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What do you think of the Sequel Trilogy? a general discussion thread

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 (Edited)

 
The circle is now complete - or something like that.

It is approaching two years since the final installment of the Sequels was released in cinemas. So with that in mind…
 

What do you good people think of the Sequel Trilogy as a whole?
 

Not just ‘it was great’ or ‘meh’, ‘mixed’ or ‘shite’ - but it’d be intriguing to hear others’ thoughts on topics such as the casting throughout, production and set design, costuming, acting, direction, cinematography, the CGI / visual effects & model work etc.

Along with the overall story, the feel and vibe of the films, the highlights, levels of enjoyment / disdain, comparisons with both the Prequel and Original Trilogies, the Sequels fitting in with your personal canon (or not), replay value, its legacy, and so on…

 

There is also a similar thread for Prequel Trilogy discussion - here, and another for Original Trilogy discussion (of sorts) - here.

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I was an avid sequel defender until The Rise of Skywalker came out, but since then my opinion of them has become more negative.

There are people who love The Force Awakens but thought TLJ took the trilogy off the rails, and some - like me, for a while - loved the first two but thought TROS was a terrible end to the trilogy, particularly what had been set up in TLJ. I now believe this trilogy was somewhat doomed from the start. TFA doesn’t take any logical next story step, it attempts to recreate the original trilogy for a new generation. Fair enough, especially after prequel backlash, and Disney attempted to recreate the production of the original movies somewhat by not planning an overarching story and let each new director build off the work of the last. But while I find The Force Awakens enjoyable and well-made, it sets the trilogy on a path to just repeating the story of the OT.

With The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson tried very hard to get the story off those rails, but The Rise of Skywalker wastes no time in putting it right back on them. For example, in TLJ Rian wanted Kylo to murder Snoke, his master in the dark-side, to let him progress in an interesting direction and remove the familiar master-apprentice dynamic. The opening of TROS shows him discovering Palpatine and receiving orders once again. In TLJ Rey finds out she was never loved by her parents, and she’s forced to accept that heritage isn’t the reason she finds herself at the centre of the story. In TROS, well, suddenly heritage is important again. While the prequel movies may be flawed in execution, they were never as inconsistent as this. I also find the First Order as villains disappointing and unoriginal, I find a lack of resolution to Finn’s arc in TROS disappointing, and to me Palpatine’s depiction in TROS is, while disturbing, moronic.

There are, however, many great elements in the sequels. I love Kylo Ren in TFA and TLJ. I mostly love Luke’s arc in TLJ and enjoy his relationship with Rey. I find the Force bond concept for Rey and Kylo really interesting and creative. The sequels gave us familiar icons of the franchise but with state-of-the-art visual and sound effects - I’m still blown away by the sounds of Kylo’s lightsaber and the ending lightsaber duel in TFA - and brought back puppetry work for characters like Yoda and Babu Frik. Most of all, watching TFA in the cinema in 2015 was such an amazing experience for me on a personal level: the 501st legion were there dressed as stormtroopers, imperial officers etc, the excitement for the movie was palpable, I had front row seats and it was actually my first time seeing a Star Wars movie in the cinema. If I ever meet JJ Abrams that will be the first thing I thank him for (and I won’t bring up The Rise of Skywalker…)

It’s also touching to see, despite much negative reception, how many fans online unashamedly love all three movies and now are expressing that love more and more.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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When the Sequel Trilogy was announced alongside Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm I was cautiously optimistic, less so when J.J. Abrams was announced as director of episode VII, because I’ve never liked any movie that was directed by him (Star Trek 2009 was meh and M:I3 is IMO the weakest entry in the franchise despite everyone praising it for revitalising the series), and my bad feeling about Abrams was proven correct, because never before had I ever felt as let down as I did after watching The Force Awakens, which is essentially the first SW movie all over again with idiotic humour. Because of TFA I refuse to watch any movie directed by J.J. Abrams, which is why I haven’t seen TROS and never will. I also call bullshit on those who defend TFA claiming that it had to be like that to earn the fans’trust.

