Ninth Circuit Court Judge Kenneth K. Lee declares in an official legal opinion that The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are “mediocre and schlocky.”
There has rarely been a time that the Star Wars fandom was united in their opinion on anything. Decades ago, the prequel series drew ire from fans who didn’t like the addition of midi-chlorians to the mythology, or the “fun” antics of Jar Jar Binks.
That said, more fans are appreciating the prequels these days thanks in part the more recent Star Wars sequel trilogy, which has people up in arms for a whole different set of reasons. 2017’s The Last Jedi and 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker were particularly savaged, and if the word of fans on Reddit isn’t enough to convince you of their shortcomings, perhaps a formal legal opinion from a US circuit judge will.
Ninth Circuit Court Judge Kenneth K. Lee has just written a decision in the case of Briseño v. Henderson, which concerns whether ConAgra Foods Inc falsely marketed Wesson Oil with labels that described it as “100% natural,” when in fact the product is “derived in part from genetically modified crops,” according to a press release.
In response to the allegation, ConAgra Foods Inc promised not to use the phrase “100% Natural” on its product. There was only one problem: ConAgra no longer owns Wesson Oil, having sold it to Richardson International in 2019. When sorting through the legal questions, Judge Lee managed to make a Star Wars analogy, saying that the situation between ConAgra and Richardson was “like George Lucas promising no more mediocre and schlocky Star Wars sequels shortly after selling the franchise to Disney. Such a promise would be illusory.”
— tedfrank 💉 (@tedfrank) June 1, 2021
Follow that to the footnote, and Judge Lee makes it clear that he was disappointed by “Disney’s production of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker” in particular.
Lee is well known in legal circles, having been both a former special counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and an Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. When he was nominated to his current position by President Trump in 2019, he came under intense scrutiny for his “extreme views” during his time at Cornell.
While there’s plenty of space to debate those opinions, more people can probably get behind his takes on the Star Wars sequels, which are the closest thing we have to a legal order certifying the movies as lame.