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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

If you haven’t been on the internet today, you may not have noticed that there seems to be a growing divide between fans and critics in regards to the quality of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

If the 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t enough evidence, critics, by and large, are in love with the film. Yes, this is a Star Wars film, but it’s one that’s not afraid to take real risks.

While many seem to think this as a good thing, many fans don’t agree. I’ve perused the comments all over the net, and there seems to be no shortage of fans who genuinely hate what Rian Johnson has put to screen. Whether it’s the portrayal of certain characters or the actual events that unfold, there is a lot they complain about. But you could argue that it may just be true of the circles I frequent online.

RELATED – Why Fans Are Divided Over Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It’s possible, but the evidence does seem to be pouring in other places as well. On Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score for this film is at 57 percent. By comparison, the critically-maligned Justice League had an 80 percent audience score. Over on Metacritic, the critics’ score is a solid 86, and the audience score is at a disappointing 5.3 user score.

Of course, it can’t be ignored that on these platforms, any Joe Schmoe can leave a review. You don’t even have to see the movie to leave a rating, and that’s something that can lead to fans rallying against a movie based on tidbits they’ve heard. Given what I saw online, with fans reacting to revealed plot points BEFORE the movie even released, that wouldn’t surprise me all that much. That being said, it’s still a trend that’s hard to ignore, and there are plenty of fans who have seen the film who still don’t like it.

In a franchise like Star Wars, fan excitement is paramount, and yet in this particular case, as of today, it seems like there is a great divide between what fans want, and what Lucasfilm ultimately delivered.

What are your thoughts? Do you think fans are incredibly split, or is just a loud minority? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic

  • Wild Dreams

    I just saw it and I can see why there might be a divide. The only issue I had personally was that a few of the things they seemed to be setting up in force awakens got pushed to the side here…..seriously Snoke ??? I do not think it was a bad film by any means, in fact I’m highly curious to see where episode IX goes. This one though I think it’s a perfect example of either you like it or you don’t.

    • Mad Barchetta

      i laughed about Snoke. I have no idea what the original intents with him were, but he has become the Biggest misdirect (or probably just fan-inflicted dead-end) in the history of the series. Just like Rey’s parents…he was NO ONE! Just himself! An impressive bad-ass of a force-user, no doubt, but no one else.

      If I had any particular issue with a plot hole in this movie, it was that he could be SO powerful, and yet didn’t sense what Ren was doing. I guess anyone can be distracted from time to time.

      • He did sense Ren moving the lightsaber ready to strike. Ren just confused him by doing both at the same time. Basically his overconfidence was his weakness.

        • Mad Barchetta

          Yeah, I got that. Still seemed somewhat of a stretch, especially with it moving so close to him. But, like I said, we all get distracted! xD

      • Brafdorf

        1 – why does everyone easily buy Snoke is dead? It’s possible but he could also be alive still.

        2 – Reys parental identities are still a mystery IMO. Ren is likely lying to her to manipulate the whole situation even more

        • Mad Barchetta

          1 – Kinda hard to recover from being sliced in two and then being blown up in space with your ship. Even for a Jedi. Now, if you really want to believe it, maybe we can think of him as pulling an Ultron and actually using multiple bodies, so now his consciousness just jumped into another one has had stashed away.

          2 – Or, he actually told her the truth to devastate her to make her vulnerable to his overtures to join him.

          Now, I’ll ask another question: Why is it so terribly important to you (and apparently many others) that Snoke be more important than he has been and for Rey to have important parents?

          • Brafdorf

            It’s NOT important to me.

            But when someone mentions these things as a negative, I’ll bring up why they shouldn’t be so quick to use them as ammo against the movie.
            To think we have answers to both characters so easily in a franchise that prides itself on secrets and twists is foolish.

          • Mad Barchetta

            Ok. Guess I took the fact that you posted those questions to mean they were important to you for some reason. I’ve never really thought of Star Wars as being about secrets and twists. The only real twist throughout the entire series that I found to be of significance was the reveal of Luke’s family.

