J.J. Abrams is grateful for all Star Wars fans - even though he knows he won't please everyone. This December, Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters and all eyes are on the director to see how he concluded the Skywalker saga. It's a rather unenviable position for Abrams to be in, as he's tasked with wrapping up a nine-movie arc in a way that's epic and satisfying. Everybody has their own ideas for how the saga should end, so Star Wars 9 is going to be heavily scrutinized under a microscope when it opens.
Adding to the pressure is the fact The Rise of Skywalker is following one of the most divisive movies of the decade, The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson's entry in the saga spawned a multitude of heated debates about the merits of his creative choices. The film split Star Wars fandom, and for everyone hoping Abrams stays true to his word and honors what Johnson did, there are people rooting for Abrams to pull off some sort of course-correct and retcon The Last Jedi. Abrams is very much aware how passionate Star Wars fans can be, and he's grateful they're all out there to see his next movie.
Speaking with Marvelous TV during the 2019 D23 Expo, Abrams was asked about fan reactions and his mindset in regards to approaching that element of the franchise:
"You just have to be grateful for them, because you don't want to be working on something no-one cares about. And you have to understand that they've got their opinions and, of course, you have to value them. You're never going to please everyone, you have to know that going in, and just do the best you can. I'm nothing but thankful as someone who considers myself a fan. I can't wait for them to see the film."
Abrams is right. Whenever something as massive as Star Wars is involved, it's borderline impossible to please all viewers. Even Abrams' The Force Awakens, which wasn't nearly as polarizing as The Last Jedi, had its fair share of detractors who wrote it off as a poor remake of A New Hope. The best thing for Abrams to do is just put his head down and focus on making the greatest film possible. Canceling out the outside noise is arguably the healthiest course of action; when filmmakers and studios allow fan response to dictate a movie's direction, something like the Justice League fiasco happens. It sounds like Abrams went into Star Wars 9 with the correct mentality. He understood at the outset The Rise of Skywalker would probably upset some fans, and there's really nothing he can do about that.
Ideally, The Rise of Skywalker will play out in a way that satisfies most viewers and fans, with a general consensus that it ended the saga on a high note. The brief glimpses of Star Wars 9 footage have teased something suitably grand that may have a few surprises in store. The return of Emperor Palpatine shocked many, and some are still reeling from the "Dark Rey" tease in the D23 special look. Lucasfilm is being characteristically tight-lipped about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, so there's no telling what will happen come December.
Source: Marvelous TV
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019