JJ Abrams Tells Star Wars Critics They're Right

JJ Abrams responds to those critical of the new Star Wars franchise by agreeing with them. We did not see that coming. 

Star Wars fans have a lot to say and a lot of opinions. The franchise has been around since 1977. Over those four decades, billions of people have come aboard as fervent worshippers at the altar of the Jedi. 

So with every new Star Wars release, you have to expect an outpouring of divisive comments. 

It probably started with Empire's bleak ending, then anger at the Ewoks, the political themes of the dragging prequels, not enough originality in The Force Awakens, too much originality in The Last Jedi, and now a general malaise post-Skywalker. 

Most of the time this happens, we've seen the directors and studio just let people meltdown on the internet and kept raking in the bucks. 

But now, JJ Abrams has stepped forward to address the controversy surrounding the detractors of his new film. JJ made these comments at the Academy screening of his work, saying: 

“I’d say [the film’s critics are] right. The people who love it more than anything are also right. We knew going in—I was asked just seven hours ago, ‘So how do you go about pleasing everyone?’ and I was like ‘What?’ Not to say that that should be what anyone tries to do anyway, but how would one even go about it? Especially with Star Wars.”

This is a rather stunning statement since it was widely believed that the studio was determined to please everyone after the controversial and mostly minority opinion of hating The Last Jedi, which still had an "A" Cinemascore. 

While there's no proof of the studio's decision, people have cited a lot of the fan service and callbacks within the film as placating a vocal minority in order to bolster revenue. 

JJ was not done and went on to discourage "outrage culture" by adding, 

“We live in a moment where everything seems to immediately default to outrage, and there’s an M.O. of it’s either exactly as I see it or you’re my enemy… But it’s a crazy thing that there is such a norm that seems to be devoid of nuance and compassion—this is not about Star Wars, this is about everything—and acceptance. It’s a crazy moment, so we knew starting this, any decision we made—a design decision, a musical decision, a narrative decision—would please someone and infuriate someone else.”

All in all, I feel like this is a positive message to fans everywhere. Toxic fandom has been the talk of the town over the last decade. The rise of social media commentary and accessibility of talent created a disturbing bully-ridden culture we're still trying to combat. After the last Star Wars, Kelly Marie Tran was chased off Twitter by vitriolic comments and even Rian Johnson and JJ himself have been the target of petitions and campaigns tearing down their work.

As Star Wars looks toward the future of releases, I think they better knuckle up and decide what kinds of stories they want to tell. 

Like JJ asserted in the beginning, you can't make something to please everyone. So it might be best to lean into the artists who have something to say and back them when those decisions are made. 

Only time will tell what Disney and Kathleen Kennedy have in store for the next installments. 

See you soon in a galaxy far, far away. 

What's next? How did Star Wars even happen?

Star Wars is the most influential piece of original filmmaking to ever grace the planet Earth. So how did George Lucas come up with the idea and why was a studio crazy enough to make it? We dig deep. 

Click for more.      

Your Comment

11 Comments

He spent his whole career - working towards this moment, ending the most influential franchise in cinema history - and he couldn't do it. Plain and simple, he was the wrong person to get this gig - he proved that with Lost - with his Cloverfields - Star Treks - Name one thing he ended well, please, go on I'll wait... - This didn't surprise me, I'm disappointed that I thought he'd learn his lesson, and he never did. now I've got a poorly finished Trilogy to remember it by.

December 24, 2019 at 10:39AM

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Sketkh Williams
Actor - Storyteller
202

ahhhh.... here is the thing ...NOBODY gives a sh*t what you think. Opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one. It's a movie, it doesn't owe you anything. If you didn't like it...move on, watch something else.

December 24, 2019 at 11:16AM

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Couldn't agree more. Personally, I liked Rise of Skywalker, and each of the other two in this trilogy have their good moments.

December 24, 2019 at 11:28AM

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Ryan Griffith
Senior Research & Development Technician
123

Gooooooooood! I feel your anger and your hate! I look forward to completing your training!

December 24, 2019 at 8:32PM, Edited December 24, 8:32PM

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Stephen A van Vuuren
Filmmaker
665

I enjoy my time watching Rise of Skywalker, but I don’t understand how these quotes defend the criticism of the film.

