J.J. Abrams Reacts to Claims That 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' is 'Flipping Off' 'The Last Jedi'

Director J.J. Abrams At The World Premiere Of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
Director J.J. Abrams At The World Premiere Of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" / Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Many Star Wars fans are apparently under the impression that the latest film in the franchise, The Rise of Skywalker, was intended as a course correction from the events that occurred in The Last Jedi. But, as reported by ComicBook.com. director J.J. Abrams says this definitely isn't so.

In case you aren't up to speed, Abrams directed the first film in the current trilogy, The Force Awakens, which was released in 2015. Next up was Rian Johnson, who helmed The Last Jedi in 2017, and took many liberties in changing the course of many characters' storylines (as he had the right to). Many fans were seriously pissed off with Johnson's direction, and were happy when Abrams signed back on for The Rise of Skywalker.

At a recent event, Abrams explained how the final film in the Skywalker Saga came together after Johnson's choices, saying:

"It will be a much more interesting answer if there were conflict. The truth is that I was getting [The Force Awakens] up and running, I was nothing but grateful that a director and writer I admire as much as Rian was coming in to do that. Not expecting to come back to this, it was just fun to watch what was happening and get to respond to it. When I was called to come on to this movie, of course I wish we had that time that we didn't."

For better or worse, Abrams also doesn't take full credit for the end result, sharing that the entire process was "nothing but collaborative." When it came to the question of Abrams using the opportunity to reverse the events of The Last Jedi, he took a moment to address the accusation that he's been disrespectful towards Johnson. He continued:

"Another thing I'll say is I think that people who say, 'Oh, this film is flipping off The Last Jedi when Luke says the thing he does about the lightsaber.' If the scene in The Last Jedi where Luke tosses the saber over his shoulder were immediately followed by Luke saying 'A Jedi's weapon deserves more respect,' I'd think it was insane. But one of the many brilliant things that Rian did in Last Jedi is give Luke an arc. He learned something. He got somewhere. At the end of that film, he committed - recommitted - to the thing that at the very beginning of the film he was rejecting."

Fans will continue to call it like they see it, even if they can't agree. You can decide for yourself, as The Rise of Skywalker is playing in theaters now.