The Star Wars fanbase might be the biggest on the planet. Its main competitors are Harry Potter and Marvel, but Star Wars has a cross-generational longevity that, in my opinion, puts them at the top of the heap. But with such a large fanbase come a wide variety of opinions: some good, some bad. And it’s safe to say that ever since the release of The Last Jedi, the most vocal Star Wars fans have been those that absolutely despised the movie.
While The Last Jedi went on to make $1.3 billion worldwide, it was impossible to ignore the volume with which certain fans turned against it. As such, its reputation has been slightly sullied, despite many (including myself) considering it by far the best post-Return of the Jedi film. Based on this, many have assumed that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would be a course correction. After all, they’re bringing back classic characters from the Original Trilogy and they appear to be preparing to retcon some of the more controversial elements of The Last Jedi.
But Disney CEO Bob Iger has explained in an interview with Variety that they try not to pay too much attention to the fan demands:
“We don’t overreact, we respect fans of Star Wars, that’s really important to us, to Lucasfilm, to the franchise. But we do the best job we can, we think we had a very hard job in bringing this forward, The Force Awakens, satisfying the traditional fans and touching on themes and characters and places they were familiar with, but introducing the new places, new stories, new characters. And I think over the three that we’ve produced, those three, we’ve done a really good job of threading that needle, walking that fine line.”
We know we’re never going to please everybody all the time, and we see that with Disney films, with Marvel films. So I don’t mean to suggest that I’m dismissive of it because we respect our fans, but we don’t overreact either.”
I hope this proves to be the case, because as a Last Jedi fan I’m worried that they’re going to completely ignore all the cool stuff from that film. For example, I will not be happy at all if Rey’s parents prove to be someone important in the trilogy rather than nobodies and I would be annoyed if they papered over the criticisms of the Jedi philosophy we saw from Luke.
Fortunately, we don’t have too long to wait to find out, as we can now count the hours until we put our butt in that cinema seat and finally see how the Skywalker saga ends with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.