Movies: They're not for everyone. But a viewer disliking a movie isn't automatically entitled to an all-new version of it, tailor-made to suit their interests. This is obviously news to a noxious group of Star Wars fans — but at least one director is against them. Filmmaker Rian Johnson responded to the campaign to remake The Last Jedi in a polite, hilarious way that's so much more than the foul idea deserved. But, really — how did it come to this?
On June 14, a toxic and deeply misguided subsection of Star Wars fans launched an online pledge to have Johnson's film The Last Jedi remade. Not even one week later, on June 20, Twitter user @RMTheLastJedi (Remake The Last Jedi) tweeted that they had the funds to remake the film entirely. And by June 21, the plea had reached Johnson himself, who acknowledged it in the most generous way possible: by quote-tweeting a thread on the subject, and writing "Please" over and over again, complete with the praying hands emoji. Seriously! That's it. It was short, sweet, and perfect. To be honest, though, it's kind of a bummer that he felt he had to respond in the first place.
After all, the sequel to The Force Awakens was funny, exciting, and exactly the film Johnson wanted to make. It also introduced more diversity to the film than the Star Wars universe had displayed in its 40-year history, largely thanks to the addition of new female characters like Rose (Kelly Marie Tran).
Of course, this isn't the first time anti-fans of The Last Jedi had made their presence known online. Earlier in 2018, the actor Kelly Marie Tran was reportedly run off of social media by Star Wars fans. Not the kind ones, either; it's not like she was so inundated with love that she simply couldn't take any more of it. Since the film's premiere in 2017, people who objected to her character — Rose Tico, the first female character of color with a leading role in Star Wars — engaged in targeted harassment against her. Just your classic case of racist misogynists, unwilling to accept that not everything was put on Earth to please them. (The film's other female characters, Rey, Vice Admiral Holdo, and even Leia were all subjected to similar online hate.) The natural extension of this abusive nonsense? Demand a new film entirely.
Johnson, the same man who tweeted in support of Tran after she left Instagram, insisting that this fan remake become a reality is amazing for so many reasons. First, it genuinely would be incredible to see a new version of the film. Obviously, Disney and Lucasfilm aren't just going to remake Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi because some people didn't like how it turned out. But the odds are someone is going to take them up on the offer eventually, and the sheer concept of a low-budget, unprofessional remake of a film taken way too seriously by overzealous fans is magnificent.
Johnson wasn't the only member of the Last Jedi family to speak out. Frank Oz, better known to audiences as Yoda, added the following (presumably directed at the campaign):
Johnson's response also reassures fans — real fans — that he has a sense of humor about this. The fact that he's willing to advertise this frivolous campaign just to dunk on a bunch of cyberbullies is inspiring. Not a lot of people have the strength of heart or mind to be comfortable saying "Look how much these people hate my life's work!" So that's cool. It also proves that it isn't going to happen; Star Wars isn't just going to get bulldozed by a bunch of fussy haters. Furthermore, he's defending his own work, which is a show of support for star Tran too.
The "Remake The Last Jedi" campaign is truly ludicrous. It's a demented, idealistic concept that could only be created by the world's most privileged movie-goers. It's also probably a scam. The official Twitter account for the campaign only has 1,854 followers, and, in many ways, it reads like parody. Not to mention, they're already collecting money for a project the unnamed creators are still trying to speak into existence.
The campaign's fundraising efforts shows the "reward levels" fans can achieve for pledging various amounts of money toward this new version of The Last Jedi, though the Twitter account suggests you can sign up for it without having to donate. However, they're also selling tickets to the film. They're selling tickets. To a film. That doesn't exist — and never will. Also, they're just $10 a pop, which is less than what a regular ticket costs these days, it's pretty much a steal. (You know, if you like setting your hard-earned money on fire).
The moral of the story is, hooray to Rian Johnson for making a beautiful, delightful, impactful Star Wars film that was diverse enough to make people feel seen. Johnson made the definitive Last Jedi film, and it's time for all Star Wars fans to accept that.