Based on both the content of the movies themselves and the reactions online, neither the fans nor the creative team at Lucasfilm seemed to know how to handle the final two installments in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi generated backlash the likes of which the franchise had never seen before, even though it remains one of the most critically acclaimed entries in the entire series with a 90% Rotten Tomatoes score and an 84 on Metacritic. Fans weren’t happy with the sweeping changes made to the mythology, though, which is said to have directly forced the studio into massively altering the story of follow-up The Rise of Skywalker as a result in order to get them back on board.
The nostalgia-heavy conclusion to the Skywalker Saga only ended up splitting them right down the middle once again, though, except reviews were a lot less enthusiastic this time around as Episode IX‘s Rotten Tomatoes score of 51% saw it become the lowest-rated live-action Star Wars movie ever.
Many of the people that were calling for Rian Johnson’s head were the very same ones who ended up roundly thanking him for his efforts when The Rise of Skywalker was released, as the ire turned in the direction of J.J. Abrams instead. Now, in an incendiary new interview where he didn’t hold back on his thoughts on Star Wars, John Boyega has defended the Bad Robot head honcho from the criticism, saying:
“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone. He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your sh*t.”
Boyega has a point, with Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow initially set to direct before he was ostensibly fired and Abrams drafted in to both salvage the original script and try and undo some of the damage wrought by The Last Jedi. The end result didn’t please everyone, but Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker faced almost impossible expectations already as one of the most highly-anticipated movies ever made.