I need to go into the cinema tomorrow prepared for the possibility that this may be another bad Star Wars movie, even if I'm hanging onto the fact that I've disagreed with reviews before. Notably for The Last Jedi, which critics raved about almost universally. Before I can face The Rise of Skywalker, I need to be honest finally, and own my emotions surrounding The Last Jedi.
I came out of the cinema after that film feeling... confused, bordering on bereft. More so even than the prequels. There was a weird disconnect for me; it was a well-made Star Wars film - I could see that - so why did it leave me feeling so empty and annoyed?
It's a question I've spent two years trying to answer, when I haven't been trying to make the film click for me. It's time to admit that I've failed. Reading the early reactions to The Rise of Skywalker last night, my wife tried to make me feel better by saying "Maybe you'll just get an average film... it's not like you hated The Last Jedi..."
And then she saw the conflict in my face. It was the first time I'd considered that I might actually, truly, hate The Last Jedi.
I'm not that guy though... am I?
I don't hate on films, because what's the point? I don't want to be one of Those People. I don't attack actors online, I don't spread hate, I don't hide away on Reddit slagging things off. I don't just hate for the sake of hating... I mean, let it go. It doesn't matter. That would be pathetic! I love Star Wars. How can I possibly hate a film anyway? It's just a film... it's just a film...
But... maybe - all those things aside - maybe I do love Star Wars, but hate The Last Jedi...
God, I actually do hate The Last Jedi.
I literally hate The Last Jedi. And - Jesus! - I don't even hate the Prequels.