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J.J. Abrams responds to criticisms of The Rise of Skywalker

by Sean P. Aune | December 23, 2019December 23, 2019 11:21 am EST

The critical reception to The Rise of Skywalker has not been a stellar one, but that was to be expected. When you’re closing the book on a saga that has taken 42 years to tell, there are sure to be some people who are disappointed.

Luckily, director J.J. Abrams knew that going in.

Abrams was recently interviewed by Vanity Fair’s Anthony Breznican at a screening of the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was asked how he was tackling the criticisms, and he admitted he totally understood them.

No, I would say that they’re right. 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 should be what anyone tries to do anyway, but how would one go about it? Especially with Star Wars.

I don’t need to tell anyone here, we live in a moment where everything immediately seems to default to outrage. There is an MO of either: ‘It’s exactly as I see it, or you’re my enemy’… It’s a crazy thing that there is 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…it’s a crazy moment.

So we knew starting this 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.

Episode IX of the saga was always going to be difficult no matter how it was tackled. We’ve known since the late 1970s that this may turn into nine films, so we had a lot of time to think about what we wanted to see. Hopefully what we ended up with was enough to please the majority, and that was all we could really ask for.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.



Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing