The Star Wars sequels that came out from 2015-2019 were some of the most anticipated films in movie history.
Not since the Star Wars prequels had a set of films been so hyped among the general population of moviegoers. While the films certainly can’t be categorized as flops (they cleaned up at the box office), they didn’t quite satisfy many Star Wars fans the way they’d hoped.
While many fans were left wanting after seeing the films, a smaller contingent sees this opinion as somewhat reactionary. Let’s take a closer look at the Star Wars movie reactions throughout the years and why some fans called the hate for the sequel trilogy overblown.
Fan reactions to the original and prequel ‘Star Wars’ trilogy
Of course, the original Star Wars trilogy is one of the most beloved film series of all time. The first release was A New Hope in 1977, followed by The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, and Return of the Jedi in 1983. These movies redefined big-budget blockbusters.
While major franchises were still quite a few years away, Star Wars was the precursor of today’s major tent pole franchises. There’s no Dark Knight trilogy or Marvel Cinematic Universe without the original trilogy, most likely.
The prequels were another matter. Fans reacted with excitement when George Lucas announced a new set of Star Wars movies to debut in 1999. First came The Phantom Menace. Then Attack of the Clones hit in 2002 with 2005’s Revenge of the Sith coming as the coda to the prequels. The initial reaction to these films was not great.
Many fans decried the kid-friendly nature of The Phantom Menace and the series’ overall wooden dialogue. Revenge of the Sith drew some praise for being the strongest entry, but as a whole, the prequels were not looked at fondly at the time.
Many thought that would be the end of Star Wars on the big screen. They were wrong, as Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012 and decided to make an entirely new trilogy picking up where the last one left off.
Fan reactions to the sequel trilogy
The Star Wars sequel trilogy films came out from 2015-2019 with The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. The overall reaction was mixed. Some positives included:
- Kylo Ren and Rey and their relationship
- The chemistry between Finn and Poe
- The reintroduction of classic characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa
There were also negatives, including:
- Some felt The Force Awakens acted like too much of a clone of The New Hope
- The Last Jedi was loved by critics but panned by many fans
- The Rise of Skywalker left some fans feeling as if it tried to do too much in one film
- Overall, it seemed as if the original trilogy characters didn’t get enough of an opportunity to shine
The sequels could be seen as disappointments. While they weren’t bad by any stretch, they didn’t nearly live up to the original trilogy. It leads to the question: are fans being too hard on these films?
Why some fans believe the sequel trilogy hate is “overblown”
A Reddit thread discussing whether the sequels were judged too harshly addressed this very question. One fan put it best:
“The hate has just always seemed overblown and nitpicky for a series based on space wizards swinging lazer swordz.”
This hits on an important point: Star Wars movies, at their core, are fantastical tales meant for children. Though they do feature solid acting performances, great cinematography, and iconic music, they don’t have to resemble high art to be effective. The sequels introduced fun characters, interesting plots, and had enough surprises in them to keep the audience guessing.
They weren’t perfect, to be sure, but let’s be honest: no Star Wars films could have lived up to what fans created in their minds for the sequels. This trilogy couldn’t compete with the imaginations of Star Wars fans everywhere.
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