Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer and director J.J. Abrams says both critics and fans of his film are "right" in their assessments - but wrong about parts of the process of making the film.
Abrams was asked his opinion of the criticism the film has received since its release, telling Vanity Fair, "I would say that they’re right. The people who love it more than anything are also right."
“We knew starting this that any decision we made - a design decision, a musical decision, a narrative decision - would please someone and infuriate someone else,” Abrams explained. “And they’re all right.”
One thing Abrams takes issue with, however, is the notion that he and The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson were at odds through the filmmaking process, or that the path from The Last Jedi to The Rise of Skywalker was anything but collaborative.
“It would be a much more interesting answer if there were conflict,” Abrams said. “The truth is when I was getting [The Force Awakens] up and running, I was nothing but grateful that a director and writer I admire as much as Rian was coming in to do [the next one.] Not expecting to come back to this, it was just fun to watch what was happening and get to respond to it.”
Some critics have pointed out changes in character arcs between the two films along with several dropped threads between The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. Abrams praised Johnson's choices on The Last Jedi, singling out his story for Luke Skywalker - and pointing out how The Rise of Skywalker builds on Luke's story from the previous film.
"One of the many brilliant things that Rian did in The Last Jedi was give Luke an arc. He learned something. He got somewhere. So at the end of that film he recommitted to the thing at the very beginning of the film he was rejecting, so the idea that even Luke Skywalker can learn something," Abrams said. "I think for a kid to hear Luke Skywalker say I was wrong, I think is a beautiful thing. And I think it’s something we could all probably do with, a little bit."