Rian Johnson says he is "even more proud" of Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi than he was when he completed the movie five years ago.
After J.J Abrams revamped the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens, Johnson was given the task of continuing the story into the second movie of the sequel trilogy which was released in 2017.
The movie was polarising among fans, some of whom were unhappy with the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in particular, while many claimed it took the franchise in an exciting, thoughtful new direction.
Johnson, naturally, is an avid defender of The Last Jedi, which sees Skywalker shutting himself off from the world after struggling to deal with his nephew Ben Solo's defection to the dark side.
“I’m even more proud of it five years on,” he told Empire.
“When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball. 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.”
Mark Hamill's criticism of The Last Jedi
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Luke Skywalker himself Mark Hamill revealed how he butted heads with Johnson over his character's arc in the movie.
“I at one point had to say to Rian, ‘I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made for this character. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you’ve created and do my best to realize your vision'," he said.
The actor has back tracked on those comments since, though, and was eventually full of praise for Johnson's work, tweeting:
“I regret voicing my doubts & insecurities in public Creative differences are a common element of any project but usually remain private. All I wanted was to make good movie. I got more than that- @rianjohnson made an all-time GREAT one! #HumbledHamill"