Daisy Ridley on backlash to Rise of Skywalker: Where did the love go?

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Last December, the final (no, for real final wink, wink*) chapter of the Star Wars franchise, The Rise of Skywalker, was released. The film was highly anticipated because it marked the return of fan-favorite director J.J. Abrams and it promised to answer so many questions, like who the hell decided to make Gen Leia fly Rey’s parentage (which it did). Unfortunately, the film was met with very mixed reaction. Poor critical reviews and only marginally better audience reviews marred it. And, as is common these days, a battle broke out over social media about the film, which led those critical of it to absolutely tear it apart, many before they’d even seen it. This left some of the actors, like Daisy Ridley, a bit shell shocked. Daisy called in to the DragCast podcast to discuss the complete shift in fan reaction, leaving her to wonder, where did the love go?

Daisy Ridley is addressing the negative reactions some Star Wars fans had to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

“It’s changed film by film honestly, like 98% it’s so amazing, this last film it was really tricky,” Ridley said of fan reactions to her three films in the series: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. “January was not that nice. It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like, ‘Where’s the love gone?’”

Ridley revealed she’d recently watched the documentary on the franchise, The Skywalker Legacy, saying, “It’s so filled with love and I think it’s that tricky thing of when you’re part of something that is so filled with love and then people [don’t like it].”

“You know, everyone’s entitled to not like something, but it feels like it’s changed slightly,” she said. “But I think in general that’s because [of] social media and what have you.”

[From People]

As per usual, I am of two minds. I feel for Daisy (a little) because The Force Awakens was her first feature length film and the world erupted in praise for her role. I think anyone would have a skewed vision of fame with that sort of introduction to it. And so much of the hostility online for Rise was between J.J. Abrams fans and Rian Johnson defenders. Everyone else got caught in the crossfire.

However, on the other hand – really Daisy? Have you never heard the phrase, “In Hollywood, you are only as good as your last picture?” I have no opinion in either Rian J. or JJ. A’s direction. I disliked both episode VII and VIII so much, you couldn’t drag me into IX for any amount of money. I made my husband take my son when he asked to go, and they came home actually angry at how much they hated it. (Conversely, my daughter and I decided on a whim to go see the dumb cartoon Spies in Disguise while they saw Rise and were pleasantly surprised by it.) When a franchise is as beloved as Star Wars, people will adulate anyone associated with it if the fans approve of the installment, yes. But if they don’t like it, they treat it as a betrayal and react accordingly. So that’s where the love went – it was always conditional. I’d say I was surprised Daisy didn’t see this coming, but she has kind of a history of having her head in the sand when it comes to how the world works.

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Photo credit: WENN/Avalon

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26 Responses to “Daisy Ridley on backlash to Rise of Skywalker: Where did the love go?”

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  1. Harla says:

    I liked it!

    • Michael says:

      Me too. They left a lot of story lines unsaid and screwed the Finn character badly but it was pleasant enough for me

    • Observerstatus says:

      I like some hard SF (Martha Wells and Greg Bear) so SW isn’t a “serious universe” for me as far as SF goes, so there’s no point expecting a lot from it if you’re not a big space opera fan. That said, however, the middle film by Rian Johnson was so incredibly bad on a lot of levels. Liked TFA and TROS and I appreciate Daisy’s hard work – she made the physical scenes work and she’s a decent actor. Rian Johnson is already contracted to do two or three more SW universe films, note.

  2. Mia4s says:

    Sequel trilogy? Never heard of it. They made sequels?

    Seriously though, the sum of its parts? Not worth it. I’m glad I was really moved by Rogue One and have adored the Mandalorian. Otherwise I would have tapped out.

    I think she and a John Boyega are having a bit of a rough post-trilogy come down. Force Awakens started with the promise of big stardom and big things, but of the stars of these new movies only Adam Driver managed to break out. (I’m not really counting Oscar Isaac or the leads of Rogue One, who were already well established or award winners, etc….pour one out for that poor guy who played Han Solo though. Ouch). However as you say, that’s Hollywood kids!

    • Marysia says:

      Adam Driver already had a career when he was cast as Kylo. And honestly, if an actor manages to make a splashy career after Star Wars, it is an exception, not a rule.

      • Mia4s says:

        True, it’s definitely arguable that Driver would have broken big without Star Wars. He was well on his way. His people were smart too. He did small critical-darling films as the lead (less box office pressure) and took supporting roles in bigger stuff. His people should call Oscar Issac’s people (whose box office record as leading man post Force Awakens is dire.)

        It’s not just Star Wars. The death of the movie star is pretty total. There are Marvel stars who have done….fine…outside Marvel, but not even RDJ can sell on his name. I do think blockbusters can boost your quote and definitely help fund movies on your name, but that’s about it. You really have to build up work outside the franchises because the effect is fleeting.

    • A Guest says:

      John has a new production deal with Netflix, so I think he will be fine. I don’t know Daisy’s future plans.

