Houston Matters

The Bigger Picture: Star Wars Fans Discuss Their Mixed Feelings About The Latest Trilogy

With the release of The Rise of Skywalker, will fans continue to be divided about the latest films in the franchise?

The Rise of Skywalker
A promotional image for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The Star Wars franchise has been around for 42 years at this point, and with eleven live-action feature films, tons of merchandise, and multiple TV series, video games, novels, and comic books, it’s become something of a creative behemoth.

So, with such a large property comes a legion of fans who, for better or worse, are incredibly vocal about their opinions on the latest offerings in the series.

This dynamic seemed to really show its ugliest side following the release of the eighth episode of the main saga, The Last Jedi, which saw a pretty sharp division between fans who enjoyed director Rian Johnson’s somewhat different take on the series and those who saw it as a betrayal of what had come before.

Research from last year shows that some of the backlash may have, in fact, been perpetrated by Russian bot accounts, but there’s no denying that the film was controversial amidst its real, human fans as well.

And now, with the final chapter of the sequel trilogy,  The Rise of Skywalker being released, we’re bound to see strong reactions to the completion of this new story arc started by JJ Abrams’ with The Force Awakens.

So, in the latest installment of our monthly movie series, The Bigger Picture, Houston Matters producer Joshua Zinn sits down with Rice film professor Charles Dove along with two members of the Star Wars Enthusiasts of Houston fan group, Kristen Lee Ohanyan and Giovanni Lamar, to discuss the evolution of the franchise and the fans’ relationship to it.

Star Wars Enthusiasts of Houston
Members of the Star Wars Enthusiasts of Houston fan group.

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