Before legendary filmmaker George Lucas sold his beloved franchise to Disney I was a huge fan of his Star Wars films. But that is no longer the case. George’s vision of his beloved story died with him when he left. The woman whom he handed his dream over to has sadly run Star Wars into the ground.
Before the prequel trilogy came out I began reading books that took place after Return of the Jedi. The Thrawn Trilogy was one of my favorite trilogy books in the Expanded Universe of Star Wars. Other trilogies like Jedi Academy and New Jedi Order were also on my list of awesome books. My favorite character was Luke Skywalker. I loved his journey and where it took him in these books.
Then the surprising yet sad day came when George Lucas announced his decision to retire and hand over Star Wars to Disney and let Kathleen Kennedy take over the decision making on the future of his franchise. George had decided that he wanted to spend more time with his kids which I completely understood. But I never heard of Kathleen Kennedy and was puzzled as to why George would choose this unknown lady to take his place. I didn’t dwell on this too much but I trusted George had made the right decision.
A few months before the Force Awakens premiered in theaters, the title of the film had been released to the public. I remember people making fun of it online asking in a joking way, “The Force awakens? When did it fall asleep?” I laughed and agreed with the question. The force is the force. It doesn’t fall asleep or wake up. Why give the movie that title? I still think it’s a ridiculous title.
The movie turned out to be a rehash of the first Star Wars movie that premiered in 1977. I enjoyed it the first time despite the fact that Luke Skywalker didn’t show up until the very end of the movie knowing he would have a bigger role in the next one. Yes, they killed off Han Solo but that was to be expected since that was what Harrison Ford wanted back when they finished filming the Empire Strikes Back.
Since I enjoyed the new Star Trek film and Lost TV series I was a fan of JJ Abrams. But when The Last Jedi came out I was so upset, as most loyal fans were, the way the new director, Rian Johnson, handled the character of Luke Skywalker. He was not the hero we grew up with and were expecting to be in this movie. Johnson made him into a hermit who denounced his role as a Jedi Master after he tried to kill his nephew Ben Solo in cold blood. Really!? Is that how a Jedi acts?
Luke didn’t do anything in this movie other than force projecting himself to fight his nephew in the final battle on Crait. Heck, it wasn’t even a real lightsaber fight. This is how the great Luke Skywalker, the hero we grew up with, redeems himself? He didn’t even physically show up! Johnson and Kennedy obviously didn’t care about the character or the fans.
“Let the past die. Kill it if you have.” - Kathleen Kennedy
Because of the negative backlash of The Last Jedi from fans, Kathleen Kennedy had no choice but to bring back JJ Abrams for the third and final film of the trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, in hopes that they would forgive Kennedy in how she and Johnson handle the Last Jedi. Sadly, it did not work since killing off Luke was the final straw for the fans. It seems Kennedy wasn’t trying to please the fans. She was trying to push an agenda when it came to empowering more women in leading heroic roles. While I’m all for that in the real world, fans, like myself, care more about the story and less about who stars in that story.
Despite the misgiving about the Disney trilogy we can thank Dave Filoni and Jon Favereau for the Mandalorian at least. I have enjoyed that show alot. Favereau is a huge Star Wars fan who knows what other fans are expecting out of the franchise. It seems that there is a plan for Filoni and Favereau to retcon the sequel trilogy by creating a new timeline of events which will be interesting to see.
I do miss George Lucas. Without him there would be no Star Wars. I hope Filoni and Favereau can turn the franchise around.