Does anyone ever get the feeling that pleasing Star Wars fans is kind of like trying to balance a teeter totter from just one end? It’s very possible but it’s more of a struggle and as a result it could go either way given how much effort is actually put into the doing. At this point it would appear that Rise of Skywalker is the worst reviewed Star Wars movie ever, even worse than The Phantom Menace. But let’s take a look at that as Kevin Burwick of MovieWeb points out that it’s the critics that made this distinction. Think about that, the people that fans are usually conflicted about when it comes to deciding whether they like a movie or not are the ones telling people that ROS has come in as the worst reviewed Star Wars movie ever, while the fans’ reactions have been largely positive since a lot of people enjoyed what Abrams and Terrio did with the final installment of the Skywalker legacy, at least for now. So that kind of leaves the question of whose opinion really matters in this instance, the fans, or the critics. It’s kind of a hard distinction to make since there are critics that are die hard fans of the Star Wars franchise, but they still have to do their job if they want to keep their credibility and their paycheck. Then again, the fans are notoriously fickle when it comes to movies.
The Last Jedi was a trainwreck but as a Star Wars fan I’ll admit I still liked it since hating a Star Wars movie just isn’t in me unless it’s been willfully sabotaged and looks nothing like it should in any way, shape, or form. It’s easy to cast a lot of blame on Rian Johnson and easy to keep it there since he didn’t feel like catering to the fans that actually PAY to see the movie and thereby control the box office numbers, and it’s very easy to say that he shouldn’t be allowed around another Star Wars movie in the future, though it will most likely happen all the same. But if anyone remembers from back in the day The Empire Strikes Back wasn’t all that well-received and was considered to be one of the worst movies ever for various reasons. Now it’s one of the most well-liked Star Wars movies in the franchise, but people don’t want to hear that about TLJ, and they might not want to for another generation or two since the memories are still too fresh and the idea of the main villain being an emo-like punk that throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way is kind of hard to get away from. At least in ROS Kylo Ren had at least stepped up a little more and actually become the bad guy, even if he became reformed after a while and turned against the dark side of the Force.
Even the prequels were hated for a while since they were thought to be one of the worst things that had ever happened to Star Wars despite the fact that they gave a great deal of insight to favorite characters and created a rich back story for much of the franchise, AND Lucasfilm was still under George Lucas’ control at the time. Travis Clark from Business Insider has more to say on the subject. But as I’ve already said fans can be supremely fickle and if they see one thing that doesn’t vibe with what they want then things tend to go off the rails rather quickly and the internet toughs begin spitting opinions and data streams a mile a minute in order to let everyone know that they’re the ‘authority’ on Star Wars and that the opinions of any that disagree with them are those of someone that has no idea what they’re talking about. That’s kind of amusing really since those that loved the original trilogy so much though so little of Lucas’ direction with the prequels that they basically lambasted the movies even as they continued to be first in line to watch them. Ah yes, the hypocrisy of a Star Wars fanatic doesn’t know a lot of bounds and it’s highly amusing to watch online as those that think that they know more than anyone else try to flout their knowledge in a way that suggest that they don’t have much of a life outside their home.
Getting back to ROS though, the movie was pretty good as fans tend to have liked it even if the critics aren’t in the mood to agree. This of course is a disparity that causes a lot of eyes to roll and people to finally remember that critics are just people as well, people with opinions and biases that are just as prevalent as any other. If you liked the movie it’s all well and good, don’t worry too much about what critics say. Matt Goldberg of Collider has more to offer on this subject.