J.J. Abrams appeared to be criticising 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' - albeit mildly - in a recent interview with the New York Times.

J.J. Abrams previously directed 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and fans were delighted when it was announced he'd be back for 'Episode IX.'

'The Force Awakens' follows 'The Last Jedi', helmed by Rian Johnson. And as we know well by now, fans were pretty unhappy with the direction Johnson took the franchise in.

In a recent interview, Abrams initially praised the risks the movie took. He noted it was "full of surprises and subversion and all sorts of bold choices."

However, he also acknowledged that it wasn't in tone with the rest of the franchise:

"On the other hand, it’s a bit of a meta approach to the story. I don’t think that people go to ‘Star Wars’ to be told, ‘This doesn’t matter.’"

The latter would seem to refer distinctly to the "reveal" of Rey's parents as being unimportant. Fans were also unhappy with the sudden death of Snoke as they thought he'd play a more meaningful role. They also disliked how Luke Skywalker was portrayed.

Abrams added that he was overall happy with 'The Last Jedi' as 'The Rise of Skywalker' “needed a pendulum swing in one direction in order to swing in the other.”

The sci fi director wasn't the only one to acknowledge the movie's shortcomings.

Star of the series John Boyega commented: “'The Force Awakens', I think, was the beginning of something quite solid. 'The Last Jedi', if I’m being honest, I’d say that was feeling a bit iffy for me. I didn’t necessarily agree with a lot of the choices in that, and that’s something that [I] spoke to Mark [Hamill] a lot about and we had conversations about it.”

Hopes are high that 'Episode IX' will correct the missteps taken by 'The Last Jedi'.

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' hits cinemas on December 19th.