            If you’re saying you thought I was mentioning those things as a negative, you misunderstood me. I have no problem with either reveal. I am especially amused by the idea that so many people spent so much time trying to find out Snoke’s “real” identity, when they already knew it, but assigned unwarranted importance to something that TFA never really suggested was there (ie: secret identity.).

  • Andrew Myors

    After the amazing reviews I was actually pretty shocked at how disappointing this turned out to be. The film is a mess. And while I totally appreciated the desire to shake things up and take the characters and story in unexpected directions, nothing ever really gels.

    I understand that they inherited a somewhat messy premise/universe from TFA, but instead of trying to clarify and solidify some kind of tangible, overarching structure or theme to this trilogy they seem to have just muddied the waters even more. I genuinely have no idea what film the critics giving these glowing reviews saw.

    • Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap

      I totally agree this film was a mess, abandoning many things set up in ep 7 and starting up and wasting so many plot points in this film. Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Snoke, Phasma, the casino – all interesting setups and mostly wastes of time. Where was Rey or Finns arc in this movie? Very disappointing after all the reviews. And worst of all, just boring for long stretches.

      • Brafdorf

        Phasma, Laura Dern, and Benicio were never interesting set ups.

        In the case of both Phasma and Snoke people were left to their own devices speculating away for a few years, there was no consideration that they may not be that important in really

    • Rad4Cap

      I think this is a very accurate impression of the problems with the film. The issue isn’t the ‘desire to shake things up’ etc. The issue is with the inept way they attempt to make such ‘changes’. It is uneven, ununified, and ungainly. It is indeed a ‘mess’ – but it is neither a ‘hot’ mess nor a ‘daring’ mess.

      It’s just ‘meh’.

    • Unc Sam

      Agreed. I was entertained for 30 minutes but not long after that boredom started to set in.

      Did we really spend 80 minutes following the slowest space chase ever?

      An 90 minutes in I was sitting there thinking – jeez we’ve still got to get down to the planet and have that fight.

      • Ho Ho Ho Blowey

        Did we need that casino bullshit? Ugh.
        That was prequel dumbness

      • Hando316

        That “entire chase” was boring AF. Lots of stupid things in this film in this film out did the few very cool moments for me. I don’t want this director doing any new Star Wars trilogy.

  • the50sguystrikesback

    A growing divide is NOT new news. There is ALWAYS a divide (i.e. ‘Batman V Superman’, ‘Thor Ragnarok’, ‘Justice League’). Fanboys will be fanboys.

    Your ‘rag’ will last forever just from posting articles about fans being split on films.

    • Mad Barchetta

      So many fans want to feel again like they did watching the original trilogy, but then want something different, but then really want it to be the same. And they bitch to high heaven when something doesn’t meet their unreasonable expectations.

      I can sense the conflict within them. They believe that by striking down the source of that conflict, they will find peace. Didn’t work for Kylo Ren, ain’t gonna work for them! 😛

  • Victor Roa

    seems about right, I don’t buy in the whole ABSOLUTE LOVE!

  • Liederhaus

    I’m totally blown away at the reaction by the fans that didn’t like Last Jedi.

    It’s the best looking movie in the canon; funny, original and surprising; what else do you want?

    This is an example of the Fan Fiction culture ruining a special experience. Canto Bight is too long but none of these movies are flawless.

    Very sad.

    Enjoy rewriting these movies in your head…it’s as close as you’re going to get.

  • Kronx

    Watched it again tonight. It was even better the second time. A lot of the things that were jarring the first time, worked much better the second time around.

    What I realized was the film has great depth to it. We go into the film expecting to continue the light adventure and nostalgic optimism of TFA. Oh, Rey can do anything. Oh, we’ll just blow up a planet, etc.

    But TLJ is the other side of that coin. It’s about failure. Everyone fails at everything again and again in the film. Truth and morality are subjective. This is not the black and white Star Wars we’re used to seeing, and it flourishes for it.

    It’s a film about the price we pay for the things we have, from victory in battle to filling our bellies. There is always a cost. Always a downside, and it can split anyone right down the middle, as is illustrated many ways.

