‘The Last Jedi’ Splits Star Wars Fandom, Petition Started to “De-Canonize” the Film

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The Last Jedi broke box offices records but failed to bring balance to the Force. In fact, Rian Johnson’s divisive film has split the fandom right down the middle, creating two factions that either really love or really hate the latest Star Wars movie.

And now that dissent has apparently escalated, with fans who hated the film starting a petition to have Disney remove Episode VIII from the official Star Wars canon.

[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW]

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Critics Loved It, Audiences Did Not?

The Last Jedi has had a divisive effect among audiences and critics as well. Critics praised the film, citing that it flipped our expectations as to what to expect from Star Wars going forward. However, many fans felt the film strayed too far from previous installments, that it ruined Luke Skywalker’s story arc, relied too heavily on ill-timed humor and still hasn’t satisfactorily explained plot holes from The Force Awakens (or worse, just plain ignored them.)

The film currently has a much higher rating with critics than it does with audiences.

The Last Jedi Sucked

“No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!”

So puzzled by the disparity between audiences and critics on Rotten Tomatoes, that some sites like Deadline are theorizing that those who disliked the movie are running a smear campaign against The Last Jedi, courtesy of bots. They point to the number of new accounts leaving reviews as to a reason why that is likely, not taking into account that maybe… just maybe… this is the first film many people felt so strongly about that they joined the site just to make their voices heard.

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And while it may be true that some votes are due to bots (one Facebook user has taken credit for some of them), my own personal Facebook and Twitter feeds are jam-packed with arguments for and against the film.

No, I think the score is pretty accurate. The Star Wars fandom has seemingly been split right down the middle from where I’m sitting.

What does this mean for Episode IX?

With J.J. Abrams returning to helm Star Wars Episode IX, it will be interesting to see if he revisits many questions he set up in The Force Awakens, or just rolls with Rian Johnson’s answers and non-answers and takes the last entry in the sequel trilogy in a totally new direction.

It’s possible that the fan backlash could lead to a lower box office take for Episode IX, as this could play out like the Star Wars prequels. The Phantom Menace had similar audience scores, but still did massive business at the box office. But its sequel, Attack of the Clones, is currently the lowest-grossing entry into the franchise. It’s likely that “burnt” fans simply did not show up for Episode II, but returned for Episode III as it showed the origin of Darth Vader.

Disney will also have to contend with an Episode IX that may not feature any of the leads from the original trilogy. Han Solo was killed in The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker dies at the end of The Last Jedi and while Princess Leia survived Episode VIII, Carrie Fisher passed away last December. So it’s very likely that Leia will die offscreen between movies. While it’s possible that Luke may turn up as a Force Ghost at some point, he probably won’t be much more than a cameo.

This means that new heroes Rey, Finn and Poe will need to carry the next movie themselves. Will audiences be on board for that? Time will tell.

[Source: CNET]

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I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.

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