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J.J. Abrams seemingly addresses Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reception while discussing storytelling

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

While almost everyone in the galaxy has had their say on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (opens in new tab), director J.J. Abrams has kept mostly kept schtum – until now. Speaking at a summit in Los Angeles, Abrams seemingly addressed fans’ concerns over Episode 9’s story, saying: "[You] do the best you can with everything you can.”

Abrams was asked at the 2020 Upfront Summit (via Variety (opens in new tab)) about his approach to storytelling and shaping new Star Wars entries. He revealed that his mantra has always been to “do the best you can with everything you have.”

For Abrams, stories should be about compelling the audience. He elaborated: “The truth is that these are things that are meant to entertain people, to make them feel something and hopefully make them feel good.”

And what about those who maybe didn’t feel as good after watching Rise of Skywalker? Abrams’ next comments could certainly be read as a response to those who were perhaps disappointed by the final chapter in the Skywalker saga. He said: “Obviously, it doesn’t always work. It’s hard when it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, you have to understand it, you have to acknowledge it, you have to examine it.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a sneak peek at the director’s opinions on the craft. Speaking in a video paying tribute to Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding (opens in new tab), he said: “The people who I really respect on an ongoing basis who are creators… who stay humble, who stay curious, who stay afraid of not doing the right thing… who are still asking all the questions and pushing the boundaries.”

Whether Rise of Skywalker did that for you or not may still be up for debate – but Abrams sounds like he’ll be learning some lessons from the whole experience regardless.

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I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.