The early reactions for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker have arrived and they are not what Disney was hoping for.
Although The Rise of Skywalker had its first official screening Monday, the embargo on publishing those reviews does not lift until later this week. This, though, did not stop some who were invited from publishing their reactions on social media.
Before we get started, a little context…
These early reactions, these early Twitter reactions, are almost always glowing because studios as big and powerful as Disney know what they are doing. They know first reactions matter, so they invite the easiest lays in town to these early screenings. Nothing against those who are invited. What I mean is that the studio chooses the media types who they believe will love the movie and will get caught up in the excitement of an early screening.
When I lived in Los Angeles, my name was pulled from this hat more than once. That’s how I know how it works. And again, I’m not knocking anyone involved. There’s nothing wrong with this. Whether it’s Star Wars fanboys, conservative Christians, or horror fans, or whatever, you are going to cater to your targeted audience and hope they react positively.
And this is why when you read these “early reactions” on Twitter — for any movie — these early reactions are almost always glowing, head over heels, gaga, in love… Even a dog like the new Charlie’s Angels movie was able to pull this off. So…
For the Rise of Skywalker to get so many mixed to negative reactions is… Well, it’s not a good sign.
We’ll start with the bad-to-mixed and then post some raves…
At worst, I expected #TheRiseOfSkywalker to be a well made movie that I didn't like or whose story choices I disagreed with. I was not expecting a genuinely bad movie with video game plotting, thin characters, weak action and endless exposition of no consequence. Heartbreaking…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 17, 2019
There is good in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. But there is more that is disappointing. There are a number of choices that just don’t track, fan service that doesn’t work, and ignored details that are missed. I’m bummed. #StarWarsRiseofSkywalker pic.twitter.com/Ztk0VzGc6H
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) December 17, 2019
Lot to take in with #riseofskywalker It is the big adventure, lightsaber adventure I hoped for. A few things I still wonder if it was necessary but it was a very satisfying end to this new trilogy.
— Kristian Harloff (@KristianHarloff) December 17, 2019
Well, #StarWarsRiseofSkywalker is a definitive end to the Skywalker Saga, and a mixed bag. There are moments of inventiveness and crowd pleasing, but much of it is forced. If you thought Game of Thrones was rushed at the end… Leia’s sendoff doesn’t work, but Kylo’s arc does. pic.twitter.com/VjYVwApH6f
— ComingSoon.net by Mandatory (@comingsoonnet) December 17, 2019
I’m still processing #StarWars #TheRiseofSkywalker. The emotional highs are spectacular, and there are a lot of payoffs (some earned, some not). But some choices feel like an unnecessary course-correct from The Last Jedi and some just plain don’t make sense. Need to see it again pic.twitter.com/NcgBbAeCVx
— Laura Prudom (@LauInLA) December 17, 2019
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is certainly the most convoluted Star Wars. There is a lot I liked, but the first half gets so bogged down with exposition and new plot and doodads and beacons and transmitters, it feels like it should have been three movies on its own.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) December 17, 2019
Just stepped out of #TheRiseofSkywalker. It’s an immensely satisfying and MASSIVE end to the saga. It somehow addresses issues, problematic characters, and most unanswered questions from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi too. pic.twitter.com/TMKeXCXuUx
— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) December 17, 2019
Tweeting through tears – #TheRiseofSkywalker isn’t the best Star Wars film, but it is the ULTIMATE Star Wars film. A truly stunning finale to a nine film saga. Only weird thing was the amount of screen time spent on characters wolfing down raw vidalia onions. I ADORED this movie.
— ben mekler (@benmekler) December 17, 2019
— Star Wars Direct (@StarWars_Direct) December 17, 2019
Overall, though, if you take in the full scope of reactions, these are mixed reviews, not the 100 percent gushing Disney was aiming for.
The actual reviews will hit Wednesday, and no matter how bad it might be, the reviews will still be overwhelmingly positive because almost everyone in the entertainment media practices fealty to the studios, most especially The Empire itself, Disney.
My review should be up late Thursday or early Friday.