35+ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reviews – Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to Star Wars Fans a “Mistake”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½ 

The new Star Wars film out, the galaxy is whole, and Rian Johnson is catching crap once again — rightfully in my opinion — for the mess he made of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi⭐️½ 

“I think approaching any creative process with [the purpose of making fandoms happy] would be a mistake that would lead to probably the exact opposite result,” Johnson said. “Even my experience as a fan, you know, if I’m coming into something, even if it’s something that I think I want, if I see exactly what I think I want on the screen, it’s like, ‘Oh, okay.’ It might make me smile and make me feel neutral about the thing and I won’t really think about it afterwards, but that’s not really going to satisfy me.”

Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to ‘Star Wars’ Fans a “Mistake” | Hollywood Reporter

Don’t get me wrong, Rian Johnson is a good director. He did a good, somewhat clever job with Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Johnson should have made a Star Wars film, just not have played in the sandbox with the original characters. Disney should have had the same person pilot the entire trilogy. Instead what we got was J.J Abrams starting out with a promising first act (which is sort of a soft reboot), Rian Johnson coming in and spinning it a completely different way, and then J.J Abrams coming back to try and close it all out, retconning warts and all.

Leaving viewers in a befuddled state.

This isn’t Rian Johnson’s fault, he should have done Solo or another project — which he is rumored as wanting to do (maybe he changes his mind after dealing with disillusioned SW fans). Not sure that film should be Obi Wan’s story. Personally, I think the next movie should be based on/around Baby Yoda / The Child and that whole mystical Yoda race. Or The Mandalorian and the bounty hunter guild. Then again, we’re exploring that on Disney+ already, so maybe that would be redundant.

As to Johnson’s comments about fans, I disagree with pretty much everything he said. You do have to pay respect to fans. You do have to care about what people have paid to support and love. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni understand this and it’s at least in part why The Mandalorian is doing well. Rian Johnson can carve out his own niche in the vast Star Wars galaxy, there are plenty of places for his grand and maybe cool visions, but The Last Jedi was poorly timed and placed.

Something tells me with the pure volume of reviews I’m coming across that I’m going to have to make multiple critique posts for this film, so I’m going to hold back some of my more deeper analysis on this film, let it gel more, and allow others to weigh in with their reviews first.

As I say before all reviews by others, there may/might/will be SPOILERS. If you don’t want any of those, then the pull quotes below might be as far as you want to travel in this post for the time being.

… you have been warned SPOILERS ahead …

Reviews by Others

What do other moviegoers think of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?


