The entertainment-loving public has a tendency to make unfair comparisons when monolithic film franchises and television series come to a close. For example, the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones was met with less than ideal reactions from many fans and critics. Now that Star Wars is eyeing its own end game with The Rise of Skywalker, which will conclude the main Star Wars saga, fans are worried they’re in for another disappointing finale.
But star Daisy Ridley is attempting to put those concerns to bed.
Though she’s not permitted to get into specifics thanks to the closely guarded secrecy of Lucasfilm, she did tell MTV News at Disney’s D23 expo that “I think this ending will be less controversial” than Game of Thrones.
Rian Johnson’s 2017 Star Wars feature The Last Jedi infamously inspired a small but vocal online backlash. The rising hostility and toxicity of this small segment of “fandom” targeted actress Kelly Marie Tran with online harassment so frequently that she deleted many of her social media accounts. Even Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams is aware of this possessive vocal minority. Yet for all of their ugly behavior, The Last Jedi still earned $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office. Audiences vote with their wallets, and a sum that large is a clear message that even “controversial” Star Wars content is immensely popular.
It won’t be easy for Abrams to conclude the series in a way that satisfies all corners of the fandom. The franchise has spanned more than 40 years and has become a generational touchstone for American cinema. But early indications have been positive, and the film’s trailers have been well-received by most Star Wars fans. Here’s hoping The Rise of Skywalker sticks the landing when it flies into theaters December 20.