• By Tyler Berkheimer

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' nearing $1 billion at the box office despite negative rev

Concluding a nine movie saga was never going to be an easy task, especially one as notable as Star Wars. J.J. Abrams, the director of the final film, gave fans an exciting and nostalgia-filled finale, but the reviews have been increasingly negative.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” released in theaters Dec. 20, 2019 and is the final film in the nine film Disney Skywalker saga. The film is the third in its respective trilogy starting with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015.

Abrams returned to direct the film after not directing the previous film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which was directed by Rian Johnson. Johnson’s film disappointed many Star Wars fans and received negative reviews on the popular movie review site Rotten Tomatoes with a measly 43% audience score.

Despite the previous film’s let down, fans crowded the theaters for “The Rise of Skywalker” and the film raked in $176 million on its opening weekend according a CNBC article written by Sarah Whitten titled “’Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ tops box office at $176 million, smallest haul of new trilogy.”

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” currently has an audience score of 86%- exactly double the audience score of the previous film. The final film was estimated to surpass the $1 billion dollar mark during the week of Jan. 12-18, 2020, according to a Forbes magazine article titled “Star Wars: the Rise Of Skywalker’ Is The First $1 Billion Disappointment,” written by Scott Mendelson of Forbes magazine.

In the article, Mendelson calls the film the “most disappointing Star Wars story” and discusses some behind the scenes occurrences that may have caused the film to be disappointing. The most notable occurrence was the late addition of Abrams who previously directed “The Force Awakens” after Disney fired Colin Trevorrow in late 2017. Mendelson believes this may be the reason the film felt rushed and thought it would have been better with another year delay.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine called the film a “fine and fitting end to the Skywalker Saga.” Travers also discussed the near impossibility of creating a film that pleases all viewers especially a Star Wars film, but commended Abrams calling the film a “euphoric blast of pulse-quickening adventure, laced with humor and heart”.

As I’ve been a fan of the Star Wars films since I was a child, I may have a bit of bias, and while I enjoyed the final film, I can still see the very valid complaints made by other fans and critics of the movie. Overall, I thought the film did a good job of wrapping up a story that has been in the making for over four decades. It was never going to be an easy task for any director. With the material Abrams had to work with, he did the film justice and gave the saga a fun, nostalgic, adventure filled, and valiant ending to one of the largest movie franchises ever.

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