J.J. Abrams Offers A Level-Headed Response To Critics And Fans Of ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’

From its earliest reactions and reviews to subsequent essays and reports on audience metrics from Rotten Tomatoes and other aggregators, the response to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is decidedly mixed. Critics, for the most part, have either hated the film altogether or remained ambivalent in their estimation. General moviegoers, however, have been far more forgiving of the ninth and final entry in the “Skywalker Saga” of Star Wars films. When asked about all of this at a recent screening, however, director J.J. Abrams didn’t seem to have anything negative to say in return.

During a post-screening discussion with the filmmaker on Friday, Vanity Fair asked him about his thoughts on the intense criticism of the film. Did he think they were wrong? “No, I would say that they’re right,” Abrams answered. “The people who love it more than anything are also right.”

“I was asked just seven hours ago in another country, ‘So how do you go about pleasing everyone?’ I was like ‘What…?’ Not to say that that’s what anyone should try to do anyway, but how would one go about it? Especially with Star Wars… We knew starting this that any decision we made — a design decision, a musical decision, a narrative decision — would please someone and infuriate someone else, and they’re all right.”

“There is an MO of either: ‘It’s exactly as I see it, or you’re my enemy,'” he added. “It’s a crazy thing that there’s such a norm that seems to be void of nuance and compassion — and this is not [a phenomenon] about Star Wars, this is about everything.”

Abrams also briefly addressed the numerous reports regarding his and the cast’s more recent reactions to the previous Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, and its director, Rian Johnson. Both have been regarded highly by critics and criticized by louder pockets of “fans” who, among other things, have supported some incredibly sexist positions regarding the new trilogy of movies.

“We had conversations with Rian at the beginning. It’s been nothing but collaborative,” he told Vanity Fair. “The perspective that, at least personally, I got from stepping away from it and seeing what Rian did, strangely gave us opportunities that would never have been there, because of course he made choices no one else would have made.”

(Via Vanity Fair)