If you’re talking about the critical consensus in terms of aggregation alone, then Star Wars: The Last Jedi can comfortably be named as one of the best entries in the franchise’s history. The movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score of 90% puts it behind only The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens and A New Hope, while an 84 on Metacritic is bettered by just Episode IV. However, things aren’t quite that simple.
The level of backlash generated by Rian Johnson’s divisive blockbuster was unlike anything a galaxy far, far away had ever experienced before, with some fans praising it as a daring reinvention of the mythology, while a much more vocal section blasted it for being the worst Star Wars movie ever by some distance, ruining a million childhoods in the process. Johnson was hit with a torrent of abuse on social media, something that hasn’t relented quite yet, only to find himself being thanked by many people for his contributions when The Rise of Skywalker arrived and the fanbase had something new to direct their ire towards.
Given the overwhelming amount of discussion, debate and fury generated by The Last Jedi, it’s incredible to think that it only reached the big screen three years ago. Staunch supporters have now taken to social media, though, in order to celebrate the anniversary of Episode VIII, and you can check out some of the reactions below.
General audiences: THE LAST JEDI was the worst STAR WARS film and ruined everything prior
Me, an intellectual: @rianjohnson showed his love for what came before and offered a compelling and unique path for evolving the franchise as a whole. Plus, goddamn was it beautifully shot. pic.twitter.com/0gepuimfOg
— Grant Hermanns (@grantheftautho) December 15, 2020
I watched TLJ a week after it came out. Zero expectations. Mentally exhausted in the middle of finals
And it sparked a love for SW that I hadnt felt since i was 10 and watched aotc and the OT on a loop
— Gab & her Tin Foil Tiara ? WHERES BEN (@OutletFangirl) December 15, 2020
Three years ago, I felt a spark. A spark that lit a fire in me. A fire that made me think, made me feel, made me journey. A journey I still wander down. Who knows if I'll find where it ends. But I love it. Thank you Rian Johnson and the cast and crew. pic.twitter.com/E7b10qSrkM
— BlindManBaldwin (@BlindManBaldwin) December 15, 2020
✨ creating the magic ✨
rian johnson directing adam driver and daisy ridley on the set of the last jedi pic.twitter.com/ctPyc2bIme
— M ? (@adambsolodriver) December 15, 2020
Stan the King Rian Johnson and his masterpiece pic.twitter.com/bN2QDOqnAj
— ???? ????/??????✨ (@_Bendemption_) December 15, 2020
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
dir. Rian Johnson is a
|_ |_ pic.twitter.com/mYi54ImZmp
— mila ? lover of dumb AUs (@nocturnes) December 7, 2020
His Holiness Rian Johnson said "we're putting cinema back in Star Wars" and you all said "no thanks" smhsmhsmhsmh https://t.co/gOg85zwzgF
— J.T. Lain (@LainJT) December 15, 2020
— ChancellorJP (@ChancellorFaust) December 15, 2020
"The Force is not a superpower. The Force is not just about being able to throw things across the room. I wanted in this movie to do a little bit of a reset lesson. Especially for kids who are coming to these movies for the first time." – Rian Johnson (TLJ – Balance of the Force) pic.twitter.com/uDZzbft2TY
— Josh Johnson (@joshuavjohnson) December 14, 2020
Of course, a lot has happened to Star Wars in the last three years, with Solo bombing at the box office and The Rise of Skywalker ending the nine-film saga on a whimper, before The Mandalorian won the more disillusioned viewers over in a huge way. The fans are still divided on The Last Jedi, though, and that isn’t set to change anytime soon.