Granted, the success of a movie trailer doesn’t always equate to success at the box office. Notwithstanding, the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is certainly giving Disney and Lucasfilm something to smile about. Record views seem to indicate a huge interest in the film. To some extent, they can thank Rian Johnson for that.

Rian Johnson
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Director Rian Johnson..Photo: David James..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

According to Movie Web, the  Star Wars: Episode IX trailer garnered over 110 million views in the first twenty-four hours alone. Those numbers obliterate the views for The Force Awakens and top those for The Last Jedi by over 20 million. While there are many  factors that account for fan interest in the film, Rian Johnson just may be the biggest.

Rian Johnson to thank for interest in Episode IX?

The Rise of Skywalker
(Left to right( Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), BB-8, D-O, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX

The Last Jedi divided the fan base, certainly. Whether Russian Internet bots/trolls played a part in that, I can’t say. Regardless, that division was not an even one. Far more fans, from what we’ve seen, did not care for Episode VIII or the way in which Rian Johnson treated the franchise. Despite threats of boycotts to the contrary, fans are now clamoring to see what will happen in Episode IX. 

A tease of the Emperor’s return, of course, has peaked many fans’ curiosity. But the biggest draw from those I’ve spoken with is how J.J. Abrams will handle the film in the wake of Rian Johnson and the Last Jedi. Will Abrams “fix” what many perceived Johnson to have broken with The Last Jedi?

Star Wars Celebration
Episode IX Rey. (Image: Disney/ Lucasfilm)

Hundreds of millions of people tuned in to watch the Episode IX trailer. Hundreds of millions more will go to theaters this December. The curiosity to see how the Skywalker saga ends, and how it will deal with what Rian Johnson did in Episode VIII, is just too great. So… in the grand scheme, Johnson and his controversial take on Star Wars may be a benefit to the franchise, after all.

Source for trailer view numbers: Movie Web