Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi became the most divisive entry in the entire Star Wars filmography when it was released in 2017, with the director’s decision to make some huge changes and deviations from the established mythology causing some serious backlash from fans. People were hoping that J.J. Abrams returning behind the camera for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would lead to a course-correction for the stumbling franchise, but over the last few days, we’ve seen just as much criticism for the ninth installment as there was for the eighth.
While The Rise of Skywalker did seek to retcon some of the more controversial aspects of The Last Jedi, it wasn’t the complete do-over that certain sections of the fandom were calling for. In fact, reception to the closing chapter of the Skywalker Saga has been so mixed that the once-maligned Johnson is now the subject of a Twitter campaign thanking him for his contributions to the series.
The Last Jedi may have taken plenty of flak, but it crossed the line into sheer toxicity with the treatment of Kelly Marie Tran, who was cast as Rose Tico. The actress was bombarded with hate online, so much so that she was forced to deactivate her social media accounts, while her co-stars were even moved to comment on the matter publicly.
Rose was clearly being set up as a featured supporting character in Star Wars, but perhaps due to the backlash the character faced following The Last Jedi, her presence was massively reduced for The Rise of Skywalker, so much so that Rose only has 76 seconds of screentime in the movie.
That’s a real slap in the face for someone who was being positioned as one of the franchise’s major background characters, but the fact that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is basically one apologist-driven helping of fan service means that anything fans didn’t like would either be reduced or removed entirely, and unfortunately, that applies to Tran’s performance as Rose Tico.