the real reason that there is so much hate for The Last Jedi and specifically, the portrayal of Luke Skywalker. Smith says that Star Wars fans expected the Luke that they’ve grown up with. The director continues by saying that even the way he looked in the promotional material sparked a sort of expectation in fans. He had this to say.
“I think at the end of the day audience expectation plays into that. Like when, you know, you’re like ‘alright the next movie is going to be all about Luke and I’ve seen Luke in the trailer and I know exactly who Luke Skywalker is and now he looks like Obi-Wan so he’s going to be like this version of Obi-Wan,’ and then they give you a version of Luke that even Mark Hamill reportedly was like ‘I don’t know, is this really supposed to be Luke Skywalker? He’s not the one I remember.'”
To further his point, Kevin Smith went on to say that since director Rian Johnson did not deliver what Star Wars fans were expecting, that fans had an adverse reaction to The Last Jedi. And that seems like a logical explanation, especially since people either hate or love things these days. There’s hardly any room for anything else anymore. Smith explains.
“Some people, it hit them the wrong way in a big way. I’ve seen, it’s not just people going like, ‘oh, I didn’t like it,’ when they don’t like it. It’s vitriolic, as if somebody f$%ked up their childhood.”
Rian Johnson recently weighed in on a debate about Luke Skywalker’s new Force powers in The Last Jedi. Two grown men were wondering where the new powers came from and insisted that there had to be an explanation for everything. However, Johnson brought it all back to the original trilogy by saying that everything that was in there was excepted and there was no great “setup.” Another fan chimed on to agree with Rian Johnson by stating that nobody ever wondered why the Emperor was suddenly able to shoot lightning from his hands at the end of Return of the Jedi without ever being shown doing it.
There are other reasons that people dislike The Last Jedi, but for the most part, it all has to do with the way that Rian Johnson chose to portray Luke Skywalker. The writer/director gave Star Wars fans something that they weren’t expecting and Kevin Smith believes that to be the root of all of the negativity surrounding the movie. You can hear more about what the director had to say about all of the hate for The Last Jedi via The Fat Man on Batman podcast.