Rian Johnson understands Star Wars Ring Theory

Dec 7, 2017

A promotional article in Rolling Stone Magazine reveals a great nugget of intel about The Last Jedi director's comprehension about what he calls the 'patterns' in Star Wars.

The rest of us call it Star Wars Ring Theory.

This is George Lucas' round about why of describing it:

"The interesting thing about Star Wars—and I didn’t ever really push this very far, because it’s not really that important—but there’s a lot going on there that most people haven’t come to grips with yet. But when they do, they will find it’s a much more intricately made clock than most people would imagine."

Mike Klimo, who coined the term Star Wars Ring Theory, states that this "means that Lucas was expanding the original trilogy into an “epic sextet, with patterns of plot and structure, cinematic allusions, and visual imagery acquiring meaning above all from [their] interrelationships."

If that made any sense... you'll appreciate what Rian Johnson was talking about in the Rolling Stone article:

As he shaped the story for Last Jedi, Johnson found it challenging to grapple with the "patterns" in the Star Wars movies. 

 "It was a real process," he says. "There's a lot of possibilities with how to take it... Even just as a Star Wars fan, you realize there are patterns etched into your brain of how you think it should go. It's tough, because you don't want to let yourself be guided by those deep-set grooves in your brain, but you also don't want to make creative decisions just to spite those. 

It's an interesting line to ride. I felt that I had to be conscious of those patterns and those grooves. Whether I was going to subvert them or play along with them. You could say, 'I'm going to just ignore them and tell my story,' but then you're fooling yourself and you're probably just going along the same path. I had to be conscious of them and even incorporate them. This can't drive it, but you have to incorporate them, almost in a meta way, into the narrative itself."

We'll see how this plays out in Last Jedi and report back.

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