      Both of them took a lot of abuse online and both saw their characters take some big hits to please a rather loud and obnoxious subset of fans. Oscar Issac also has plenty of room to be salty.

      Quite frankly, most of the actors sound like they are just over it completely.

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Yeah, being surprised over fan favorite controversies is ridiculous. If she’d done her homework, she’d have learned about all the hate in the 90s. I still can’t say Aniken and Jarjar Binks with a straight face. I think she lives in a tiny bubble inside her own head. Rogue One made up for quite a bit as did Mandalorian. Start Wars is tricky. The writing is hokey, and as an actor, you have to be the weight… you have to dominate with subtlety. Both Daisy and Boyega are too flighty. Daisy flits around with attention deficit order and Boyega can’t act. Watching them was difficult as it was obvious they were so excited to be a part of the Star Wars world, they didn’t leave their excitement at the door when coming to work lol.

    • Kerbear says:

      Totally agree! Both Hayden Christensen and Jake Lucas (I think that’s his name who played a young Anakin?) had their careers and (not to sound dramatic) their lives ruined by those movies. Either she was too young to remember or thought it would never happen to her.

    • Mireille says:

      Didn’t care for the prequels or the sequels. And while I agree John can’t act (Pacific Rim 2 … shudder), I have to say neither can Daisy.

  4. Fleur says:

    These were really bad movies. Arguably as bad as the Lucas 90s era films. Why should people have affection for a slapdash Leia flying, divorced dead Han, bitter Luke movie? These were cultural touchstone that got torn down by mediocre writers to make a few bucks for Disney. Of course fans are bitter. Only Driver seems to be getting a great career out of a bad trilogy, but he’s an extraordinary talent. Daisy and John should remember that even if they didn’t get acclaim from these films, they still got notoriety and a fan base, which is a launchpad that a million other unknown actors would beg for.

    • Becks1 says:

      Honestly I think they screwed over Luke’s character the most. He’s this bitter recluse and we don’t really get to see the complete decline of his optimism and spirit.

    • M.A.F. says:

      I re-watched all of the films before Rise of Skywalker. The acting & writing is still terrible in the prequels but at least there is a story that continues through all three. You can’t say that about these last three. They kept rewriting the story & all it did was make it worse. IMO.

    • Observerstatus says:

      John Boyega has a huge ego and was being all dismissive about Disney 2 or whatever the streaming series is. He was like, “No Disney 2 for me. Serious starring vehicles, big films, only!” I hope he learns not to be so arrogant, especially now as HW is in shutdown and the disruption will be for months if not years.

  5. Becks1 says:

    *spoilers*

    I’m torn on the final trilogy. First, I’m not an Adam Driver fan, and I really hated him in the movies – both in terms of his acting and his character (I think the latter is understandable though.) I didnt like the whole “Rey and Ren share a mind” or whatever.

    Second- every time I watch the Last Jedi I dislike it more and more. I feel like they had no idea where they were going with it, other than “Luke and Leia are both going to die.” And I do like Luke’s death scene and that battle, I thought that was very fitting and appropriate for the series.

    I liked rise of skywalker but I did think that a lot of it came out of the blue. What was the point of the first two movies in that trilogy if not to set up Palpatine still being alive and creating this sith army? There may have been some clues, but…I still felt it came out of the blue. I have only watched it twice though so maybe like with Last Jedi I’ll dislike it more and more.

    I liked Force Awakens, but Daisy needs to realize part of the appeal of Force Awakens was it was the first star wars movie in SO LONG and it was telling us the story of something AFTER the original trilogy and so of course people were going to be excited about it. Pretty much as long as it didn’t have Jar Jar Binks people were going to see it in the theater (and it would make $$$) and if it was halfway decent, people would love it. But then the expectations were set and we wanted to see where the story went.

    All that said – there would always be controversy over these new star wars. They would never be able to make the entire fan base happy.

    • Prettykrazee says:

      I love Star Wars. I have been a fan my entire life. My first movie memory is of a Star Wars movie. Disney era Star Wars has been hit or miss. The same as Star Wars under George Lucas.

      Is this really a trilogy though? I feel like movies needs more than shared characters to call it a trilogy. I liked TFA. The movie did it’s job. It got people excited about Star Wars again. Was it a retread of Episode IV? Yes! Didn’t make it less enjoyable. Plus the nostalgia was the point of the movie.

      I didn’t like TLJ. At All. I rewatched it before TRoS. I tried to keep an open mind while viewing it but I still don’t like that movie. The Reylo hints are disturbing to me. And when TRoS confirmed them I was disappointed.

      TRoS felt slapped together. Everything just came out of nowhere and didn’t make sense. Once I read the summary of the original Episode IX script by Colin Trevorrow I realized it was. This script felt like a sequel to the TLJ. He wrote it in 2016. There was no mention of Palpatine. So who knows what went on behind the scenes for us get TRoS?

