I disagree. To me watching Luke rise above himself only to be kicked back in the dirt, or watching the rebels beating the Empire only to have it all destroyed with a blast from a super weapon to have to do it all over again, or watch Han become a responsible leader, only to then abandon his friends and family, and become a smuggler again, is not all that satisfying. It may be satisfying in the moment, but in the long run it seems pretty pointless.
I don’t think the presentation of perserverance and goodness in the face of oppression and hardship is pointless. Wins don’t lose value simply because losses might follow. Championships still count even if the team ends up sucking 15 years later. All the good things a person did in their life don’t suddenly disappear when they die. But again, that’s kind of the philosophical divide I think we keep butting up against here: There’s a sense of score-keeping being applied to the OT characters in the ST, that certain things just shouldn’t have happened because look at this record! Look at X, Y, and Z, now you’re telling me all that grinding and leveling up doesn’t matter - and now this person over here that only JUST started playing gets a fully loaded sheet? There’s almost a gamification being applied to the story and I just don’t look at character or story in that way, and I don’t think characters in fiction are best served by keeping them boxed in.
If you only focus on the fact a failure happened at all, and not on the way everyone rose above that failure, (Everyone - the new characters too - that they’re learning from the past as well as learning on their own isn’t a negative thing, I don’t think) then it feels to me like you’re willfully missing the point. If you refuse to accept that a failure could have happened in the first place, you’re not meeting the story on its own level. And of course a failure could have happened. It’s not out of bounds, it’s not out of the question. I believe that stories work because they have the freedom to examine those sorts of scenarios. “What if a hero never truly reckoned with his own insecurities and succumbed to depression after a preventable tragedy?” I understand the knee-jerk response of “That would suck and I wouldn’t like that” but that’s a starting point, not the final answer. You can do things with fictional characters that you’d never want to see in real life, and the inspiration comes in showing ways out of that darkness. I understand the impulse to say “but they should never go into the darkness in the first place” and you’re right to feel that way, but I don’t think that makes for affecting drama or potent myth, either.
edit: completely off topic, but I want to say I’m a big fan of your color grading work on the fan preservations and I seriously cannot wait for you to finish that work and see it applied to the OT. It’s amazing stuff and I’m very appreciative. Thank you for dedicating so much time and energy to it.