In many ways, 2019 has been the year of the finale, as at least three pop culture juggernauts have reached the end of their stories in the past 12 months. We’ve already had Game of Thrones season 8 and Avengers: Endgame and next week Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives. Infamously, those first two productions both garnered much stronger blowback than any other entry in their respective series beforehand and the odds are on Episode IX facing a similarly divisive reception.
This is even something one of the film’s cast members believes. British star Richard E. Grant, who makes his Star Wars debut in Rise, spoke to io9 and the question of a potential backlash against it came up. In response, Grant said he thinks that there’ll “inevitably” be a similar situation to the end of GoT in this case. However it goes down, though, the actor defended the movie’s director J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio, saying they delivered something that was “honest and true” to them.
“Inevitably there will be a Game of Thrones syndrome to Star Wars because you can’t please everybody all of the time,” Grant said. “And the ending, what people want it to be and what it actually is, hopefully, for the majority of people seeing it, they will feel that they’ve had their wishes fulfilled. But inevitably there’s gonna be people that don’t feel that way. And you can’t anticipate that. You have to do what is honest and true to you. And I think that J.J. and Chris have done that to the absolute ends of their ability.”
Grant also defended fans’ rights to react strongly to the film, seeing as he himself’s been a passionate lover of the franchise for 40 years.
“People feel incredibly passionate and possessive about it. I understand that because I have been a Star Wars fan since I was 20 years old in 1977 when I was a drama student.”
Rey actress Daisy Ridley has previously been more hopeful about the likelihood of there being a backlash against Rise. She’s promised that it won’t be as divisive as Game of Thrones season 8 and has also aired her belief that it’ll be received more positively than The Last Jedi was. But then again, Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII has to be the most controversial movie in Star Wars history, so maybe that’s to be expected.
In any case, we’ll find out for sure how it goes down when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally arrives in theaters on December 20th.