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Why Do Some Fans Hate 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'?

By Jodi Smith | Industry | December 18, 2017 |

By Jodi Smith | Industry | December 18, 2017 |

The latest Star Wars movie rolled into theaters last Thursday night. A lot of fans waited in line, bought tickets a month ago, and were threatening bodily harm to anyone that spoiled The Last Jedi. They went to the movies last night to see exactly what the title referred to and to get the next episode of The Skywalker Family Story.

Some were upset. SPOILERS POSSIBLE.

What’s with the backlash? What’s with the meager 56 percent audience score from Rotten Tomatoes? My guess is that it’s largely illusory. That a very vocal minority of mostly white men — who are not happy that women and POC are depicted as the heroes while white men are the villains — are unhappy with what they see as a liberal political bent, which, duh, is something that’s always been at the forefront of the Star Wars films, and critics are sucking up a disproportionate amount of the air in the room.

Others we suspect are upset that their pet fan theories with which they had become very invested were not borne out in the film, and they’re taking it out on Rian Johnson (we call this the True Detective theory). A few, I think, have slightly more legitimate gripes with a couple of scenes involving Leia and the Force and the return of an old favorite, which might have seemed goofy or cartoonish for audience members not in the right frame of mind, or who have lost their childhood sense of wonder. Still others may be upset with what they believe to be the character assassination of Luke Skywalker, but you know what they say about heroes: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” That is far from the case here, but any suggestion that Luke Skywalker is not a pure goddamn saint they believe him to be has been met with criticism from a small number of very loud people.

We think most viewers, however, are in line with the critics (and Steven), who have rated it 94 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie has received an ‘A’ from Cinemscore, and even men — both under and over the age of 25 — have received it 90 percent positively, according to Postrak. The backlash has largely been fueled a very vocal and persistent few who believe they are entitled to the film they had envisioned in their own minds, but that’s not how movies work.

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Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.