From 'Looper' to 'Knives Out,' Rian Johnson's films reveal the importance of choice

From 'Looper' to 'Knives Out,' Rian Johnson's films reveal the importance of choice ...

"There are three constants in life," said Stephen Covey, adding: "It''s time to choose, choose, and principle." If ever there was a sentence that described Rian Johnson''s films, it would be that one. While Johnson is famous for directing films that play with their genre, he also presents the protagonists of those films with choices that fundamentally alter them and the world they inhabit. Looper, a 2012 time travel thriller

As a result, a looper starts in a world where time travel has been unlawful, leaving many criminal organizations in the future to hold their targets and send them back to a point in the past where "loopers" take them out. One looper, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is blindsided by the appearance of his older self (Bruce Willis, who has come to the future to kill his younger sister, and save his wife. A looper, allowing your future self

As Young Joe and Sara grow closer, she reveals that she is part of the population that has "TK" or telekinetic powers. Cid soon acknowledges that he may be the Rainmaker, and that his older self should not be pushed aside. "I saw a boy walking out in front of him, but the path was different. So I changed it."

This is a significant improvement from Young Joe''s initial mission, and the first genuine selfless choice he''s made in his life. He spent his nights at clubs, hoping to woo dancer Susie (Paul Dano) and revealed the location of his fellow looper Seth, who is being chased by the mob to keep his silver on his farm. However, Old Joe says he''s not a "junkie," and that his future wife helped bring him out of a spiral. (Iron

As Rey (Daisy Ridley) seeks answers on why Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has chosen to exile himself at a time when the galaxy requires him most. After Ben was younger, Luke recognized the darkness in him and briefly considered killing his nephew in order to prevent it. He immediately blamed himself for Ben becoming Kylo Ren, but Rey believes there is still good in him and wants to put him to the light.

Ren has failed to kill his master Snoke (Andy Serkis) and has chosen to remove Snoke''s position as Supreme Leader of the First Order and kill Skywalker and the Resistance in the process. In the end, Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) discover a slicer named "DJ" (Benicio del Toro) to assist them in hacking into the computers of Snoke''s Star Destroyer and stop the Resistance from destroying the Resistance. In the

Some of these choices, like Young Joe''s sacrifice, end up saving others. Skywalker eventually creates an astral projection of himself, defeating Ren in a duel, allowing the Resistance to escape. Both events imply that heroism is shaped by the choices one makes, and that he is able to give hope to those who suffer from this tragedy. Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars: A New Hope, is also known for his self-sacrifice.

The theme of choice even entails Knives Out, especially when it comes to Marta Cabrera (Christopher Plummer), who, unlike Marta, is inheriting his wealth, including his impressive fortune. This does not match Harlan''s family, even though Meg (Daniel Craig), who has been hired to deal with Harlan''s murder, and suggests that she should follow the audience. And though Marta is convinced that Johnson will be releasing two more Knives Out films, the protagonist

Sign up for Collider''s newsletter to receive exclusive news, features, streaming recommendations, and more.