Star Wars is without a doubt a franchise of franchises, it is one of the largest and most beloved fictitious universes quite possibly in existence. What George Lucas created is magical and timeless, it’s fascinating how the franchise, which was created 40 years ago, can still attract so many people that weren’t even born by the time when it was released, that also includes me. I can still remember watching Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) in cinema, when I was just a kid. And Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is still my best cinematic experience. Flash forward to winter of 2015, me, my parents and sisters are sitting in cinema to watch Star Wars: Episode VII – Force Awakens and while I didn’t expect to have the same experience as previous Star Wars there was something off. Was it me? Or the movie? After it ended, we had a long discussion (more like an argument) about the movie we just saw, while I tried to defend Force Awakens my sisters weren’t so impressed and as it stands now, I have to bitterly admit they were correct about everything. It’s 2017 and in cinema is just me watching Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi and after it ended, I said to myself: “I guess this is it, I am done, I cannot watch any new Star Wars movie”. So, here I am it took approximately a week to finally watch trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker and I just didn’t care in a slightness about anything, so let’s explore why I lost interest in Star Wars.
What is the point?
What is exactly the point of the Star Wars sequel trilogy? No better, what is the general premise, can you summarize those movies in one sentence? You can do it with all the previous six Star Wars movies: “A story of rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and his redemption through his son Luke.” Now, try to do that with the sequel trilogy, I know that the sequel trilogy is not yet finished, but all I can came up is: “Hey you Star Wars fans, here is a sequel trilogy.” There is no general thought behind these movies no overarching narrative and if there is it sounds awfully familiar like: “Defeat the evil empire and redeem an antagonist.” Another problem is that all six Star Wars movies feel like a complete saga start with The Phantom Menace or A New Hope and end with Return of the Jedi or Revenge of the Sith (depends in which order you watch them). For me I never wonder what main characters might do after the finale of Return of the Jedi. It is over it’s like asking what happened after the ending of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, do you care? Tolkien played with the idea, but fortunately he scraped it and J. K. Rowing, well let’s pretend that Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (2016) never happened.
I have a confession to make. I haven’t seen any Star Wars anthology movies and I probably never will. These movies are so uninteresting to me. The idea to explain something important what happened prior to main movie or origin of one of the main characters is not always useful. Where my imagination was suffusion enough are now two movies that answer questions like: “Where did Han Solo got his blaster?” or “How Han Solo won Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian?” or “How Wolverine got his jacket?” and most important of them all “How Han Solo got his surname?”. So, many intriguing questions. It is not like I am completely against Star Wars spin off movies, but why do same “guess what happened before Episode IV”, why not do something different like movie from perspective of a Dark Force user? I thought that Star Wars under Disney would avoid prequels (for obvious reasons) and now they made two prequels to one movie.
Do you remember when Star Wars once in a very long-time was a real “event”? I certainly do, it was a celebration of excitement and fandom and for a time it worked for Disney very well. Do you know what doesn’t work well? The Marvel formula for Star Wars: One or more movies every year, while that can work for MCU, but for Star Wars it couldn’t. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a commercial failure. This is something Disney missed. If you put a Star Wars movie annually, it unfortunately devolves into fan reaction of: “Oh, here is another one”. It just doesn’t feel special anymore.
Disclaimer: “This part includes my own opinions about for what many people can be quite sensitive topic if you don’t want to read it’s completely fine, just move to the next part I understand.”
The topic of toxicity is perhaps the most decisive element why I want to abandon Star Wars. I do not wish to be a part of a toxic community that attacks actors for simply doing their jobs. I do not wish to be part of a community that is now constantly under an attack for any even justified criticism. I guess that this toxicity was part of Star Wars for a very long time and that saddens me more than anything. You want to mock Jar Jar Binks or criticize the role of Rose Tico? Do it just do not attack the actors. On the other hand, you got press that paints a picture of Star Wars fan as those basement-dwelling man-children, criticism is discredited as sexism or racism. I cannot be part of this and now when I say “I love Star Wars” it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
The Last Jedi vs. The Rise of Skywalker
The Last Jedi is quite possibly the movie, where I completely lost any interested. The movie doesn’t end on the high note, it ends on a boring cliffhanger that teases big involvement of princess/general Leia, whose actress Carrie Fisher sadly died in 2016. The Last Jedi killed of Luke Skywalker, who basically didn’t do anything in it. It would make perfect sense to let the character of Leia die with dignity in The Last Jedi and Luke take her role in the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker, but that’s not going to happen. The Rise of Skywalker decides to re-introduce Emperor Palpatine (in whatever capacity) and Lando Calrissian. For what purpose? Nostalgia or validation, I guess both might be true.
This feeling of “not caring” is something I thought about for quite a while. Now, does it really mean, that I am done with Star Wars and do not like these movies anymore? No, I still like some Star Wars movies, but I guess I am done with my fanboyism over Star Wars, maybe it is part of growing up and change as a person. Star Wars had a massive influence on me when I was a child and that part I will never ever forget. My perception is now a bit different, now when somebody ask me about Star Wars I usually answer “Yeah they are good movies and I like Episode IV quite a lot” instead of elaborated discussion over. Is it a fault of Disney or anybody else? Kinda but I am not blaming Disney, they got a lucrative property and tried to make as many movies as possible, so this isn’t anybody’s fault. For me Star Wars is like a finished book series, it started and ended, maybe at some point in the future I reconsider all of this, maybe…
Until than keep watching any Star Wars movies you personally like!