'Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson reveals why he loves the George Lucas 'Star Wars' prequels

Ben Arnold
·2-min read
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Credit: Lucasfilm)
Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Credit: Lucasfilm)

George Lucas's Star Wars prequels remain some of the most divisive material in the franchise's sprawling canon.

But they appear to have a devoted fan in Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

Weighing into a Twitter-based discussion on whether or not there is anything good to say about the prequel films, Johnson was emphatic.

“Lucas made a gorgeous 7 hour long movie for children about how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists,” he explained.

Read more: Star Wars fans petition for Revenge of the Sith director’s cut

“And did it while spearheading nearly every technical sea change in modern filmmaking of the past 30 years.”

Deep stuff.

Lucas's movies have caused division among Star Wars fans since The Phantom Menace emerged in 1999.

Some thought they played to an audience that was too young, while simultaneously being too complex and - with all the frequent forays into galactic politics - really quite boring in places.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Credit: Fox/Lucasfilm)

Clearly Johnson, who leaped into the Star Wars universe for the similarly divisive The Last Jedi, sees hidden depths in the trilogy, which told the story of how Darth Vader and the evil Empire was born. The prequels have also found new life among hardcore fans who grew up with them as their Star Wars trilogy, with a Reddit room dedicated to memes from the prequels attracting more subscribers than subreddits for the other trilogies.

Read more: Take our Revenge of the Sith quiz

Johnson was in line to work on a new trilogy of movies in the series, it was announced in 2017, however, the current status of that project remains unknown.

This came around the same time as the announcement that Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were also working on a trilogy, though they later stepped away.

Then in May this year, it was announced that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is working on a Star Wars movie project, though details on that are also scarce.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige is also developing a Star Wars movie with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.