With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 56% currently, this makes the ninth film in the timeline the worst reviewed instalment since 1999’s first prequel The Phantom Menace.
- Read more: ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’ review: a sufficiently satisfying finale that gives fans exactly what they want
While fans were unsure about Rian Johnson’s work on the previous film, The Last Jedi, the bulk of the disappointment now lies with Abrams.
NME gave The Rise of Skywalker three stars, highlighting the film’s leaning towards fan service. Alex Flood, NME‘s Film and TV editor wrote: “This is a film made almost exclusively with its fans in mind. Every scene contains a nostalgic reference, the cameos never end.”
For Forbes, Scott Mendelson wrote: “The Rise of Skywalker is a bad movie and a miserable finale that serves no purpose other than to reassure adult fans of the original ‘Star Wars’ that they are still the “chosen ones” of the pop culture galaxy.”
Some critics were more convinced by the film’s fan service, as Adi Robertson praised The Rise of Skywalker‘s spirit, saying for The Verge: “Minute to minute, it’s an enjoyable movie, and at its brightest points, it captures Star Wars at its best.”
Fan service has threatened to tarnish the Star Wars franchise for a while, as The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson described it as “a mistake”, preferring more challenging storytelling methods.
‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’ arrives in cinemas on December 19