Rian Johnson and the Creative Process

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Written by Josey
There are two commonly-held perceptions about the Sequel Trilogy we’ve seen in the fandom:

One, that Rian Johnson was – and JJ Abrams thus will be – allowed to do whatever he wanted with his installment of the trilogy, including retconning established movie canon; and

Two, that anything “The Powers That Be” say on social media should be taken as the literal truth.

However, on June 12th, Rian Johnson debunked both perception in two sequential tweets:

FireShot Capture 74 - SWSC Collaborations - Google Docs_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d.png

 

FireShot Capture 75 - SWSC Collaborations - Google Docs_ - https___docs.google.com_document_d.png

Rian’s first assertion, that he was “not given restrictions,” if taken literally, would suggest to many that he indeed had completely free reign.

However, his second tweet reveals that said claim was actually “from a certain point of view.” Rian *was* given restrictions – he apparently could not change anything substantive already established about the story’s universe. (Infamously, he *did* move Kylo’s scar, but that is arguably a superficial change in all senses of the word.)

There are two lessons to be taken from this simple statement and clarification:

One, that one should not assume that a creator’s statement means what you think it means; and

Two, that Rian did not change what JJ established in The Force Awakens, nor – by logical extension – will JJ change what Rian established in The Last Jedi.

What does this mean, specifically, for Episode 9? That this movie may give answers that appear to conflict with the ones we appeared to have been given in The Last Jedi, but if it does, it will have been the true answer all along.


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