In retrospect I find the trilogy to be very meh for Star Wars films. I don’t necessarily hate them but I don’t love them either. I can find some enjoyment. I find The Last Jedi in particular the most thought provoking and engaging. I think there’s no denying that most of the people who worked on these films love Star Wars. However like all of us that have consumed Star Wars for a number of years they too have their our own personal view of what that is and isn’t. That’s not a bad thing per say as it gives the individual making content a chance to bring something new to the table and create things we may never have imagined otherwise. I think however the biggest flaw with the Sequel Trilogy is to do with the context of how it executes its ideas.
The most glaring example of this for me is how it portrays the Force, Jedi, and Rey. The Force was always something you believed in but it was also something you had to work extremely hard at to grow your abilities in to understand it. It took a Jedi dedication and time to progress from padawan to knight to finally master. Anakin was still a padawan after ten years and Luke you could say was still a padawan after three to four years. This changed with Rey. She became a Jedi Master after only one year with practically no training. She learned very quickly how to use certain abilities such as the Jedi mind trick because she “Force Downloaded” Kylo’s abilities during the interrogation on Starkiller Base. It doesn’t make sense with what we learned of the Force in the previous two trilogies. The same could be said for Force Lightning. It used to be a Sith power that came from hatred and was not something you accidentally can do because it’s part of your lineage. Same with using a lightsaber. It’s much different from using a staff and requires training to use. Having said all of that it’s not bad to have Rey be a skilled pilot or mechanic as both Anakin and Luke were too. It’s just how easy these things come for her and how they are given to her. She’s given them because she’s the main character and the plot demands it. It’s not because she’s earned them. The Skywalker lightsaber, the Millennium Falcon, Luke’s X-Wing, and etc. are hers now. What is individually hers? Her speeder and staff. That’s it. It all comes back to though how the trilogy portrays the Jedi and Force.
“I will just say this: I would never presume to question anything George Lucas says is canon in Star Wars. And our job was not to negate or undo. A lot of people who are critics of our Star Trek, and I respect all of them, said we destroyed what they loved and negated everything. And we worked hard to clarify that we are not saying that our Star Trek over-rides a thing of the original Star Trek — it was a parallel timeline. I never wanted to negate canon that fans held so dear. And because I love Star Wars and have for too many years… … And having said all that and meaning it — I don’t want to presume over-write or change what George says the rules are. I’m not someone who quite understands the science of the Force. To me Star Wars was never about science fiction — it was a spiritual story. And it was more of a fairytale in that regard. For me when I heard Obi-Wan say that the Force surrounds us and binds us all together, there was no judgement about who you were. This was something that we could all access. Being strong with the force didn’t mean something scientific, it meant something spiritual. It meant someone who could believe, someone who could reach down to the depths of your feelings and follow this primal energy that was flowing through all of us. I mean, thats what was said in that first film! And there I am sitting in the theater at almost 11 years old and that was a powerful notion. And I think this is what your point was, we would like to believe that when shit gets serious, that you could harness that Force I was told surrounds not just some of us but every living thing. And so, I really feel like the assumption that any character needs to have inherited a certain number of midi-chlorians or needs to be part of a bloodline, it’s not that I don’t believe that as part of the canon, I’m just saying that at 11 years old, that wasn’t where my heart was. And so I respect and adhere to the canon but I also say that the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than that.” - J.J. Abrams
The problem isn’t having new storytellers who come into the fold to create new Star Wars stories but coming in to create new Star Wars without understanding it. J.J. came in with assumptions of what it meant to him, Rian came in with assumptions of what it meant to him, Dave Filoni comes in with assumptions of what it means to him, Kathleen Kennedy comes in with what it means to her, and etc.
However can Star Wars be more than assumptions and everything I stated above?
None of these things are wrong per say as Star Wars is something that’s individual to each of us. However the only one who truly knows what it is and isn’t is George Lucas.
George never said the Force and Midi-Chlorians are the same thing. He never said Midi-Chlorians neglecte Obi-Wan’s words of the Force surrounding every living thing. He never said a lot of things but each individual gets something different out of it. They find different interpretations of what he was saying in his films.
For Star Wars to grow and evolve we have to accept that we no longer have one individual telling his stories but many individuals who have their own personal views of what it is he created. You may not always agree with George or what Disney Lucasfilm is doing now but you have to understand that it’s individual to each individual who comes into this. It’s made by fans for fans. It’s made by a corporation instead of an individual. It will have its lows and highs but what matters is taking what is given. It may not make sense with what the original creator intended or your personal view of it but that’s the reality of Star Wars now.
At the end of the day Star Wars is George’s story but we all have our own personal point of view and now we’re seeing what that means to the individual whose turn it is to tell their own interpretation.
The Sequel Trilogy looks like the Original Trilogy because that’s what Star Wars is to the people who were making it see the story as.
The Sequel Trilogy has a different spin on the Force because that’s how the people who were creating these stories see it.
The Sequel Trilogy may not feel like Star Wars but to them it does.