Broom Kid said:
And my counter to “I don’t want Luke to fail anymore” is that Luke Skywalker’s victories are as satisfying as they are BECAUSE he fails at first. And fails again! The best he’s ever been as a character is when he’s struggling to overcome his own self-doubts about what is possible, and whether or not he can do it. Luke is at his best as a character, and as a key component of Star Wars storytelling, when he’s in a low place, and through his goodness, his will, and his sense of right and wrong, he not only gets out of that low place, he finds himself standing in a much higher one, and he brought his friends with him, too.
I disagree. To me watching Luke rise above himself only to be kicked back in the dirt, or watching the rebels beat the Empire only to have it all destroyed just 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, when they have their moment in the movie, but in the long run it seems pretty pointless, because they are running in circles. Yoda even has to give Luke the same lesson about looking to the horizon in TLJ, because apparently he didn’t get it the first time. I just feel the OT characters had their arc in the OT. This trilogy should have been about the new characters failing, and then overcoming new challenges. Now it seems the old guard had to fail, such that the new generation can step into their shoes, and do it better.
For many of us, you are completely misreading the universe. You are taking the OT as the final success. But we don’t see the final success. We see the death of Vader, the Emperor, the second Death Star, and one Imperial fleet. In the SE, we see them topple Palpatine’s statue on Coruscant, but we don’t see the rest. We don’t see the final battles that the Rebels had to fight to secure the new Republic, we didn’t see the political issues Leia had to deal with to forge the new Republic. And it is obvious from the opening of TFA that Leia has found a new cause in defeating the First Order - essentially a surviving branch of Palpatine’s Empire. Her job from ANH is not done yet. The Empire has not been defeated completely. This is a theme vistited by Timothy Zahn in is novel trilogy. Nothing about the ST galactic story line was not touched on in some way by the EU. And the Republic was not destroyed by the Starkiller weapon than the Empire was destroyed in ROTJ. It took a hit, but the member worlds can pick and new seat and reform their government like the Empire reformed in pockets (with the First Order being the one the ST is detailing with).
And if you want a real world discussion about the ongoing fight against tyranny, we have only to look to the 20th century to see how that played out over and over again. Without even getting into all the back story, WWI led to WWII, which led to war after war around the globe. It is even coming back to haunt us today with the Nazi flag on public display. Of course in Star Wars those trials are more personal and also galaxy wide, but I personally feel the frustration of an enemy we defeated in 1945 rising again today. The ST and it’s depiction of the continuing struggle to defeat tyranny should be resonating with a lot of people. Seeing what you have spent a life-time building crumbling in front of you should resonate with many. Stories are not supposed to end in the perfect success all the time. In the serial nature of Star Wars, the next chapter after ROTJ (if it had occurred 2-5 years after ROTJ) Would have been about the struggle to finally defeat the Empire, Leia’s struggles to help forge the new Republic (with her adversaries having valid concerns). But we skipped over all that to get to the next generation and their struggle.
And Luke’s journey is very poignant in this era of mass shootings. Luke is a teacher who had a student slay his own classmates. In Star Wars this is due to the influence of the Dark Side and it may be possible that Ben Solo can still be redeemed. But when you look at Luke specifically, he was riding high on success. He Built his own lightsaber, he trained and refined what he learned from Yoda, he rescued Han, he saved his father and saw the Emperor die and the Empire fall. He started rebuilding the Jedi Order. Success was his. But even people who experience such success are still the same and have the same flaws. Mythology teaches us this as one of the purposes of mythology is simplify the human condition to share wisdom with the young. Mythology is full of old heroes who have fallen in one way or another. Heroes can fall in the middle of their journey even. Luke is crushed when Ben falls and kills his fellow students. He is crushed to thin of a new Vader in the body of his own nephew. This is something you seem to make light of. You don’t seem to relate to how crushing a blow that could be. You want Luke to handle it like he is a God, not a human. The success he had achieved crumbled and he crumbled with it and those old insecurities come back out, just like the mythic tales and reality.
Success is temporary and we have to keep working at it. That is a very old truth that the ST is exploring and Mythology did many times.