I thought there was a good point about villains in this article:
“Our current reality is a complicated one, colored in shades of gray, and we’re well past the fairy-tale idea that in this world there is good and there is evil just because. Movie villains that are simply cackling wrongdoers in this day and age register as false.”
Maybe this is one reason why people have so much of a problem with paltry and secondhand Snoke character elements lifted from the Emperor - the Emperor was a villain from a more morally polarized age.
I call bullshit on that. Star Wars was meant to be a fairytale amidst all the morally gray films we were getting in the 70s. It was never meant to parallel reality. Why should it?
That’s not exactly correct, the goal was more so to bring back fun into cinemas, while all the other films were dreary and depressing.
Nowadays, things are different. In the multiplexes you’ve got plenty of Star Wars-esque fun entertainment. Which means it’s time for SW itself to upgrade past unambiguously evil villains (the kind which have taken a toll on stuff like the MCU for years).
Not to mention, from the beginning George was inspired by real life politics (Nixon, Vietnam) so I don’t necessarily think telling a morally black vs white story was ever the main goal (there are plenty of things in the OT that don’t quite adhere to that anyway). Obviously the idea was always for the films to reward morality and decency and selflessness and compassion, but that doesn’t mean they had to be so strictly moral all the way through.