Scrivener used by Rian Johnson to write Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I was at a WGA screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi today (Dec.17) and writer/director Rian Johnson did a
Q & A afterwards. One question was about how as a writer Rian had chosen to make a particular controversial plot decision. They asked if he developed the idea, or if it was a directive from the studio.

Rian said that he had come up with this idea by brainstorming and collecting his ideas in Scrivener. He asked the WGA audience is they were familiar with Scrivener, and added that you can spend hours down a rabbithole creatively exploring your ideas.

It seems that he uses Scrivener for creative exploration and breaking story, but uses Fade In Pro for writing screenplay pages.

Congratulations, L&L!

Sadly, having seen the film now, this isn’t really a compliment for Scrivener. Wow, was that an unformed plot. It felt like he’d written 20 unconnected (but bad) ideas on index cards and shuffled them into a random order. Then when asked “which of those are you going to do?” he went “all of them” and - in a huff - wrote “jump shark” on three more and blindly folded them into the deck.

Beautifully filmed (ie, CGIed - sorry Rian, can’t give you the credit for that) and the acting was much better this time (with a few notable exceptions- Daisy Ridley was still quite bad), but the plot was very poor fan fiction written by someone who didn’t really understand (or like?) the films he was fanficking.

Maybe turn off the freeform corkboard on Rian’s version?


I wonder how Piggy really feels…

The Last Jedi’s reviews on Rotten Tomatoes:


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 314
Fresh: 292
Rotten: 22
Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga’s rich legacy while adding some surprising twists – and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.


liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 116,827

For the most part, critics seem to be out of touch with “common movie goer”. If they say “this is good” the folks you meet on the the street would disagree. At least that’s my experience.

The alternative explanation is less positive and calls into question the integrity of both the studios and the reviewers.

Ahm… I really like Daisy Ridley… :blush:

So what’s this Star Wars thing you want me to write?

Well, there’s some space wizards called Jedi who use this thing called the Force…

Jedi, Force. Got it. Right better get started.

Wait, there’s more. There’s this massive universe of backstory and lore from the other films. Don’t you want to know…?

I’m sure that’s plenty. I’ve seen Harry Potter and that’s got wizards and magic. How different can it be?

Erm? Have you thought where you want to go with the plot?

Oh, I’ve got lots of ideas. So the main wizard, Harry, will go off and do some wizarding…

You mean Luke.


Or maybe Rey.



And how do they know Harry?

There’s no Harry.

Hmmm. Sounds like a lot of people to remember. I’ll have to see what I can do about that.

It’s like we didn’t even see the same movie…or actress. Ridley was one of the top draws, and I thought the story and plot actually made quite a bit of sense, given the theme and amount of obvious corporate meddling visible in the final product.

My point was not about the quality of the movie.

I was happy for L&L that the writer/director of the biggest movie this year gave a shout-out to Scrivener in a room full of professional Screenwriters.

That is very cool! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

Happy holidays!

Devin - I’m glad you enjoyed it. I certainly wish I had.

PCF - yup. Good stuff.

I found his gem on the interweb which sums up exactly how TLJ came across to me:

(It’s the result of a project to teach a “bot” to write new Harry Potter material, and I think it’s wonderful - but then I’ve never watched or read a Harry Potter film/book)

I couldn’t contain my smile when I heard this in the interview. Glad to see a thread was made about it. Really cool. Love his work, and anytime you hear about someone who’s a pro in the film industry using Scrivener to write their films it’s nice to see the word on this great software is spreading far and wide.

Saw the movie. Eh. I’m not as hard on it as Piggy, but it was just as disappointing as all the “new” versions of the movies I saw as a kid. Not the effects and such (or the use of 3d (which I highly recommend) but the plot and characters. Sure, the Lucas originals were “meh” at best. But at least there was a bit more character.

Han shot first!

Air-Gapped MacBook Air Helped Rian Johnson Avoid Leaks When Writing ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: … star-wars/

Having worked on scripts that were never allowed to leave the studio’s premises, that were under armed guard at all times, and where all personal devices were prohibited to ensure there was a super-secure air-gap, I’m very surprised he was allowed to walk around with the MBA at all.

My guess is that the MBA had a “joke” script on it as a decoy in case it got mislaid or stolen, and somehow it got mixed up with the real script before filming. I can think of no other explanation.

A year later and still bitter, eh? :slight_smile:

Bitterness doesn’t fade. Time just makes it thicker until its concentration gives it a sweetness you want to apply to everything.

No, wait… I’m thinking of balsamic vinegar.