It’s difficult to understate how much anger Star Wars: The Last Jedi generated. Rian Johnson’s hugely-anticipated sequel to The Force Awakens was praised by critics but pilloried by fans upset at the “disrespectful” treatment of Luke Skywalker, the mere presence of Laura Dern’s Admiral Holdo, and complaints about the tactical realism of fantasy space warfare (amongst a thousand other nitpicks).
Thousands of guys with scraggly beards took to YouTube to yell their spittle-flecked fury, several of the film’s stars were chased off social media, and Rian Johnson was pilloried as a hack/fraud/communist/feminazi (delete as appropriate).
Now, four years on from its release, fans have decided The Last Jedi was actually pretty great. There’s a popular thread on r/StarWars reevaluating the movie, with the OP saying that, like many, they “absolutely hated” the movie, but on a rewatch they found a lot to like, praising Luke’s story arc on him rediscovering hope.
Other users agree, saying it was nice to watch a Star Wars movie with an unpredictable plot and saying that it has “gloves off storytelling”. Many also say that in retrospect, the shock factor of unceremoniously killing off Snoke is very fun, though sadly the opportunity to focus on Kylo Ren as the core antagonist was never capitalized on.
Many replies also correctly identify that a big reason why The Last Jedi is seeing a big rehabilitation amongst fans is that it was followed by the truly dreadful The Rise of Skywalker. That film’s story was altered after Lucasfilm got paranoid after The Last Jedi hate, resulting in the boneheaded decision to bring Emperor Palpatine back and retcon Rey to be his granddaughter (neatly undercutting The Last Jedi‘s message that anyone can be a hero).
Here’s hoping Rian Johnson’s long-in-development Star Wars trilogy isn’t completely dead, as we’d love to see him return to a galaxy far, far away.