Must say that I do find all the hate this film gets to be really suprising. When the Prequels ended and George Lucas released The Clone Wars movie, enthusiasm for Star Wars just seemed really low. Episodes 1, 2 and 3 seemed to be universally disliked due to their over reliance on CGI and watching those films on broadcast TV didn’t do much to affect this viewpoint either - bluescreen nightmare, especially AOTC and TPM.
It’s worth clarifying that I’m the type of person who looks for the positive in everything and with the prequels, I looked past the issues and focused on the many great things about them. Although it’s a sad fact that despite how many millions they grossed, criticism of them was pretty vocal. Remember those fans with Internet access grew up with the originals (in the same way we’re now seeing people exude positivity about the prequels because they grew up with it)
So when Disney purchased Lucasfilm they had a job on their hands and to recapture the essence of the originals they went back to as many practical effects as they could. Even if something was CGI, they didn’t have unbelievable camera angles of super feats (Anakin jumping on Zam Wessels speeder was always a face palm for me…it should have pulled his arms off).
The shots of the Millenium Falcon despite being CGI, always looked real and the film was a rousing success. A return to traditional Star Wars where those fans who got their parents to buy all the tickets and memrobilia in the 1980’s and then paid for tickets and got their kids into it in the 00’s - but were left oh so disapointed with the prequels, now had a film that ticked all the nostaliga boxes.
So everything was set up then, essentially Rey was Luke, Kylo Ren is Vader and the Empire is the New Order. We even have a new Emperor in Snoke.
I knew it, others knew it and we knew Episode 8 was the middle of a new trilogy so why Rian Johnson decided to re-set this universe is mind boggling. Kathleen gets a lot of stick for meddling but for me she should have done more and queried why the director of The Last Jedi decided to make such radical choices.
How they didn’t have a blue print for the sequels I find baffling. By all means have different directors bringing something different in style but to not have an overall plan was shocking.
The Last Jedi just…well it isn’t a bad film and it understands Star Wars but to re-set the universe in the middle of a 3 movie plan was bizarre.
So enter Rise of Skywalker, the Universe is now scorched and probably worse than when the Clone Wars movie came out. After the rise of Episode 7 it was to be a false dawn, the universe for a brief time burned brightly than it has for years and it was like 1977 all over again, then Episode 8 came.
But JJ knocked it out the park again, he once again managed to condense his overall plan into 1 film and despite Rian Johnson doing what he did in TLJ, JJ even incorporates that film into this too. The ultimate respect.
The original aesthetic is back, references to the prequels are incorporated and literally it appeals to everyone - Mission Impossible of bringing everything back on track after TLJ is a success and if truth be told, Palpatine was always far more of a villain than Snoke so hurrah to Rian Johnson for killing off Snoke.
The problem for ROS and indeed the sequels in general have been YouTubers realised that bad news gets hits and posting Industry lies, no matter how outlandish no longers gets ‘Forum replies’ but now actual monetary benefits.
Suddenly this cancer spreads to Facebook groups too and pretty much, this forum is pretty much exempt to it thankfully. But whereas the Internet wasn’t the overall conesus of the Prequels back in the day, it’s also a case that peoples view of the sequels isn’t the hyperbolic Kathleen Kenedy-Disney-Hating-frothing-at-the-mouth-mike-zeroh viewpoint either.
Personally I think it’s a great film.