Eighty-four thousand people have signed the “Have Disney strike Star Wars Episode VIII from the official canon” petition, and the numbers are growing, though at a slow pace.
Sitting at a 91 percent on film critic site Rotten Tomatoes, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is by far the highest rated ‘Star Wars’ film to date. Despite the high praise from multiple critics and fans, this film may also be the most polarizing episode. According to multiple accounts, ‘The Last Jedi’ either took far too many risks or was the perfect movie for this ever-spiraling mega-franchise.
‘Episode VIII’ takes place immediately after ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ and follows our heroes on their quest to recruit the honored Jedi Luke Skywalker in order to finally defeat Kylo Ren and the First Order. Leaving behind the style and direction J.J. Abrams brought to this new trilogy in ‘Episode VII,’ Rian Johnson takes the reins and steers ‘The Last Jedi’ into waters that jarred and otherwise impressed longtime fans. Whereas one party of fans felt ‘The Force Awakens’ played it too safe and followed too closely to the original trilogy, another party was adamant that ‘The Last Jedi’ introduced too many risks and was much too different from the original trilogy.
It didn’t take long for Change. org user, Henry Welsh, to create the aforementioned petition, which gained overwhelming support upon being posted.
“Episode VIII was a travesty,” Welsh said in his post. “It completely destroyed the legacy of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi.”
Welsh went on to say that despite Disney’s poor direction with the film, this devastating turn could be fixed simply by signing the petition. Through his efforts, Welsh hoped to convince Disney that ultimately, fans were unhappy and unsatisfied with the film that Johnson created. Therefore, ‘The Last Jedi’ should be re-made, pushing back the untitled ‘Episode XI’ in order to reclaim Luke’s lost legacy.
“Please don’t let this film stand. Don’t take something so many of us loved so much and destroy it like this. Let us keep our heroes,” Welsh said to end his post.
Despite these allegations and claims of injustice, the entertainment site The A.V. Club reported that Welsh realized the petition would ultimately go nowhere as the film had at the time grossed $220 million.
“He explained that he had been in a bad car accident last year and was on strong pain medication when he posted the petition,” Sam Bersanti wrote in the article. “He knows that Disney will never cut ‘The Last Jedi’ from the canon.”
After receiving multiple threats for going back on his original standing and spurring a conspiracy theory that Welsh was bought out by Disney, Welsh has since abandoned his aspirations to remake the film, though the petition still remains for anyone to sign.
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is out in theaters now, and if you hated ‘Episode VIII,’ signing the petition may be your best chance of making a change.
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is expected to be released May 25 of 2018 with Ron Howard directing. ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ is slated to premiere on December 20 of 2019. Disney is rumored to release a Boba Fett movie in 2020.