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Rian Johnson Had A Terrifying First Encounter With The Star Wars Franchise

Rian Johnson is a name now forever associated with the "Star Wars" franchise. Johnson wrote and directed, "The Last Jedi," a film that split audiences. Despite how controversial the film has become amongst fans, Johnson told Empire Magazine that, five years after the film's release, he's even happier with it than he was when he first made it. 

He also explained in the same interview that he intentionally made the film to be a meta-commentary on the "Star Wars" franchise itself. "I think it's impossible for any of us to approach 'Star Wars' without thinking about it as a myth that we were raised with and how that myth — that story — baked itself into us and affected us. The ultimate intent was not to strip away — the intent was to get to the basic, fundamental power of myth, and ultimately, I hope the film is an affirmation of the power of the myth of 'Star Wars' in our lives."

"Star Wars" seems to remain a huge myth to Johnson, who recently talked about his first experience with the franchise and how it terrified him.

Rian Johnson was a little too young when he saw Empire Strikes Back

In an interview with GQ, Rian Johnson explained his earliest experience with "Star Wars." "I was so young that when I watched 'Empire Strikes Back,' it had this deep, profound impact on me because it was terrifying," Johnson said, "because I was just young enough to not experience it as watching a 'Star Wars' movie but to have it feel too real. 'Return of the Jedi' was the one where I was exactly the right age to see it in the theaters."

Despite his close connection with the film series as a fan, Johnson said that he doesn't believe in fan service. In an interview with the "Swings and Mrs." podcast, Johnson said that he never sets out to make movies just for the sake of making fans happy. "Even my experience as a fan," Johnson said, "if I'm coming into something, even if it's something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it's like 'Oh, okay.' It might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing, and I won't really think about it afterwards, but that's not really going to satisfy me" (via Inverse). 

While the twists and surprises of "The Last Jedi" left fans divided, this was in part by design because Johnson never set out to make the exact film that fans wanted or expected.