Rather amazingly, it is now written in the annals of legal history that Disney's Star Wars sequels, specifically The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, are mediocre. This, according to Ninth Circuit Court Judge Kenneth K. Lee, who recently referred to the movies as such in a recent legal ruling. What's more, the ruling had nothing to do with Star Wars. Rather, it was all about cooking oil.
Judge Lee recently handed down a ruling in regards to a class action lawsuit against ConAgra Foods Inc. The case had to do with whether or not the company was responsible for placing a "100% Natural" label on bottles of Wesson Oil. ConAgra Foods no longer owns Wesson Oil. And, as the judge found in his ruling, the company simply doesn't have the power to make that sort of call anymore. Here's how Lee explained it in the ruling.
"Simply put, Richardson, the new owner of Wesson Oil, can resume using the '100% Natural' label at any time it wishes, thereby depriving the class of any value theoretically afforded by the injunction. ConAgra thus essentially agreed not to do something over which it lacks the power to do."
This is where things get interesting. At this point in the ruling, Judge Lee decided to make a comparison, and that's where Star Wars comes in. It would seem the judge is a fan and he decided to liken the situation to Disney producing a trilogy of sequels after Lucasfilm was sold to them by George Lucas in 2012. And, in his professional, legal opinion, those movies were not up to snuff.
"That is like George Lucas promising no more mediocre and schlocky Star Wars sequels shortly after selling the franchise to TAGiff2g3r69IK|Disney. Such a promise would be illusory."
That wasn't the end of it either. In a footnote at the end of that page in the document, Judge Lee added some clarification saying, "As evident by Disney's production of The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker." So he was specifically singling out Episode VIII and Episode IX here. It appears, in his view, that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first entry in Disney's sequel trilogy, is somewhat safe in his eyes.
Both Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, proved to be hugely controversial movies. In both cases, there are fans and critics who would be wildly irritated to hear the movie referred to as mediocre in a legal document, and others still who would likely rejoice. But the dividing lines are quite different.
The Last Jedi currently holds a stellar 90 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but an abysmal 40 percent from audiences. With The Rise of Skywalker, it's the inverse. The movie has a rough 51 percent critical rating but an 86 percent audience score. Now, there is a legal ruling suggesting that both movies are less-than-great. You can check out the pages from the ruling on Ted Frank's Twitter account.