In response to the negative audience reactions on Rotten Tomatoes, Disney president of theatrical distribution Dave Hollis released a statement to Deadline:

“Rian Johnson, the cast, and the Lucasfilm team have delivered an experience that is totally Star Wars yet at the same time fresh, unexpected and new. That makes this a Star Wars film like audiences have never seen – it’s got people talking, puzzling over its mysteries, and it’s a lot to take in, and we see that as all positive, that should help set the film up for great word-of-mouth and repeat viewing as we enter the lucrative holiday period.”

Whether the Rotten Tomatoes audience score will make much of an impact is uncertain — though with The Last Jedi‘s $220 million haul this weekend, probably not — but it is certain that Disney should not be apologizing for fan reactions to the film. Studios previously have not had to apologize for the way a film played with audiences, nor have directors have had to explain themselves to fans. It’s part of a growing phenomenon in franchises with passionate fans, and it’s not good.

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