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Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The Star Wars franchise is one of the biggest in film history, with entire generations of moviegoers brought up on the galaxy far, far away. As such, the fandom is extremely passionate about the property, and can react emotionally with each new release. The pressure was on for The Rise of Skywalker to deliver, and wrap up the nine-film story that began with A New Hope. Some moviegoers have criticized Episode IX for bordering on fan service, and editor Maryann Brandon recently broke her silence on that subject.
Star Wars movies are usually the subject of much conversation and criticism following their release. There's no real way to please all the fans, so there will always be some moviegoers who have issues with the space opera's contents. The Rise of Skywalker is no exception in this way, with some critics believing that it pandered too much to fan expectations. Maryann Brandon edited both The Force Awakens and Episode IX, and recently opened up about fan service complaints, saying:
Look, sure, it’s fan service and if you didn’t service the fans, it would be: ‘Oh, he didn’t go along with the history of Star Wars and what it all means.’ We were in a no win.
Well, that was honest. There's really no way to please all Star Wars fans at once. And as such, any fan service (or lackthereof) would have angered someone. So the filmmakers simply had to make the best movie they could-- especially Maryann Brandon and the editing team.
Maryann Brandon's comments come from her recent appearance on The Rough Cut podcast and make a great deal of sense. Since the Star Wars franchise returned to theaters when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, we've seen some very strong reactions to each new blockbuster. J.J. Abrams was criticized for The Force Awakens too closely resembling A New Hope. But when Rian Johnson took control and made unexpected plot choices in The Last Jedi, there was a massive backlash as well. And given the added pressure of ending the Skywalker Saga, and The Rise of Skywalker was inevitably going to make someone angry.
Star Wars fans can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
The Rise of Skywalker had a ton of narrative ground to cover, and only 142 minutes in which to tell it. And with so many big moments ad plot points to hit, there was a ton of fan payoffs happening in a row. Rey's parentage was revealed, Leia became a secret Jedi, Kylo was finally redeemed, and so much more. There was so much going on, which is likely why some moviegoers took issue; there were just too many payoffs.
But while critics had some issues with The Rise of Skywalker, the movie's audience score was far more positive. So it seems that any fan service happening within the confines of Episode IX are pleasing the Star Wars community. The blockbuster is also cleaning up at the box office since debuting in December.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.