For director Rian Johnson, “Star Wars” is all about having fun. In fact, he’s a bit surprised by fans who think that his use of “slightly goofy humor” in “The Last Jedi” is a detriment to the series.
In a recent interview with GQ, Johnson broke down some of his most famous work, diving into the process of making each one. Of course, that included “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” which met some pretty harsh criticisms from fans at the time of its release, in part for its lighter tone and humor. And, before getting into that film, Johnson noted that he’s well aware everyone has their own take on things, but seemed surprised at one in particular.
“I know there are ‘Star Wars’ fans who somehow think that ‘Star Wars’ was a serious thing, like the Batman movies or something,” Johnson marveled.
The director noted that he saw “The Empire Strikes Back” at too young of an age, and as a result, it felt legitimately terrifying to him. That changed with “Return of the Jedi,” which Johnson said he saw in theaters at the exact right age, and used to argue that there are a whole lot of scenes from the original trilogy that back up the idea that “Star Wars” has always embraced humor.
“Anyone who thinks that slightly goofy humor does not have a place in the ‘Star Wars’ universe — I don’t know if they’ve seen ‘Return of the Jedi,’” Johnson said with a laugh, citing the scene where Harrison Ford’s Han Solo is tied up and about to be literally roasted over a fire, leading him to try and blow out the torches on his own.
Johnson’s overall comments came in the context of talking about one of the opening scenes on “The Last Jedi,” in which Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron calls the First Order ship to speak to General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), and, when Hux answers, pretends to be put on hold while he waits for the General to come to the phone.
“The slightly self-aware element of gleeful humor is something that is part and parcel to ‘Star Wars.’ It’s not the whole thing, and we get very serious in the movie as well. And I think that kind of brazen balance of those two things is also something that’s part of ‘Star Wars.’ So for me, that scene with Hux and Poe, besides just being a hell of a lot of fun, was also something that felt essentially ‘Star Wars’ to me.”
You can watch Johnson’s full thoughts in the video above.