    There’s a LOT to unpack.

    • Mad Barchetta

      I very much agree. This film is very much floating in the grey area of life that is much more reflective of reality than traditional Star Wars has done. It feels like they are moving towards something much more focused on how each person carries within them the potential for good and evil, success and failure. The Force is much less about Dark and Light sides, even. The Force is everywhere and has no particular alignment. It can be a tool, and like any tool, its nature depends on how one uses it. Ben’s fall to the Dark Side is about what’s within him, not about anything The Force did.

      Meanwhile, it continues a much more meta theme that many people have missed, but you picked up on: Everybody fails (cue REM “Everybody Hurts” music), and that is a cycle that has indeed carried on throughout the movies: Yoda’s pupil Dooku turned to the dark side, but then Yoda became successful with Qui-gon. Obi-wan lost his pupil Anakin, but then redeemed himself through Luke. And now Luke has failed with Ben, but seems ready to succeed with Rey. And the scene with Yoda was quite wonderfully done, I believe. It highlighted that cycle, helping Luke to find hope again and also highlighted a second them, which the audience would do well to heed: LET GO OF THE FUCKING PAST!

      I’m with you and the critics. I really enjoyed this and felt it had much more heft and depth to it than TFA, or maybe ANY SW film so far. Did I like it better than TESB or SW? No, but it’s close.

      Guess we’ll have to be in the minority until the rest of the world catches up to us in about 10 years or so.

      • Triple M

        Yeah… like the rest of the world caught up about the Phantom Menace.

        There’ll be a catching up… but it won’t be the rest of the world.

      • Jason Loomis

        I saw it a bit differently, but the Yoda/Ben relationship (in terms of message) is interesting. It isn’t let go of the past, but learn from it. Learn from failure especially, and pass that on to others so those mistakes might not be repeated.

        Ben, the (understandably) overly emotional villain, says the opposite: Let go of the past. In fact, kill it, burn it down. Can’t learn much that way.

        I also think Ben is basically Luke if Luke had killed Vader. Luke was a fairly emotionally driven character as well, but had learned to restrain himself. Lapses happen. A part of life. And maybe Rian is saying something about thoughts versus actions, the distinction between having evil thoughts and acting on them?

        I really liked this movie. Can’t wrap my head around the Leia thing. That’s years and years of training, Jedi Master stuff – Plo Koon-ish, in fact (or was that more biological with him? can’t remember at the moment). General Hugs threw me off until I figured, oh, hey, stalling. Duh. Maybe most of the movie is like that for some? Don’t know. Don’t care.

        • Mad Barchetta

          Interesting angle on the distinction between Yoda’s advice and Ben/Kylo’s perspective. Upon initial consideration, I agree, and then I think about how Yoda went ahead and burned down the Jedi tree after Luke hesitated. Was he actually saying to just let go of the past, don’t get hung up on the old books and old philosophies? Not sure now. But I did clearly also get the message that: we all fail at some point. Yoda, Obi-wan, and Luke. Each lost at least one pupil to the Dark Side, but then found a way to do even better afterwards: Yoda failed with Dooku, but did much better with Qui-gon. Obi-wan failed with Anakin/Vader but then helped Luke turn it all around. Luke failed with Ben, but now maybe has the opportunity with Rey, despite how short the training was. Hers is even more truncated than his own was, but then she seems to be more a of a natural than Luke was initially.

          And, yeah…despite so many fans being all upset that Luke had a moment of weakness, he was always driven by his emotions. He learned to reign them in, but not 100% He’s not a Vulcan, after all.

  • Lenin1959

    I’ve watched it yesterday and still don’t know what to really think about it. It was brave in ways, but also so, SO wrong in many parts. And I still struggle with what they have done with and to Luke Skywalker. Luke refused to fight Vader and by this became the greatest Jedi ever for understanding the core of the Jedi – PEACE – unlike Yoda and Obi. And the very same Luke for a brief moment wanted to kill his nephew in his sleep (!) because he felt he had fallen to the dark side? No. This is NOT Luke.

