If there’s one thing that extremely difficult to mess up in this world, it’s Star Wars. Everyone loves Star Wars, even when it isn’t in top form. Sure, Attack of the Clones gets a lot of flak for some extremely awkward romantic dialogue, but nearly everyone still loves the chase between Obi-wan and Jango Fett in the asteroids, or Yoda finally proving that he can still kick butt at nine hundred years old. Unfortunately, the universal appeal of Star Wars changed dramatically when Disney took over and started cranking out more and more movies, starting with the Force Awakens.
This is not to say the Disney Star Wars films are objectively bad, but never has the Star Wars fandom been so divided before. Even in the old days of rampant Prequel hate, those haters often had plenty of things they enjoyed about Episodes I-III; podracing, epic battles, or the best lightsaber duels the franchise has ever seen, at least there was something. The new Disney movies on the other hand have been a lot more polarizing, with far more members of the fan base outright hating every aspect of the movies than there ever were for the original six from George Lucas.
This division peaked with the release of The Last Jedi: by far the Star Wars movie with the absolute highest amount of hatred and disdain by fans. This isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of people who liked the movie or any of the Disney-led films, but numbers show that Star Wars just isn’t as universally loved under Disney’s direction, with Solo: A Star Wars Story bringing in abysmal profit for such a globally prestigious IP.
So yeah, Star Wars has been in a rough place these past few years. And yet, Disney CEO Bob Iger is positive that “The Rise of Skywalker” will be very popular and loved by fans. Thing is, he’s basing this statement off only the parts of the script he’s read and the scenes that he has viewed, none of which are part of a finished product yet. Moreover, this is probably exactly what he said about The Last Jedi before it released, and more than half of the people that watched and reviewed the movie hated it.
It’s hard to point to why the movie did so poorly; some viewers think the character arcs were done poorly, while others have pointed out that the movie is mostly just a long, drawn out car chase in space where nothing happens for hours on end. A lot of other fans blame Rian Johnson, the director for the film, for how bad it was. Then again, other fans thought the movie was great, and critics actually gave it critical acclaim, though we all know how much the vote of a movie critic is worth.
Ultimately, Episode IX will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who also directed The Force Awakens, another controversial Star Wars entry, though one that was not nearly so debatable as Episode VIII. With any luck, that means Bob Iger is right and the movie will actually please the recently disgruntled fandom.