J.J. Abrams returned to the new Star Wars trilogy as director of The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. He had led the franchise in its revival with The Force Awakens in 2015.
But in between Abrams's two films, Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi. Many fans felt that the directors wanted to take the trilogy in different directions.
Viewers who saw The Rise of Skywalker also felt it departed from efforts Johnson made in The Last Jedi just two years earlier.
Rian Johnson speaks out on The Rise of Skywalker
Many expected that Johnson would be hurt or angered by the direction of The Rise of Skywalker. Johnson, however, surprised many when he said he "had a blast" watching The Rise of Skywalker.
He continued: "[It] made me so proud and seeing the heart and soul that JJ put into it. And seeing my friends who were in the movie bring the whole thing to a conclusion. Yeah, for me as a 'Star Wars' fan, it was a really special experience."
Johnson is a fan of The Rise of Skywalker
Johnson kept things friendly with his public opinion on The Rise of Skywalker. While Abrams returned to direct the conclusion to the new Star Wars trilogy, Johnson also enjoyed a successful 2019.
Rian Johnson received a 2020 Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay as writer and director of Knives Out in 2019.