With the release of the full Skywalker Saga coming to Disney+ on Star Wars Day, we thought it’d be prudent to discuss content that began our passion for fantasy and sci-fi.
I was 4 years old when I first watched Star Wars and it blew my mind, as a young kid not everything stuck out, but I did remember the Ewoks, the Rancor, the Wampa, space fighting, and Luke’s green lightsaber, not so much the blue, not sure why. Regardless, from that point on Star Wars was apart of my life. With action figures, LEGOs, toy lightsabers, video games, coloring books, books, and movies, I had to experience it all. I was raised on the Original Trioloy and the Prequel Triology came before before I had a puritanical view of what Star Wars should be. As I got older, I consumed as much content as I could, and my love for this universe grew.
This love for Star Wars, and the movies that George Lucas created, unfortunately hasn’t extended to the complete story of the New Trilogy. Overall, there have been bits and pieces of the movies that I’ve enjoyed. For instance, it was nice to see Han, Luke, and Leia in action again, even if the characters’ actions no longer matched the ones we knew and loved. It was nice just to see some new Star Wars stories, it was awesome to see Rey and Finn working together, or Finn and Poe, Finn really was the glue keeping this Trilogy together. It was cool to see Finn finally growing a connection with the Force, but it was unfortunate we didn’t see this Trio interact more with each other. By the last movie we’re supposed to believe they’re all great friends but we never saw them work together. It was a tough sell for me, I wasn’t buying it. Either way, I’m excited to see what these movies set up. The future for Rey, Finn, and Poe is bright, whether we see it through books, comics, or television.
While I see the future being bright, it means the creators of the New Trilogy never did right by these new characters. It’s like they set out to kill off all the characters we knew and loved to make way for the future. Hindsight is 20/20, but they really should’ve just created a new separate trilogy for this trio. To be fair it’s hard to pass up a story that includes Luke, Han, and Leia coming back, but really besides Leia, they weren’t the characters we knew. Luke somehow decides to turn against the Jedi and Han leaves Leia. These are two big character shifts that I have problems with.
Usually, when you’re writing a story, you want your characters to be driving the plot. This makes the story organic and the characters maintain their motivations and personas. However, these huge character changes seem to be the cause of the plot driving them. Unfortunately, it happens from time to time, in order to make the story work writers can transition characters to act outside of their normal motivations. Just to give you an example, in The Lord of the Rings movies Aragorn hides from his lineage and the throne of Gondor. This is a complete 180° change from Aragorn in the books. He was trying to get back to Gondor to help the world of Men the whole time. Shifts like these happen because the writers feel like it helps the story, even if it’s against the characters we know and love.
Now, that being said, I disagree with these changes as they’re fundamentally against Luke and Han characters. Luke’s life mission was to bring back the Jedi, I don’t believe he would ever turn on a student and forsake the Jedi way. Even if a student showed signs of darkness. Luke fought and turned his father from the dark side. If he saw the good in Vader he could’ve helped his nephew. Han loved Leia so much, even in the books when their youngest son (Anakin) died, and their remaining son (Jacen) and daughter (Jaina) turned to the dark side, (the daughter eventually turned back) they still remained together. It just seemed unfortunate that the Star Wars writers would depict Han as a runner when things got tough instead of having him stick it out. While we’re on the subject of Han, why would Han and Leia name their son after Obi-Wan Kenobi? They had zero connection to him besides the fact that he trained Luke. Even then, Han only knew Obi-Wan for a short while and Leia never even met the guy. Why Ben? Maybe there’s some newer books written on it that I have no clue about, but it doesn’t make sense to me. In the Expanded Universe, Luke has a son named Ben, and that makes sense.
I’m also unhappy with the overall structure of the New Trilogy. To me they were all repurposed versions of the Original Trilogy. The Force Awakens’ plot was essentially A New Hope, in The Last Jedi the First Order (Empire) strikes back and basically runs the Resistance (Rebels) away from their base, and in Rise of Skywalker, Rey confronts Sidious as the Last Jedi remaining, just like Luke did. Even the dialogue between Sidious and Rey is pulled from the Original Trilogy. Sidious shows the hero the trap he sprang for their plans and tries to use the fear and anger of the hero’s friends dying to turn them. It’s all so unfortunate to me. They could’ve done so much with Rey, Finn, and Poe. On a good note, the movies brought some force powers and other aspects into the Star Wars cannon. Looking at you Ahsoka, Kanan, force heal, and yellow lightsabers. But, the movies still left a sour taste in my mouth, when Star Wars was bought by Disney they threw away the Expanded Universe, stating nothing that years of artist’s time, effort, and creation was cannon. And yet, they stole so much from the Expanded Universe, Han and Leia have a son turning to the dark side, Palpatine returning back as a clone, the Empire trying to return. These were all stories and plots previously written for the Expanded Universe, conveniently, Disney was able to use them for their own stories.
As exciting as it was to see Star Wars back on screen, I really felt they did a disservice to the characters. Luke turned away from the Jedi, Finn never really seemed to reach his full potential as a Jedi in training, Rey never really got to be in her own story, and Poe, well he’s a great pilot, but that’s about all we got out of him. The previous trilogies, to me, were filled with character growth and uniqueness. We missed that with this trilogy. This new trio deserved their own story instead of being forced into the end of Luke, Han, and Leia’s story.
Now, with the New Trilogy ending, Star Wars is breaking into uncharted waters with new conflicts, characters, and galactic leaders joining the fray. I’m excited for this new page, Episodes 6-9 closed off the Skywalker Saga, but Jedi will always remain in the galaxy and the Sith will always be waiting.
Thank you for your time, let us know what you think, did my Star Wars memory fade, have I missed remembered things, did the New Trilogy exceed your expectations, what happened in the movies that you liked/disliked? Let us know, and remember, there is no try.
– The Wandering One