The latest Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, raked in $176 million during its first weekend in theaters, knocking Jumanji: The Next Level out of first place for box office sales. The opening was the third biggest for any movie of 2019, after Avengers: End Game and The Lion King.
While the film has been popular with audiences, it has received mixed reviews from critics. Surprisingly, Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams said he agrees with the critics on many critiques of the film.
“I would say that they’re right,” Abrams said of the critics. “[But] the people who love it more than anything are also right. I was asked…‘So how do you go about pleasing everyone?’ I was like: ‘What?’ Not to say that that’s what anyone should try to do anyway, but how would one go about it? Especially with Star Wars.”
However, Abrams said he was more interested in pleasing Star Wars fans than professional movie critics. He said he wasn’t afraid to “outrage” his audience.
“I don’t need to tell anybody here, we live in a moment where everything immediately seems to default to outrage,” Abrams said. “It’s a crazy thing that there’s such a norm that seems to be devoid of nuance and compassion–and this is not about Star Wars, this is about everything. We knew every decision we made would please someone and infuriate someone else.”