As far as film franchises go, there are few quite as beloved as Star Wars. George Lucas’ colorful world has been captivating moviegoers for decades, with generations of fans growing up with the space opera. As such, the expectations for each new blockbuster was usually sky high.
But this passion for the franchise can sometimes work against it, as the fandom can lash out when projects surprise or fail to meet their standards. That was the case with Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, as some fans took umbrage with the sequel’s subversive nature. Daisy Ridley revealed that she was actually expecting this backlash, as she put it:
I wasn't surprised, no. It’s just a different thing. Everyone’s going to have an opinion now anyway on the internet, but I also think it’s fair. If people hold something incredibly dear and think they know how it should be and it's not like that, it’s fair for people to think they were done wrong. It doesn’t mean they were – ultimately, Rian’s a filmmaker and one person can’t dictate how a film is supposed to be – but freedom of expression, sure.
It looks like Daisy Ridley realized while filming The Last Jedi that it was going to be a different type of Star Wars film. Rian Johnson pulled out all the narrative stops, and brought plot twist after plot twist to his installment in the franchise.
Daisy Ridley’s comments to USA Today might not come to a surprise for moviegoers, who saw the backlash that followed the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson made liberal changes to the franchise in his movie, and cut down fan theories with the ease of a light saber. Rey's parentage and Snoke's backstory were given swift ends, while Force Floating Leia remains a point of contention for the majority of moviegoers.
But the current franchise hero recognizes that these conflicting opinions are part of what filmmaking is about. Daisy Ridley believes that people having their own opinion is 'fair', but the same is also true for Rian Johson moving forward with his creative vision. That's just what moviemaking is, and its an inherently subjective business.
While The Last Jedi had some plot points that baffled cinephiles, Daisy Ridley had a strong run in her sophomore performance as the mysterious Rey. She trained under Luke at Ach-To, while also forging a strong emotional connection to Kylo Ren. Rey was set up to be the future of The Resistance, and it should be fascinating to see how it all shakes out in The Rise of Skywalker.
J.J. Abrams is back behind the camera for The Rise of Skywalker, finishing the narrative he began with The Force Awakens and possibly retconning changes made in The Last Jedi. The group of new heroes looks like they'll all be together, and the first trailer is already helping to build anticipation.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.