December 24, 2019 at 7:45PM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
1402

Lost was very innovative, groundbreaking. The Star Trek and Star Wars visually OK but they miss the point of the originals. George Lucas cared about the story. JJAbrahams, or better Disney, cared about marketing worldwide, no innovation. Star Trek is about discovery of new things. TOS see A taste of Armageddon, Space Seed, For the World is hollow, Errand of Mercy. That no one has done after TOS. That was classic sci-fi.

December 25, 2019 at 3:12AM

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Javier Diez
Director/Writer
400

Minority opinion? Last Jedi was utter shite, it’s dramatic core was the fact that autopilot doesn’t exist. That was balanced with Finn riding about on a horse/jar jar binks hybrid. By all means state why you think it’s better, but saying it’s rated A on a website... erm

December 25, 2019 at 4:27AM

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keith
537

I understand the difference between fans and followers. For the fans this movie was great but for the followers this movie sucked, period. Jar Jar Abrams managed to screw up the whole movie leaving an utterly bad taste in the followers mouth, ruining the franchise/ world of star wars. I was excited and watched ep.9 regardless of what people said but to my dismay this one was a complete and utter disappointment. Palpatine comes back? I, along with countless others thought he died, Why not add another villian? Why not Darth Plagueis? Disney has managed to cut and paste a movie with a terrible story line. To most people movies are just movies, to others movies invite us to open up doors that allow us to explore new worlds and ideas that fuel the fire to bring about dramatic story lines and characters that have so much depth that you can produce a spin off with much success, like the mandalorian. If it wasn't for boba fetts character the mandalorian more than likely wouldn't exist. Which brings me to ep. 9, does anyone who is not a die hard know who or what the knights of Ren are? They are supposed to be badasses but instead seem like they're posing in every single cameo. I love star wars much like many others but the truth is JJ killed star wars.

December 25, 2019 at 12:09PM

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Joseph Valverde
Storyteller/actor
81

Of all the franchises in history, Star Wars is the one series that if made properly, can please the masses. It's also a franchise that is very easy not to F up. Every Star Wars this man touched had controversy surrounding it. Do you think anyone wanted to see Han die... Nope, did anyone on earth want to see Luke die... Nope. Was everyone excited to see Luke as the main character and kick ass in the Last Jedi... Yep. Basically everything the audience didn't want in a Star Wars film, this man did.

December 25, 2019 at 6:06PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1180

I think Disney should release future Star Wars scripts as web comics years before they make the film. Hire great writers, experiment in a cheap medium. Adapt the most popular stories into the new feature film. The plot secrecy adds nothing to these movies.

December 26, 2019 at 7:11PM

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Jesse Yules
Director
398

My take? The story ended with Return of the Jedi. We're asking these writers and directors to keep it going when the heart of what Lucas wanted to say already has a period. Disney, of course, saw it as an ellipsis so we got three more movies that weren't necessary to the story. These talented guys are set up to fail, IMO.

December 26, 2019 at 9:04PM

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Tim Viola
Writer + Director
88

I didn't like Lost. I saw it as nonsensical storytelling based upon the idea of different for the sake of different. But I didn't really care, one way or the other, about Abrams until he put his fingers on my childhood favorite--Star Trek. And, frankly, I couldn't stand the results. It felt as if his ego needed to show how the original series and the older fans didn't matter because he knew everything, improved everything, bested everything by his mere arrival. It was style over substance all the way. It sucked. You can like it. I don't care. I hated it, and because of that, nothing he ever does will appeal to me.

I haven't seen any of the Disney movies because of his involvement. I knew it would be an absolute disregard/disrespect of the original movies and older fans because that's the way he does it. I like (not really) the way he stepped out so the other guy could take the heat over the second act, but then he stepped back in so he could play the hero and save the trilogy and look good doing it. It's manipulation all the way. You can like it. I don't care.

Now he wants to talk all that about fans being right and how you can't please everyone, as if he ever cared what the fans thought or wanted to. And Disney wants to call the fans entitled man-babies, while they tinker with the heart of mythology at the core of these stories. They want to play God, tell us what to like, and then take their collected tithes to the shareholders meeting. You cannot muck about with the pool of meaning that brings out the best and worst in human beings and then complain when your incompetent agenda- and ego-serving hamfistedness fracks it up. Well, apparently you can. And they did.

Lucas, for all his lack, at least had the basics right under Joseph Campbell's guidance. Disney thinks they know so much now that they will just manipulate the archetypes and elements (and audience) to their profit, but they need to stop telling us what to like and simply tell an honest story for once. It's been a long time since they did that. Now it's all formulas, agendas, and profit margins.

January 6, 2020 at 1:04AM

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