The intensity of toxicity from certain Star Wars fans is powerful enough to turn some viewers away from the series entirely, though Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirms that, while negative comments can be overwhelming, she enjoys hearing all feedback from fans, whether it's positive or negative. For most longtime fans of the franchise, the conflicts over the merits of the prequel trilogy had been the source of most debate, but the popularity of social media and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi resulted in the critical mass of fans voicing their qualms with the series, some of which did so using hateful language.
“I frankly love the feedback and, frankly, the criticism,” Kennedy shared with Yahoo.
She added, “You develop a little bit of an armor, but you learn from that. It's kind of like having a continual focus group that's out there telling you things, whether it's what you want to hear or you don't want to hear.”
The first film in the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, earned criticisms for feeling too familiar to Star Wars: A New Hope, only for writer/director Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi to attempt to offer a new approach of what defines the saga in hopes of pushing the franchise forward, only for that to also earn vocal critics.
As much as some viewers like to take an us vs. them approach when discussing the fans vs. Lucasfilm, Kennedy reminded that the studio is just as passionate about the franchise as those who consume it.
“We're just like the fans out there, we're just trying to find what's cool, what's heartfelt, what's strong storytelling and so I have to say - within reason - I love the feedback,” Kennedy admitted.
Star Daisy Ridley, who earned her fair share of hatred on social media, previously voiced how she also understands that criticisms of the film are valid, as all art is subjective.
"I wasn't surprised, no," Ridley shared with USA Today when asked about the backlash. "It’s just a different thing. Everyone’s going to have an opinion now anyway on the internet, but I also think it’s fair. If people hold something incredibly dear and think they know how it should be and it's not like that, it’s fair for people to think they were done wrong. It doesn’t mean they were – ultimately, Rian’s a filmmaker and one person can’t dictate how a film is supposed to be – but freedom of expression, sure."0comments
Fans can next see Ridley in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set to land in theaters on December 20th.
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