To say that there are many things that fans hate about the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015 — 2019) would be an understatement. While Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) was mostly well-received, its sequels, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), remain the most hated entries in the entire series.
Besides the fact that there was no direction from the beginning, with Disney and Lucasfilm seemingly leaving directors JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker) and Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) to their own devices (or perhaps interfering far too much — we may never know), there are plenty of other things about the films that often come under fire from fans.
From shocking deaths to inexplicable character decisions, we’ve decided to pick the top 10 most hated scenes in the entire sequel trilogy in chronological order!
10. Han Solo’s Death — The Force Awakens
Even to this day, there are many fans who consider The Force Awakens to be a solid movie, despite essentially being a carbon copy of Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977). But with that said, all that set-up and promise has, of course, since been completely wasted.
But even if its sequels hadn’t become the most hated entries in the franchise, The Force Awakens still commits the unforgivable sin of killing Han Solo (Harrison Ford)! While bringing back legacy characters does carry such a risk, we don’t think fans will ever forgive JJ Abrams for this decision. Well, at least Han Solo returns as a ghost or something in The Rise of Skywalker.
9. Lightsaber Toss — The Last Jedi
It’s actually quite tricky to determine whether the most controversial entry in the Star Wars sequel trilogy is The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker. But we’d probably hedge our bets on The Last Jedi, seeing as it isn’t just considered bad, but also pretty blasphemous!
Just minutes into the film, picking up where The Force Awakens ends, we return to Rey (Daisy Ridley) as she stands before Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), having located him on Ahch-To and handed him his lightsaber at the end of the previous movie. And what does he do? Well, he tosses it over his shoulder and walks off. Yep, we waited two years for that!
8. Got Blue Milk? — The Last Jedi
Still not quite over the fact that Luke Skywalker has tossed away his lightsaber like it’s nothing more than a foreign object that’s gotten stuck in the engine of his X-Wing? Well, before you have time to recover, there’s another scene that doesn’t do the legendary Jedi any favors in this film.
For reasons unknown, Luke shows Rey how he acquires his calcium supplements on Ahch-To, as we see him sourcing milk from the teats of an alien sea cow on the rocky coast of his island. After chugging the liquid, he nods his approval (it feels like a weird commercial), before Rey and the creature share a look of confusion and disgust.
7. I’m Mary Poppins, Y’all! — The Last Jedi
Before The Last Jedi truly commits to adding insult to injury where Luke Skywalker is concerned, we must, of course, spend some time with his sister, Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). Naturally, Fisher is on top form, but she has one of the most unexpected moments in the film.
When Leia’s ship is blown to smithereens by the First Order, she ends up in the cold vacuum of space, completely exposed. But moments later, just as she’s about to turn to ice, she opens her eyes and flies back to the safety of a nearby ship, despite the fact we’ve never seen her use the Force. Not to mention that flight is a skill that could have come in useful for the Jedi a long time ago…
6. Rose Saves Finn — The Last Jedi
One of the biggest criticisms of The Last Jedi is the character of Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), who was so disliked by fans that she was relegated to a background character in The Rise of Skywalker, while the actress was trolled on social media by creatures of unknown origin.
While we’d love to see Rose return to the world of Star Wars, the scene in which she stops Finn (John Boyega) from giving his life to save the Resistance makes no sense. Her reason? “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love”. A lovely sentiment, Rose. In any other situation besides this one.
5. Snoke’s Death — The Last Jedi
“I can see everything,” a smug Snoke (Andy Serkis) tells Rey, just before his apprentice, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), uses Force telekinesis to turn the Supreme Leader’s own lightsaber against him, cutting in half Darth Maul-style. It’s momentarily satisfying, but then the issue of logic sinks in.
Not only that, but the most baffling thing about this powerful being getting the wool pulled over his eyes so easily, is the fact that the trilogy’s main villain, an insanely powerful Sith Lord, has been killed just halfway through. For no other reason than a cheap “gotcha” moment, which is something that plagues this film from start to finish.
4. Luke Skywalker’s Death — The Last Jedi
After watching Kylo Ren kill his own father, Han Solo, in The Force Awakens (although a popular fan theory suggests Han Solo turned the lightsaber on himself), back in 2015, fans realized that anything was possible in the new Star Wars trilogy. But, of course, this isn’t always a good thing.
But it still came as a shock when we saw Luke Skywalker become one with the Force in The Last Jedi. While his Force-projection duel with Kylo Ren during the Battle of Crait is one of the more satisfying parts of the film (let it be said that there are plenty), it’s still further proof that legacy characters were only brought back to be disposed of.
3. They Fly Now?! — The Rise of Skywalker
Just when you probably started to think that we were picking on The Last Jedi, we finally arrive at The Rise of Skywalker. While there are many moments throughout this film that leave you scratching your head, one of the worst culprits is a scene that has long become a popular meme.
While being pursued by First Order troopers, Rey, Finn, BB-8, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaacs) are truly perplexed to see their enemy launch into the air using jetpacks, repeating the line, “They fly now?” over and over again. In turn, this leaves fans equally confused, seeing as jetpacks are nothing new in Star Wars.
2. Palpatine’s Return — The Rise of Skywalker
The trailers for The Rise of Skywalker were as full of promise as The Force Awakens. While the second trailer had the most epic rendition of the iconic Star Wars score, it was really the first one that got fans excited, as the familiar cackle of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) can be heard.
Naturally, fans went crazy with excitement, as the prospect of seeing the Emperor return was a thrilling one, to say the least. Unfortunately, the Sith Lord’s return doesn’t really make much sense, and ultimately ruins the end of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983), and pales in comparison to McDiarmid’s performance in the prequel trilogy (1999 — 2005).
1. “The Name’s Skywalker, Rey Skywalker” — The Rise of Skywalker
Personally speaking, we quite like Rey. After all, Daisy Ridley gives the role her best, and the character is likable enough. What doesn’t do her character justice, though, is the writing beyond The Force Awakens, as she continues to go from strength to strength with little explanation.
But what really gets fans’ blood boiling is the very last scene in The Rise of Skywalker. At Luke Skywalker’s old residence on Tatooine, a passing stranger asks Rey who she is, to which Rey replies, “Rey Skywalker”. In fact, this might just be the most hated scene in the sequel trilogy. But at least she doesn’t suddenly turn to face the camera and fire her blaster at the screen.
While the sequel trilogy remains widely hated, not all hope is lost. It seems that The Mandalorian (2019 — 2020) could address certain elements of the latest films, as seen in The Book of Boba Fett (2021 — 2022), in which we see Grogu training with Luke Skywalker. Who knows — perhaps those theories about The Mandalorian doing a major time-jump hold some stock!
In the meantime, at least where the movies are concerned, perhaps Star Wars could learn a thing or two from Harry Potter and have a roadmap set out — something the sequel trilogy was sadly lacking from the very beginning. Personally, though, we’d love to see Star Wars take some inspiration from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 — 2003) and have its own musical!
All 12 Star Wars movies are currently streaming on Disney+, along with all the Star Wars TV shows, including The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008 — 2020), and Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018).
Which scenes do you hate the most in the Star Wars sequel trilogy?