      Disney listened to the criticism of TLJ and thought well since y’all didn’t like it we will take everything back and throw in everything you like! And I think Daisy thought that we gave y’all what you asked for and you still hatin’! They didn’t realize it just like you said, you can’t please everyone.

    • Observerstatus says:

      The problem from the start was fan expectations. JJ Abrams most definitely planned for Palpatine to be the trilogy’s “challenge point” from the start. But the suits got nervous with some of the criticism from TFA and decided to put Rian Johnson (who seems like a very nice guy with excellent work in films like Knives Out btw but just not great for SW) in charge. Then they did another change with the last film to get JJ back. IMO they should have just fixed on the best story from the start, stuck with the same team, and ignored whatever the fans were saying for the whole three films.

  6. Case says:

    I could write an essay here, but I’ll just say I really loved Rise of Skywalker. Most people I know loved it too – it’s a shame that whatever the internet thinks ends up being the “right” analysis of the movie.

    All Star Wars films have their quirks and issues, and anyone who says otherwise, I think, is looking at the older films through nostalgia glasses. I love each and every Star Wars film for what it is. Imperfection is part of its charm to me. Overall, the series tells a beautiful, intimate, dramatic story, and it is, by far, my favorite series of all time (yes, prequels included). It is somehow so much greater than the sum of its parts. And Daisy did a kickass job as Rey!

  7. Veronica S. says:

    Oh, she thinks THAT is backlash? She should talk to the poor people involved in the prequels. They had it rough. Jake Lloyd was, what, eight or nine when those came out? And people ripped that poor kid apart. I remember Mark Hamill being pretty angry about it. At least the sequels had other media coming out at the same time that distracted people from hating on it too long.

    The sequels are the worst of the lot, though. After all that hype from Disney, there was no reason to deliver a product that poorly put together. We can talk all we want about the execution of the prequels, but ultimately, Lucas did do the better job. Those movies, for all of their flaws, have a clear, cohesive vision across the three of them. They actually tell one story instead of three completely different ones.

    • M.A.F. says:

      Yep. Agree 100%. It’s all about the story. And there is no story in these three films. If they wanted Palpatine to come back, if they wanted Rey to be related to someone, if they wanted that nonsense love story between Rey & Kylo then they should have told Johnson that. But they didn’t, they allowed him to do his own thing then Abrams came in and did a sequel to TFA instead of continuing on from TLJ.

  8. Thaisajs says:

    The problems with the Rise of Skywalker weren’t Daisy’s fault. She was great in the movie, as was Adam Driver and all of the actors, really. The problem is that JJ and the producers tried to cram too much in and serve too many masters so the whole thing was messy and unsatisfying. She needs to take it a bit less personally? I didn’t see any reviews panning her acting.

    I hope she shrugs it off and has a nice, long career. She seems lovely.

  9. Chad says:

    The prequels told stories that were part of the time line – now apparently legends grrr. They were a small part in a large story universe that all tied together. Disney ignored this entire universe and created its own new storyline. I read one of their new books but could not finish it. They destroyed the established story lines universe, so these sequels were bound to upset a lot of fans.

  10. Redgrl says:

    The original 3 from the 1970’s-early 1980’s were the only good ones imho. After that the movies descended into formulaic repeats marred by ever worsening acting. Oh, there’s a giant Death Star/planet/something! Oh it’s got a flaw that our hero finds! Oh, here’s the cutesy space bar scene with racist overtones! Oh here’s the hero/heroine who grew up on a deserted planet and who somehow manages to become an ace space craft pilot first time out. Nope. Done. It’s a shame because I remember watching the first star wars in the movie theatre in 1977 as a child and being completely blown away.

  11. PS says:

    Ehh, I don’t blame Rosie for her opinion here because if you watched any of the behind-the-scenes stuff between her and her co-stars, as well as the reception they received over the course of the three films, it’s understandable why she felt like the project was so love-filled, from making it to promoting it. Plus, you can anticipate backlash and still be taken aback by how it feels.

    Personally liked all three movies even though I think TROS could’ve been better.

  12. Anna says:

    I hated TROS but not because of Daisy. It completely ignores and outright contradicts the film that came before it. There’s no reason to rewatch the ST because none of makes any sense.

    And honestly, a lot of the positive fans I saw on social media and online were the ones excited for TROS after TLJ. And those same people were very disappointed that it went off on a totally different tangent and had nothing to do with anything. So if the studio liked fans being positive about the new trilogy, maybe they shouldn’t have tried to cater to the alt-right who complained loudly about Rey and Rose. Now nobody’s happy.

  13. N.N says:

    Don’t have a horse on this Star Wars race. With that said, I kind of like the fact that the fanbase is so vocal in their displeasure? Other fanbases have this unhealthy fixation, no one can ever say anything about the Holy Book/Film/Show/Etc or else they’re not a Real Fan, etc.

    It’s nice to see a fanbase that can point at something and say “Hey, this thing I like… it sucks!”