In these uncertain times where the world continues to have opposed views with each other it can get a little overwhelming. No, I’m not talking about the uncertainty that COVID has brought to our lives. I’m talking about the other virus; The Disney Virus. It’s taken hold of Star Wars and has squeezed the Force from the IP and left a hot stinking pile of sequel trilogy poodoo.
Five films have been released to date. Three have been part of the sequel trilogy and two as standalone stories. We’ve learned a few interesting tidbits from my certain point of view. You may see it differently and that’s fine. Even scoundrels should have their voices heard.
Firstly, Disney was more concerned with distancing themselves from the prequel trilogy than needed. It’s as if the prequel trilogy was released and Disney said, “Hold my beer!” to create their own bit of cheese. Some might say that the filth of the sequel trilogy has changed the views of the prequels. I feel this post supports this theory.
Secondly, the original and prequel trilogies had a theme or overarching storyline from the first act to the third. This is something the sequel trilogy never accomplished. The first movie introduced a disjointed team of characters that weren’t really a team at all since they didn’t have much if any screen time together up to the end. But that wouldn’t have been much of a deal had the underlying story been compelling to warrant this take. The Disney trilogy had no character cohesion, no main story, Jar Jarred Rose (and Maz to some extent) while introducing characters that fell flat to sell a figure, -ism or hope they’d become fan favorites ala Boba Fett. It never happened and that’s why you’ve seen this era of Star Wars falter and the love for the OT or PT rise.
Thirdly, this trilogy of Star Wars didn’t push the envelope regarding technology. The original trilogy became the standard for special effects. The prequel trilogy switched to a digital approach to making movies. The sequel trilogy was the Marvelization of film… the same ole same ole.
But if we take the trilogy and story films chronologically, you’ll see how the trust wasn’t there with the viewers. “The Force Awakens” awoke our appetite for Star Wars. Yes, it was a rehash of a story we’ve seen previously, but it brought the excitement back. “Rogue One” took that momentum and was the best film in the era. The story was nestled within the canon and succeeded to bring forth relatable characters.
Then, as if on cue we realized what was happening. “The Last Jedi” was released and once again it was a re-hash of a previous movie, but with no compelling story. This trilogy was going to copy the original trilogy and package it as new. Personally, this movie turned me off on the sequels so much that I took my ager out on “Solo”.
However, “Solo” wasn’t the worst Disney Star Wars movie. It was entertaining, introduced characters I would like to learn more about in the future, and taught us about our favorite smuggler. Why did it fail? I think because people like myself decided not to spend our money on it out of retaliation. “Solo” was the first time I didn’t see a SW movie on opening night. It was the first SW movie that I waited for it to hit the dollar movie circuit before viewing. It was the first SW movie that I didn’t see with a group of friends. It was the first movie I didn’t see multiple times in theatre. There really wasn’t any excitement to do any of that because TLJ deflated the momentum.
Finally, “The Rise of Skywalker” was left to bring it all together. It’s been a few months since the release and although it was probably the best sequel movie, the bar was so low that just the fact that there was an opening crawl could have given it the title of best. Honestly, I was done with this trilogy around the time Canto Bight was introduced. I think I’m more pleased that it is over than being satisfied with the movie.
All of this is to say that Disney’s Star Wars movies peaked with Rogue One and has been dying a slow death since. How do we know this is true? Because I’ll be hitting you this coming Wednesday and Friday for Parts 2 & 3 as we look at Animation and Television. The evidence is there.