    • Mad Barchetta

      I see. Luke isn’t allowed to be imperfect, for even a moment? Like the rest of us? He can’t feel differently about wanting to rescue his father, as opposed to a nephew?

      As a character, Luke has always been driven by his emotions: He refused to help Obi-wan at first because he had other plans for his life and was afraid. When his adoptive family was killed, he suddenly changed his mind, as he no longer had any emotional ties to Tatooine. It wasn’t to help the Rebellion, or Leia, or Obi-wan. He had nothing else to do and perhaps wanted some measure of revenge. He left his training, against Yoda’s warnings, to help his friends. He put himself and the Rebellion at risk by turning himself in to Vader because he wanted to save him. Then he nearly killed Vader in a fit of rage over Vader suggesting he’d go after Leia. Seeing Vader’s hand led to Luke stopping his assault, again to save him, and also out of hubris to show Palpatine that he couldn’t be turned. It wasn’t about PEACE, it was about his emotional ties. Over and over and over, Luke allowed himself to be led by his emotions, and sometime by his pride.

      And you think he couldn’t possibly, even in a moment of fear and doubt, think about killing an immensely powerful student who was turning to the Dark Side? Or you didn’t WANT to think of him doing that?

      • Lenin1959

        Murdering your family is not “imperfection”, especially with Lukes family background! What did Luke do unlike Ben and Yoda? Believe that there is something good left even in the most twisted killer. That was his strength. And he experienced that he is RIGHT about this. That was his greatest achievement! But no, for the sequels this is all void and they just ignore it. And so Luke was no longer Luke. I can enjoy the sequel trilogy as long as I take it as very expensive fan fiction.

        • Mad Barchetta

          As I’m sure it never ever crossed Luke’s mind to murder his father while he was beating him down furiously and cutting off his hand, thinking that would be the only way to prevent him from hurting his sister. And, just like with Ben/Kylo, he realized how wrong he was to think that and pulled back from doing it.

          He THOUGHT briefly about killing Kylo and then didn’t. Still hasn’t.

          I’m sorry if you don’t see it the same, but to my mind, both circumstances are similar. Actually I take that back. He actually WAS trying to kill Vader before he pulled back. He never even started trying with Kylo.

          • Triple M

            Sure… so you’re saying he learnt absolutely nothing from the entire first trilogy and didn’t develop as a character at all, in fact he regressed.

            Despite the fact the fact that both Yoda and Obi Wan seemed to actually grow wiser and more intune with the Force.

            Luke went backwards, as did Han who somehow ended up smuggling again in TFA

            Gee.

            and I don’t like writing spoilers in comments… but no that wasn’t the same thing as Vader, not at all.

          • Brafdorf

            He developed.
            He was never a teacher in the first trilogy.
            When he failed he lived alone just like Obi Wan and Yoda. Trying to cope with his mistake

  • Bruce Norris

    Now glad Lando (Mr. Williams) wasn’t in the movie. They probably would have killed him in some really meaningless/messed up way. As of now, I don’t want him in the movies. I prefer to think he lived a long and happy life.

    • Lenin1959

      With Carrie Fisher not being availabe to kill off her character in epsiode IX, I think Mr. Williams will get a call. I mean the whole sequel trilogy is about killing off fan favorites in every movie, right?

      • Bruce Norris

        Lol! It’s a damn shame.

  • Unc Sam

    Of the 3 Disney movie directors we’ve had so far I’d say only Gareth Edwards gets space.

    Rogue One’s space battle was fantastic. Energetic, dangerous, inventive, some beautiful visuals, fan service that didn’t feel forced or corny. Most of all it didn’t all rest on irritating mcguffins which made a mockery of established continuity.

  • Mad Barchetta

    Just gonna say that I really enjoyed this movie for many reasons. Largely for the surprising creative steps it made, for the themes of failure preceding success, for the exploration of the grey areas between the Dark and Light sides, for the notion of how success may be defined by its cost, by the idea of finding hope amidst fear.

