If you want to go into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker without any preconceived notions as to how you’re supposed to feel, then stop reading right now. Film critics and other movie folks have seen the movie in Hollywood, and they are tweeting out their opinions faster than Luke can bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home. Remember how we all loved The Force Awakens in 2015 and how virtually everyone is united that Baby Yoda is great? Well, you may want to cherish that peace, love, and understanding, because this movie is going to start a ton of debates.
And after Thursday night, the general public will start telling everyone what they think about this movie. So, should you care what a bunch of film critics think? Probably not. But, if you are curious as to what was said about The Rise of Skywalker, the truth is, it’s all over the place. Critics are either deeply “disappointed,” or saying it’s the greatest movie ever. Right now, the movie holds a 56 percent on the movie-review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes. To be clear, the move is not out yet, but still.
Rob Keyes, of Screenrant (a solid film publication full of nice folks), said Rise of Skywalker is good AF and answers all your pesky questions.
Just stepped out of #TheRiseofSkywalker. It’s an immensely satisfying and MASSIVE end to the saga. It somehow addresses issues, problematic characters, and most unanswered questions from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi too. pic.twitter.com/TMKeXCXuUx
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) December 17, 2019
Jenna Busch, who writes for SyFy Wire and other publications, also gave the movie an enthusiastic thumbs up.
#StarWars #TheRiseOfSkywalker…OH MY GOD! I am absolutely blown away! I’ve never been so satisfied by a film. This is the end of an era and a franchise that has defined my life and this did it justice in a way I didn’t imagine it could. You WILL cry…. pic.twitter.com/Jfx5bzdZOO
— Jenna Bûche de Noël (@JennaBusch) December 17, 2019
But some folks were not happy. Scott Mendelson, who writes about films for Forbes, came down pretty hard on the movie, saying “Star Wars ‘fans’ killed Star Wars,” and that the movie was “genuinely bad.”
At worst, I expected #TheRiseOfSkywalker to be a well made movie that I didn't like or whose story choices I disagreed with. I was not expecting a genuinely bad movie with video game plotting, thin characters, weak action and endless exposition of no consequence. Heartbreaking…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 17, 2019
This pretty hardcore negativity also comes from huge Star Wars critic Mike Ryan of Uproxx who wrote that the “Emperor stuff is so weird,” relative to the evil Emperor Palpatine coming back to life for this final installment of the Skywalker saga. To be clear, Ryan didn’t say he hated it, but he wasn’t saying it was perfect either.
My favorite Star Wars are the ones that take their time and focus on the characters. The whole first half felt like all exposition. It does get better. And Lando rules. But there’s just so much plot it feels so rushed. And the Emperor stuff is so weird.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) December 17, 2019
Perhaps the greatest comment — the review that balances the Force — is from Jacqueline Coley of Rotten Tomatoes, who said “Mr. Abrams has certainly given us plenty to talk about. I hope you’re ready ladies and gents.”
Well Star Wars Fans,
— 🍅Jacqueline🍅 (@THATJacqueline) December 17, 2019
Now, here’s one thing to know. At this point, critics aren’t even allowed to talk about specific things in the movie, which is why these Twitter reviews are so vague. And, in some ways, that should give everyone pause. On some level, critics who write for the Internet need to have a huge opinion that swings one way or another. In other words, if you’re a writer who makes a living as a film critic, it wouldn’t do you much good to tweet “The Rise of Skywalker was okay.” Who wants to read that take?
The truth is, The Rise of Skywalker will probably be okay. But, at the same time, it’s also very possible you’re going to have to debate about it over the holidays. Which, in fairness, might be better than having to talk to your relatives about politics.
In any case, one thing is true, even if The Rise of Skywalker does turn out to be a controversy headache, at least we still have Baby Yoda.