  1. Blaine L. Pardoe: “…my expectations going in were pretty shallow.  Imagine my surprise that I was pleasantly pleased with this film.”
  2. Charlie Chat (9/10): ” From start to finish I was engaged in the fast paced storyline.”
  3. Elliot’s View (6.7/10): “The first half of the movie is pretty bad. The second half is pure fan service. Whether or not you enjoy that depends on how much of a sucker you are for fan service. Personally, I am that kind of sucker.”
  4. Fadi Hearts Films (Grade: B): “…this movie isn’t half bad. If you like Star Wars, you will probably like The Rise of Skywalker. It’s a beautiful and fun special effects extravaganza — nearly three hours of popcorn-movie bliss.”
  5. From a Certain Point of View: “Overall, we left the theater as two incredibly happy Star Wars fans! Tobey especially, who has been in this fight since he was four years old, was both relieved and satisfied. This is absolutely a movie worth seeing for any Star Wars fan; in the least to know how it all ends.”
  6. I Am The Kid (3/4): “Despite these attempts and some success at pulling at these various threads, the whole endeavor threatens to collapse in on itself at multiple times during its run. Thankfully the witty banter and repartee help keep things relatively light, the actors drive through some of the more clunky dialogue/exposition, and there are enough real shocks and surprises to counter some of the more predictable elements.”
  7. James Movie Blog (8/10): “Ok seen it again. Without the reviews ringing in my head, a bigger screen and the ability to keep up with the plot. I liked it a lot more this time. Still think it would have been better as two films”
  8. John Freeman: “I really enjoyed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but I do hope it really is the last Star Wars movie because, as fun as the film is, it isn’t a great piece of movie making. Instead, the film is a cinematic palimpsest whose script has been written over so many times that there is at least three different films going on simultaneously all made from traces of earlier drafts and even ideas from earlier movies”
  9. John Scalzi / Whatever: “I was entertained, and having now seen eleven Star Wars films between the ages of 8 and 50 years old, I appreciate when a Star Wars film is consistently entertaining, because enough of them weren’t. And if this is indeed the end of the Skywalker family as a central focus of the Star Wars universe, it ends well enough.”
  10. Jordan and Eddie The Movie Guys (3.5/5): “J.J Abram’s farewell to the Skywalker saga is a an unsurprising service piece to its fans, that forgets to become a great movie in its own right, as its identity and charm gets lost in a flurry of moments and set-ups that never truly payoff in the way they should’ve.”
  11. Katy by the Fireplace: “Considering how much I was anticipating this film, was it worth it? Absolutely.”
  12. Keith & The Movies (4/5): “…is pure entertainment – fun, at times thrilling, with a steady tinge of franchise nostalgia and an emotional punch at the end. It’s far from perfect. The story is messy, there’s enough plot to fill two movies, and some of its characters need more attention.”
  13. Micah Brown: “Despite the nit-pickers and nay-sayers, this was the culmination of more than 40 years of Star Wars, and it ends with perfect pitch on the best of all possible outcomes.”
  14. Mike Ladano (4/5): “…is probably the best ending to a saga we could have expected”
  15. Musings of a Grouch: “Is The Rise of Skywalker a good film? Probably not, but I’ve watched enough film to recognize that maybe most of the Star Wars movies aren’t good films. But they’re something more than just film to me. I know that sounds crazy, so take it all as you will. But The Rise of Skywalker is a great Star Wars movie and a perfect close to this 40 year era.”
  16. Naivesmiles: “TROS is a good movie, a beautiful and well choreographed and well acted one. But it’s also flawed.”
  17. On My Bookshelf: “If I had to pick something wrong with this movie, it would be the plot holes. None of them are major. A few character’s lineages come to question, a few Force powers we never learned of before, and a dash of relationship statuses that we are confused about.”
  18. tccorbett: “Fans have a beautiful Swan Song gifted to them in Skywalker from Abrams who has completely revealed his own fandom for genre and Star Wars specifically in the making of this film.”
  19. The Karlie Chronicles: “This movie, however…it brought it all back for me.”
  20. The Writings of a Jedi: “I know many of you won’t like it. There are already many offering their disappointed angst and frustration with how this film and trilogy went. There is already a divide across fandom over The Last Jedi and the risks it took. That said, there are many of you who will love this. You’re in for a wild ride.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. Bouques & Brickbats: “I appreciate that the diehard fans will rally round to support the film, because, well, that’s what Star Wars freaks tend to do but, apart from a couple of scenes here and there, I can’t honestly say that I enjoy this.”
  2. Cinema Cocoa: “If you enjoyed The Last Jedi, you will find Rise of Skywalker as a retcon; a reversion to safer storytelling. If you didn’t like The Last Jedi, you will have more ammunition against it.”
  3. Darren / The M0vie Blog: “…a spectacular misfire, arriving as one of the most misbegotten blockbusters of the decade.”
  4. Dom / Nardiviews: “Ultimately, I can’t help but feel that Return of the Jedi was a better conclusion to the Skywalker saga than The Rise of Skywalker. The simplicity of the original 1983 ending allowed the character moments and themes to breathe a bit better. The Sequel Trilogy wasn’t necessary for the Skywalker saga; as I said above, it feels more like a soft reboot than a continuation of the story.”
  5. Elliot’s View: “The plots is a mess. The pacing is a mess. There are tons of twists and payoffs for things that were never set up, ruining whatever emotional payoff I was supposed to receive. It’s a travesty what they did to Carrie Fisher. This film fails as a conclusion to this “trilogy” as it is mostly disjointed from the prior two films. This is also in a large part Rian Johnson’s fault as well as J.J. Abrams.”
  6. Film Class Heroes: “It doesn’t feel like a fitting end to the Skywalker saga, it feels like a regrettable midnight junk food binge, it’s thoughtless, unsatisfying, and leaves an awful taste in the mouth.”
  7. Freya / No One Cares: ” a movie that’s mediocre at best and downright horrible at worst by glorifying abusive relationships, retconning everything good about The Last Jedi, pandering to racists, and taking credit for bare-minimum LGBT representation after queerbaiting us for years with Finnpoe.”
  8. Hopkins: “…a broad, bright and loud rallying cry for all Star Wars fans. But during this crescendo, that—according to the marketing—ends the Skywalker saga, there are passages which feel more intimate, played in a lower volume. And that is the problem of this movie: it’s a cacophony. “
  9. Jack Blackwell (2/5): “Almost every scene of JJ Abrams’s colossally messy conclusion to this story has some sort of obvious reference to an Original Trilogy moment, hoping that the shameless pandering will allow fans to overlook lazy writing, confusing editing, and some simply shambolic plot choices.”
  10. Jacob Throneberry (2.5/5): “…is a grand disappointment for such a beloved franchise. Being a lover of film before I am a lover of Star Wars, I cannot truly tell what a major fan will feel about this film. There were little to no risks taken by any of the creatives who worked on this film, and the fan service moments can only hold up for so long.”
  11. Observations of a Student Screenwriter: “This film is more fragile than a china teapot. All the anticipation turns to despair and disappointment very quickly and it’s safe to say the dialogue is what makes it crack.”
  12. Rant or Reason: “The fans were also more forgiving with “The Force Awakens” since it was meant to drum up nostalgia. The “The Rise of Skywalker” is lazy, contrived, predictable and pointless.”
  13. Reviewniverse: “…it is disjointed, far too reliant on fan service and is almost thematically a carbon copy of the original trilogy’s final movie in both ideology and final resolution. And, like the Porgs in the much maligned Last Jedi, there is at least one character awkwardly shoe-horned in here that suggests Disney have only got eyes for selling for replica toys in the Christmas market.”
  14. Sean McConville Reviews (6/10): “I think the people whose opinions should matter are those who were there from the very beginning. My dad who spent a cold 1977 British winter queuing outside a cinema for hours just to see A New Hope told me once the credits rolled that during the final scene of The Rise of Skywalker, he could see his younger self, sat with three of his friends like ghosts of fallen Jedis in total awe. If that happened during The Rise of Skywalker, it must have surely hit a least one right note.”
  15. Tony Jones / Reality Checkpoint: “Forty-two years after I queued for hours to watch the first (or IVth) Star Wars film, I watched The Rise of Skywalker. I enjoyed it, it ticks lots of boxes but for me it’s no more than a decent film in the sequence.”
  16. Tower City Media: “This is the most disappointing Star Wars movie I’ve ever seen for the first time in theatres. I wanted so bad to like this movie and tried to find positives in it and there are some positives, but overall I was absolutely disappointed and it pains me to say that.”

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs.

2 thoughts on “35+ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reviews – Rian Johnson Calls Pandering to Star Wars Fans a “Mistake”

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