Despite a pretty solid start back in 2015 with The Force Awakens, the Disney Star Wars trilogy ended up being incredibly divisive amongst both critics and fans. Last year’s finale in the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker wrapped things up on a mixed note, with audience members left mostly divided on the capper to the series. Well now, it seems that one of the people who fall into the more critical side of the divide is Star Wars’ own Sam Witwer, who, whilst not faulting anyone for liking the movie, had some real issues with how director J.J. Abrams ended things.
“It’s um… look, if you like it, awesome. It’s not as meaningful to me because I can’t really reconcile that mythology with George’s. But that’s just my opinion, you know? My personal take is I think a Star Wars where the moral of the story is ‘throw down your weapon, don’t hurt your family, love or fear.’ I think that’s superior than a Star Wars where you win by melting the bad guy’s face off. That’s just my thing… I don’t know that you can do a better ending than Return of the Jedi.”
The Clone Wars actors thoughts are sure to resonate with some of the fanbase, with many die-hard Star Wars fans left disappointed by how The Rise of Skywalker concluded the long-running saga. Witwer, a longtime fan of the series, who has also been involved in several Star Wars projects himself including being the go-to voice for Darth Maul, is clearly not a fan of the direction that Disney has taken the franchise. Pushing aside the morals for more face-melting action is evidently not something that Witwer, or many of the fans, wanted from a continuation of the beloved sci-fi franchise.
The Rise of Skywalker contained several points of contention when it came to audience response, with one of the biggest offenders being the return of Palpatine, who was then linked to new protagonist Rey. The inclusion of the Sith lord, who fans presumed had died thanks to a self-sacrificing Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi, was unnecessary at best and undermining at worst. Witwer seems to take issue more so with the themes of Star Wars taking a backseat to excessive action, and no doubt there will be many Star Wars who agree.
The Sam Witwer criticism of The Rise of Skywalker follows his recent comments on the previous Star Wars installment, The Last Jedi, which you can read below.
“The Last Jedi, to me, felt like a movie made by a guy who hadn’t quite done his homework… I think Rian Johnson’s a talented guy, but Bruce Lee didn’t develop Jeet Kune Do without learning Kung Fu first. You can’t reinvent Star Wars without knowing Star Wars first and he didn’t — for me — make a compelling argument for why Luke didn’t go and help his sister.”
Witwer makes some compelling points, particularly about the moral center and mythology of the saga being forgotten, though no doubt those who agree and disagree will be split down the middle, as seems to be the case with any Star Wars discussion these days. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now streaming on Disney+. This comes to us from Twitch livestream.