A particularly noxious subsection of Star Wars fandom has been up in arms about The Last Jedi since its release in December, accusing writer-director Rian Johnson in no uncertain terms of ruining the franchise. His alleged crimes? Taking the narrative in an unexpected direction and (as in The Force Awakens before it) featuring female and non-white characters in lead roles.
That’s right — essentially, this enchanting little cabal is infuriated that a Star Wars director went and made a Star Wars movie.
Up until recently, said anti-fans had made themselves known by harassing those involved in the film, including driving Kelly Marie Tran and littering Johnson’s feed with all manner of hyperbolic invective. Now some have gone a step further, launching a campaign to remake the entire film to their liking. Johnson, for his part, took the news in stride, cheekily expressing his support (where else) on Twitter:
The “Remake the Last Jedi” campaign has been taking “pledges” from fans without actually requiring monetary support, and a mysterious team of unnamed producers has already promised to cover the budget. The campaign’s main promise: to “not make one half of the fandom happy over the other,” but instead to “make a film that the fandom in general as a whole enjoys.”
How these unnamed producers presume to get Disney on board so they can legally commit even a single frame of this project to celluloid is unclear at this juncture, as is the basis of the assumption they’d successfully convince any of the cast members they’ve just spent half a year harassing to return.
Those points and approximately 5 million others aside, the people behind Remake the Last Jedi have some straightforward first steps in mind: crowdsource a story from “people that both loved and hated The Last Jedi” and set up a meeting with Disney to get the rights. As the campaign laid out this path to the big screen, actor Seth Rogen attempted to get some clarity on Twitter:
At press time, the campaign claimed on its website to have raised more than $40 million from pledges. Not a cent of that is at this point part of a tangible budget; those unnamed producers claim they’ve got the actual funds covered.
On one hand, it’s disheartening to watch the creatives behind The Last Jedi face harassment and vitriol from one disgruntled group of fans, especially one whose objections to the film smack of racism and misogyny. The Last Jedi earned some of the franchise’s best reviews and earned more than $1.3 billion worldwide, making it an out-of-the-ballpark success by all standards but those imposed by this specific group of fans.
On the other hand, Johnson’s response to the trolls — encouraging them to go through with their remake and see for themselves how it turns out — is pretty amusing, as is the concept of those involved in this campaign eventually emerging with a finished cut. The possibilities are endless. Personally, I hope it’s a full-on musical, with fish-nuns doing high-kicks and a porg army that sings Christmas carols. Now that’s the Star Wars I know and love.