    This isn’t the original straight-forward Good/Evil dichotomy introduced in the first movie. It’s much more mature than that. It isn’t bound to the narratives introduced in TFA, but carries through on ideas and themes introduced throughout the entire saga, without being limited to repeating the old patterns and tropes. In that sense, this is easily the most daring of the SW movies, with the exception of TESB.

    Yep, it isn’t exactly what most of the fans wanted. And I think that’s a good thing! It challenges us to consider other aspects and ideas. It asks us to let go of the past and sets up a finale where, for once, I can’t say I know what to expect.

    Of course, as I finish that last sentence, my brain reminds me that JJ Abrams will be back in the director’s chair for the next film. I think this will be a moment of truth for him, where he now has the choice to continue the unpredictable narrative set up for him by Johnson, or fall back upon his tendencies toward recycled fan-service. Will he step up to the task? Will he be able to let go of the past. Man…just train of thought as I type this, it almost feels like Johnson has issued a personal challenge to Abrams. Interesting thought…

  • Johhny

    Wow The first Hour of the Movie Bored Me.
    This was almost as bad as the prequals.
    I wont waste my money on the next movie.

    • Triple M

      No need to… this one was just a perfunctory viewing because of Carrie.

      Star Wars is dead now.

  • Kratos

    24 hours on and i’m still mulling over how utterly absurd this film was. during pre-production meetings where it was first discussed that leia would have a gigantic section of her ship obliterated by tie fighter blasts and she’d be blown out into space…and as her body floats away somehow UN-DISENTEGRATED…she would slowly wake up, coming back to life….then force float her ass back to a resistance ship, be taken aboard, lapse into a coma then wake up later and act as though nothing happened….i can’t believe someone didn’t stand up to rian johnson and scream ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR GODDAMN MIND?!?

  • Brafdorf

    I think with every Star Wars film there’s gonna be a population that just trashes it.

    The franchise is so beloved you can’t satisfy everyone. It’s NOT possible

  • Rob P.

    Put the cool imagery aside, put the desire to push the boundaries of what is Star Wars aside and what you have left is a terribly directed, written, and edited movie. No story arc for Finn or Poe (what’s the point to even have them in the next movie?), a weak & disjointed plot, the longest and most boring space chase in SciFi history that had heavy hints of Battlestar Galactica in it, quick and meaningless deaths of main characters that provided no emotional connection. No backstory of Snoke for example where we could really learn to come to hate him, on and on. The Casino scene was almost meaningless and a big waste of time. The saving grace for that whole story was “broom boy”.

    It’s one thing to shake things up and another thing to have the cap come off and let everything fly all over the kitchen. When you go about “shaking things up” by destroying forty years of Star Wars you’re just going to fail. I can’t even see how they’re going to have any kind of story arc for the next movie. There’s nothing really for them to start from. No, “We’ll meet you at Jabbah’s palace on Tatooine” to connect the two movies. By making it virtually a standalone movie they’ve really shot themselves in the foot.

    They could have easily trimmed thirty to forty minutes off the movie without batting an eyelid. Much of the space chase was totally editable. And since when does the Star Wars universe start using modern earth slang? “He’s tooling you, Sir.” Puh-lease. That scene was totally out of step, as was much of the other lame attempts at humor. There was some funny stuff for sure, but everything about the Force is majestic and Rian Johnson tried too much schtick for my taste.

    I think the writing is on the wall that this is going to go down as the worst of them all. Thankfully JJ Abrams is back at the helm for the third one. Let’s just hope Rian Johnson is handed his walking papers before he writes the script for it. If the numbers bear up Disney will see that they really stepped in it and deep six the guy. Just a major disappointment.

  • Nay sayer!

    Did not like this film. It was an animal liberation, car chase film with a bit of fun lore thrown in

  • max weber

    Watched it again tonight. It was even better the second time. A lot of the things that were jarring the first time, worked much better the second time around.What I realized was the film has great depth to it. We go into the film expecting to continue the light adventure and nostalgic optimism of TFA

  • DAH

    It was a ballsy film I’ll give Disney, Kennedy and Johnson that much…….

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.