Director JJ Abrams has responded to the lukewarm critical reception for the latest Star Wars film and said he respects those who did not like it.
Abrams took charge of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, which brought the curtain down on the nine-part saga that began with the original film in 1977.
It was one of the most hotly anticipated movies of recent years before its release in December and proved to be a box office hit, grossing over a billion US dollars worldwide.
But critical reception was mixed and on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a 52% score, with many unimpressed by the “unimaginative” story.
Abrams, no stranger to fan favourite franchises having previously worked on Star Trek, was unruffled by the criticism.
Speaking at an event in Santa Monica, he told the PA news agency: “(Reaction was) good, bad, some people hated it, some people loved it. It was all over the place. To those who didn’t like it, I totally get it, respect it. To those who loved it, I’m grateful.
“Obviously, a lot of people worked a lot of hours to do something that would make people feel good and that they’d love.”
I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who worked so hard to do itJJ Abrams
Abrams, speaking at the Oscar Wilde Awards, held at his Bad Robot Productions studio, added: “Anytime someone doesn’t like it you think ‘oh, yeah I could’ve done that better, I should’ve done that’.
“You try to take it in but for the most part I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who worked so hard to do it and for the people who saw it and loved it I’m grateful to them too.”
Asked if criticism was inevitable when working on one of the most popular franchises in film, Abrams said: “Maybe, I don’t know. it’s easy to say that but I don’t know if that’s true.”
Abrams is one of the most sought after producers in Hollywood and recently signed a huge deal with WarnerMedia, with some reports suggesting it was worth as much as 500 million US dollars (£386 million).
He remained tight-lipped on what projects he had in the pipeline.
He said: “There’s a bunch of stuff we’re working on and some things I’m really excited about but it’s obviously too early to talk about. But there are going to be some fun things coming up I look forward to getting out in the world.”