Rian Johnson thanks 'amazing' Star Wars fans

Rian Johnson thanks 'amazing' Star Wars fans

Rian Johnson has thanked 'Star Wars' fans for "the experience of a lifetime".

The filmmaker - who was at the helm for 'Episode VIII - The Last Jedi' - has spoken out to praise the huge franchise's loyal and "passionate" fanbase after he directed the second in the current trilogy of films continuing the space saga.

Taking to Twitter over the weekend, he wrote: "Want to thank all the amazing passionate thoughtful kind creative talented supportive argumentative opinionated respectful open-hearted inspiring AMAZING Star Wars fans for the past year.

"Getting to hear from & meet so many of you has been the experience of a lifetime. (sic)"

The director will be replaced by the returning J.J. Abrams for the next movie which comes after he Johnson decided not to kill off Princess Leia - known as General Leia Organa in the new trilogy - following the sad death of actress Carrie Fisher before 'The Last Jedi' was released.

Abrams is back at the helm for the next sequel and it is not known how Carrie's passing in real life will affect how Leia is dealt with on-screen, although it's thought he will be able to bring Leia to life in the film by including unused footage from 'The Force Awakens'.

There have also been rumors that some CGI scenes could be included following the use of that technology to show the character as she appeared in 'Episode IV - A New Hope' in 'Star Wars' prequel 'Rogue One'.

Carrie's brother Todd previously teased that his late sister's 'Star Wars' farewell will be "magical" thanks to Abrams genius.

He said: "My sister and Princess Leia are the same thing. And the idea of that story stopping and her not carrying forward is very disturbing to me ... It is awesome that it worked out this way and, thanks to director J.J. Abrams, this is going to be very magical and important to us all ... It is not easy, I can tell you ... But it is nice when you can put her back up on the screen and continue the story and continue the saga. That is important for all of us."