How is it not a flaw to fail to explain how a new protagonist far supersede both of the previous saga main characters for two movies, then retconning it to some vague super-inheritance in the third film?
But is she really all that more powerful than Anakin or Luke? Do we really need to see a training arc beyond what was in TLJ and the opening of TROS (she’s been training with Leia and on her own during the time skip)? The character still struggles and has the whole “found family” arc, so it’s not like she’s a god-mode Mary Sue (e.g., Starkiller from The Force Unleashed).
Is she more powerful and Anakin and Luke? Yes, by a wide margin. Anakin had good reflexes before training, and Luke didn’t really do all that much (power wise). Rey did a mind trick out of the blue and lifted a dozen giant boulders after a just a few vague lessons by Luke. Among other things.
Now I’m not saying she’s “God mode” or anything, but I find her growth unnatural. Even after reading some Jedi texts and getting some training by Leia, who was only partially trained herself, feels cheap to me. I do however think TROS is the biggest sinner in this regard. And this includes them failing to give Rey a proper conclusion to her set up arc as well. I don’t love what the first two films did, but I appreaciate the general idea they were going with.
And I wish people would stop using Starkiller as an example. He’s a video game character and he was criticized by many for being overpowered since the beginning.
And as for killing off the OT characters, even Mark Hamill has expressed disappointment in Lucasfilm failing to bring back the old cast as so many fans were hoping for. Yes, Ford has an odd relationship with SW, Fisher’s passing was obviously out of everyone’s control, but killing off Luke was to many a step too far. And Lando’s “mandatory” appearance in TROS didn’t really serve much of a story purpose.
I get the issue around it, but I really don’t think it was an issue because the sacrifice was handled so well in the movie. I know an OT reunion scene would’ve been welcome, but I think the story is fine without it.
Fine, yes. But I do think filmmakers do owe the fans certain things, especially the ST was as rooted in blatant nostalgia as it was. X-Wings and TIE fighter are superficial details, its characters that count.
And I genuinely think Luke could have had his little redemption arc in TLJ and still lived to serve as the mentor to Rey in TROS. He was not supposed to be the new Ben Kenobi but the root of a new better Jedi order. I have no issues wuth Rey playing a big role in this, just like Lucas planned, but TROS felt like shallow reset button for the franchise, especially since TFA did a similar thing.
What bugs me is how much potential this trilogy and Rey had, but there were so many out of sync ideas tvrown about by different creatives. Even with Luke dead in TLJ, TROS has the potential to be quite good, as the Trevorrow stiry treatment suggest. Though I still think they should have reigned in Johnson a bit regarding the ending of TLJ.
I personally can forgive TFA for it’s unoriginality due it having the massive task of having to bring back fans after the PT, and I can appreciate the depth and nuance that Johnson attempted to add to Luke (though I’m still torn on whether it should have been done or not), but in the end I think the lack of an made the whole trilogy crash and burn. With Luke as a strong link to the OT and ideas more akin to Trevorrow’s planned finale I think the ST could have been quite good, if not a fair bit derivative.
I’m not all that keen on TROS, but it still feels like a decent and fairly organic ending to me. Rey has her found family and much like Luke in ROTJ, there’s room to speculate on her next move. Heck, the claiming of the name with ghostly approval works well as a torch pass to me.
Granted, I’d have set the ST 100 years after ROTJ with only Chewy, R2, 3PO, and ghost Luke returning. All the themes could be explored without causing unexpected disturbances with OT fans.
Maybe they could do something like that for ep. 10-12. The ST was always supposed to bring back Luke, even in Lucas’ story ideas, which is why I think so many fans were disappointed. And I think it’s fear to point out that most critics of the ST were just annoyed or disappointed, and they are generally not the rantic lunatics frothing at the mouth that you’d think from the way you read about this debate in online pop-culture “journalism”.
I do think a 100 years later sequel-sequel trilogy could be quite interesting though. With the TV serues6taking chances and films like Dune doing something different we can always hope that the new trilogy, if they make it, will take some chances.