Star Wars Was Always A Comedy, Says Last Jedi Director

Rian Johnson revealed that Star Wars was always a comedy, especially in scenes like when Chewbacca frightens a tiny robot.

By Douglas Helm | Published

star wars comedy

Rian Johnson recently did an in-depth interview with GQ about some of his most iconic movies and his comments about The Last Jedi are sure to rile up the hive of scum and villainy that the Star Wars fandom can sometimes be. Johnson talked about how Star Wars inherently has elements of comedy movies, saying “Anyone who thinks that slightly goofy humor does not have a place in the Star Wars universe, I don’t know if they’ve seen Return of The Jedi.” He specifically references the scene where they’re pretending Chewbacca is a prisoner to escape the Death Star, saying “The little imperial droid comes up, Chewbacca roars at it, and the droid, like a scared dog, goes [screeching].”

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, it’s hard to disagree with Rian Johnson here. There is plenty of comedy in the beloved original trilogy as well as the newer hit TV shows like The Mandalorian. If the film was nothing but dour and serious, it certainly wouldn’t feel like a quintessential Star Wars movie, as comedy helps to alleviate some of the harsher moments.

Of course, Johnson is fighting an uphill battle here, as his Star Wars film is one of the most divisive of all time, especially because of the comedy bits in the movie. Also, while some people complained about the comedy in The Last Jedi, most had more problems with how Luke’s character was handled rather than the humorous bits. Of course, there are plenty of people who loved the film, but just as many hated it.


For The Last Jedi, there isn’t a lot of middle ground for fans. While nearly everyone thought The Force Awakens was a promising start to the new Star Wars trilogy and The Rise of Skywalker was a disastrous end, The Last Jedi is either beloved for subverting expectations or reviled for the same reason. The Star Wars comedy elements tend to be a minor gripe in the discussion, but the same could be said for most of the franchises that Disney has taken over.

If anything, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has comedy elements that fit the universe just fine. The conversation between the uptight General Hux and Oscar Poe’s smarmy Poe Dameron is perfect for both characters and Yoda giggling at the ancient Jedi texts burning is great. Plus, who can really stay mad at Mark Hamill grinning as he drinks blue milk straight from the (disgusting) source?

If Star Wars were to forgo comedy altogether, fans would miss out on great scenes like the bickering scout troopers (played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally) in The Mandalorian. Plus, there are just as many kids who watch Star Wars as adults. You have to keep in mind that kids are going to want some light-hearted and goofy humor mixed in with characters rebelling against authoritarian regimes.

There are also Star Wars projects like Andor that keep comedy to a minimum, so there is clearly room for both in the ever-expanding far, far-away galaxy. With the number of shows that Disney is releasing, there is sure to be a Star Wars movie or TV show that fits everyone’s tastes. Of course, there are always going to be subsections of such a massive fandom that are going to complain about new projects.

There is one thing you can always count on with Star Wars — you can’t please every fan, even when there is comedy levity involved. There are always going to be serious projects, comedy-leaning projects, and projects that intermingle both. Whether you agree with Rian Johnson or not, the franchise will move on regardless and it’s not always going to make everyone happy.