OPINION: ‘The Last Jedi’ did not deserve its fanboy backlash

Promotional poster for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

Editor’s note: The following column contains NO spoilers for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Star Wars is something many of us grew up with. It has become part of American culture, just like football and McDonald’s.

So, understandably, many of us fans were excited when the Walt Disney Co. announced they were reviving the franchise with a new trilogy and three standalone movies. After “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” we eagerly awaited the arrival of the eighth episode in the saga, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” this past December.

What we got was… okay.

While the film may not have been stellar, the response of many Star Wars fans was completely over the top. Diehard fans of the series threatened to cease supporting their beloved franchise based on one mediocre movie that took a few risks. The movie may have flopped in a few areas, but it definitely didn’t deserve all the hate directed at it.

One notable critic of the movie was actor Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars series.

During filming, Hamill said he wasn’t a fan of the direction being taken with his character. Hamill made this known to Rian Johnson, director of “The Last Jedi,” and also stated his criticisms in a May 2017 interview with Vanity Fair.

Hamill’s criticisms of the directing choices were similar to the many complaints from fans after the movie released on Dec. 15, 2017. Articles and videos claiming that Skywalker was “ruined” have received millions of views.

However, Hamill issued a second statement on Twitter after the film’s release. In it, Hamill said that while he and Johnson had creative differences, “The Last Jedi” turned out to be a great movie, and “being pushed out of your comfort zone is a good thing.”

This is a stark contrast to people calling it the “worst Star Wars movie ever.”

User reviews left on the IMDb page for “The Last Jedi” range from well-formulated criticisms to angry rants about how awful the movie is. One reviewer even said the movie was “not worth the paper the ticket was printed on.”

I fully disagree with this statement. Johnson took some risks with “The Last Jedi,” true, but a Star Wars movie being different from other Star Wars movies is hardly cause for such harsh criticism.

I think many fans are losing their heads simply because they have seen a movie that is different from what they’re used to. Many Star Wars fans criticized “The Force Awakens” for being too similar to director George Lucas’s original “Star Wars” film, and then proceeded to complain even more about “The Last Jedi” being too different.

While “The Last Jedi” may not have been a perfect movie, it was still a good addition to the Star Wars universe. The next Star Wars movie to be released will be “Solo: A Star Wars Story” on May 25, 2018. Hopefully the rabid fanboys will have cooled down enough to be level-headed in their reviews of “Solo.”

Jason DeFisher is a junior in animal sciences and industry. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.