While reactions to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are still subject to heated debate, Rian Johnson has finally given his own public review of the film.
The Episode VIII director was asked by Josh Horowitz of MTV News for a “totally impartial review” of the finale to the Skywalker saga. The question comes after months of online contention between fans taking sides; those who absolutely loved The Rise of Skywalker, and those who didn’t.
Looking back at Johnson’s public relationship with the release of The Rise of Skywalker, it would be easy to see how he could feel slighted by a few of J.J. Abrams’ plot choices, choices that deviate or even completely alter those which Johnson built in The Last Jedi.
The day after the cinematic release of The Rise of Skywalker, fans flocked to Twitter to give praise to Kelly Marie Tran who, they felt, was underrepresented in the film and deserved recognition for her character’s contributions to the Star Wars Universe.
In response to the outpour of love for Rose Tico, a character introduced by himself, Johnson simply sent out a tweet in the form of a picture of Kelly Marie Tran at the Rise of Skywalker premiere captioned with a crown emoji. The tweet was the only Star Wars related one made by Johnson during release weekend.
In the week following the film’s release, the Twitter trend #ThankYouRianJohnson arose after more fans had time to see the film and formulate opinions. The hashtag was created by those who disliked certain decisions made by Abrams in The Rise of Skywalker.
In response to the outpour of love toward his Star Wars film, Johnson replied simply with a #ThankYouStarWarsFans, again failing to comment on The Rise of Skywalker.
Finally, on the Oscars red carpet, MTV News caught up with Johnson and asked him point-blank to give a review of the film. Johnson’s response was very heartfelt and honest:
Above all, his review stands by his online reputation of supporting his Star Wars friends, aka, the cast.
Additionally, it emphasizes his role as a fan and supports his excitement of seeing what would happen next, as expressed in April of 2019 when the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker was first released. At the time he stated, “I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS and I just melted back into being a happy kid. If you need me I’ll be spending the rest of the day smiling dreamily.”
While fans have been divided on the film, Johnson’s review of The Rise of Skywalker plays it safe but is honest at the same time. He gets to the core of how Star Wars makes him feel and expresses appreciation for all of the hard work and dedication put into the film’s creation, an experience with which he has intimate experience.
Should Johnson’s response act as a relief for upset fans to finally accept The Rise of Skywalker? Maybe. Will it? Probably not.
If anything, his appreciation for the film certainly opens up an avenue by which fans can find acceptance for the actors and all who helped bring our favorite characters to life.
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