Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, recently revealed that she was not surprised by the backlash to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
Ridley sat down for an interview with USA Today where she was asked if she was surprised by the backlash and controversy surrounding Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
Ridley responded, “I wasn’t surprised, no. It’s just a different thing.”
She would go on to add that she believes the backlash is “fair” as well.
“Everyone’s going to have an opinion now anyway on the internet, but I also think it’s fair. If people hold something incredibly dear and think they know how it should be and it’s not like that, it’s fair for people to think they were done wrong.”
She would add the caveat, “It doesn’t mean they were – ultimately, Rian’s a filmmaker and one person can’t dictate how a film is supposed to be – but freedom of expression, sure.”
The backlash to The Last Jedi divided the Star Wars fanbase with what appears to be a majority of filmgoers disliking the movie. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently has a 44% Audience Score. That score would be similarly reflected on Metacritic where the User score sits at 4.4 with over 4,006 negative reviews and only 2,902 positive.
Not only did most people express their dislike for the film, but the negative reaction appears to have also harmed the Star Wars brand at the movies. The most recent Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story was a massive bomb at the box office. The film only grossed $392.9 million worldwide and had a $275 million production budget. The film performed so poorly at the box office that the Star Wars Special Edition re-release performed better at the adjusted box office by nearly $70 million. The only theatrical Star Wars release that Solo was able to beat was the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
While the divisive nature of Johnson’s The Last Jedi appeared to cripple Solo: A Star Wars Story, it also exposed an ugly side of Johnson and a number of people involved in Star Wars as they lashed out at fans who disliked the movie. Johnson infamously decried Star Wars fans as “manbabies.” He would go on to try and deflect criticism of the film to Russian trolls. Even recently he endorsed a toxic Star Wars fan who indicated they were going to harass people who did not like The Last Jedi.
What do you make of Daisy Ridley’s comments? Do you think she is trying to win back viewers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?