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John Boyega Sets The Record Straight On Rise Of Skywalker 'Disappointment'

With all nine episodes of the Skywalker Saga now out and available for appraisal, the judgment of most viewers is that the film series presents a bit of a mixed bag. While George Lucas' original film trilogy has withstood the test of time and remains the Star Wars gold standard, the recently-concluded sequel series, produced and distributed by Disney after its acquisition of Lucasfilm, has left the fan base hopelessly divided. The J.J. Abrams-directed seventh episode, The Force Awakensgarnered a mostly laudatory reception when it bowed back in 2015, but Rian Johnson's 2017 follow-up, The Last Jedi, seemed to throw some quadrants of the fan base for a loop. Then came Abrams' grand finale, The Rise of Skywalker, and the battle lines were officially drawn.

The Rise of Skywalker earned mixed reviews, and since its release in December 2019, the detractors have seemed to be the most vocal. All the sparring back and forth between the fans on social media begs the question: what do the cast members think? Well, at least one of them doesn't count himself among the gripers.

John Boyega, who played Finn in Episodes VII through IX, took to Twitter recently to respond to a snarky tweet critical of The Rise of Skywalker. In response to one fan's suggestion that the film was an embarrassment, Boyega wrote, "Embarrassing ? LOL you wish. Very fulfilling, some disappointments but yet not that big of a deal. Everyone has moved on....." 

Everyone except for the fans, it seems.

John Boyega stands tall for his work in The Rise of Skywalker

More than a few members of The Rise of Skywalker's cast have been asked to respond to fan criticism of the film, and few — if any — have risen to the bait. For what it's worth, Boyega is now officially on the record in defense of the film — even though he openly and readily admits that there were some disappointing elements of it, possibly the romance between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley), which Boyega previously slyly criticized — and that's probably how it should be.

Given the tepid fan response to the final installment of the sequel trilogy and the Skywalker Saga, Disney has to be rethinking its decision to insert Rian Johnson in as director of the middle film, essentially sandwiching his vision between the storytelling efforts of J.J. Abrams. Much of the outcry over Rise of Skywalker seems to be divided between people who think Abrams did the best job he could after Johnson's movie drove a monster truck through his carefully constructed plot, and the others who think Abrams' efforts to retcon The Last Jedi were disrespectful to the work of Johnson. There are basically two kinds of Star Wars fans at this point: those who loved The Last Jedi, and those who would have preferred to see Abrams complete the whole series.

Regardless of the film's merits or failings, it's nice to see Boyega standing up for the work of his fellow cast mates and crew. There's no doubt that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears were poured into those three movies, and Boyega shows himself to be a real class act in defending the efforts of his squad.