Over the past few days there’s also been another thing that has been bothering me in retrospect about the ST regarding one particular character, and that is Finn. The marketing campaign for TFA gave us the impression that Finn was going to be the protagonist in the ST, which indeed would have made for a compelling story. A former stormtrooper who defects to the good guys and might possibly be Force sensitive? Sure, why not? Instead Finn turned out to be something of a coward, usually running away from combat, and even worse, he’s portrayed as a bumbling buffoon, as if he was in some minstrel show. John Boyega was really done dirty by Disney if you ask me.

I fully expected The Last Jedi to be rethread of TESB just like TFA is a rethread of the first SW movie, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out not to be the case, and once the credits started rolling I left the cinema with a sense of euphoria. Of course over time the only thing that has come to bother me about TLJ is Rose essentially being an SJW, which is the only thing I would change about the movie, making Rose less overly idealistic.

Of course, in the months prior to TLJ premiering they announced Abrams was returning to direct episode IX, which effectively killed any anticipation I might have had for the movie, and like I stated earlier, I refuse to watch any movie directed by Abrams and will never watch TROS.

I posted on another thread despite its divisive reception among fans, TLJ will be redeemed by the passage of time and be remembered as the only worthwhile entry in the ST, and I stand by that belief.

If I had to describe the ST in a nutshell, it would be this: a filmmaking gem (TLJ) being sandwiched between two turds.

Now that I’m done talking about the movies themselves, I now want to comment on the look and production aspects of the movies. Aesthetically these movies replicate the the look of the OT, but something doesn’t feel right about them, as if they aren’t part of the SW universe, whilst the PT did feel like they belong in the SW universe despite having a baroque aesthetic. I can’t exactly say why, but there’s something about the ST that doesn’t fit with the previous six movies, and I would like to know if anyone else feels the same way.

Finally, in terms of special effects, I remember how they wouldn’t shut up about how they were using practical effects as much as possible compared to the PT’s overuse of CGI, until later on when it was revealed that they used way more CGI than previously thought. Pretty deceitful if you ask me.

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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.

"Pleasure’s fun. It’s great, but you can’t keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it’s here and it’s gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you’ll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It’s all about your pleasure: it’s about you. It’s a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it’s a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you’re doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.” - George Lucas

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The disjointed nature of the three films proves they needed ONE director and ONE writer for all 3.

TLJ was not a sequel to TFA, and ROS was not a sequel to TLJ.

JJ and Rian wanted their own interpretations of the characters that clashed with the previous.

Kathleen Kennedy failed as a leader by assigning the duties to multiple people.

Bob Iger failed by forcing the rushed 1 Star Wars film per year rule.

Nothing was special or unique about the writing. None of the new characters will be remembered in 2040 with the possible exception of Kylo, whose TFA potential was squandered.

Disappointing on all levels by everyone involved, and they likely will not be remembered as classics or groundbreaking moments in film history.

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The moment Poe cracked a joke at Kylo Ren’s expense in front of the stormtroopers and Kylo not reasserting his authority by gut-punching Poe or something at the very beginning of TFA effectively ruined Kylo Ren as a villain right from the get-go, and Kylo’s lashing out whenever come off like the temper tantrums of a spoilt brat. That’s the biggest problem with Kylo Ren, he doesn’t feel the least bit menacing, and as Snoke says at the start of TLJ, he’s bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber.

Calling Rey a jack-of-all-trades is an understatement, more like a master-of-all-trades. Hopping onto the Millennium Falcon and she’s an ace pilot, picks up any firearm and she’s a marksman, and of course, a mind probe from Kylo Ren leads to an instant mastery of the Force. Rey is essentially on God mode throughout the ST.

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fmalover said:

The moment Poe cracked a joke at Kylo Ren’s expense in front of the stormtroopers and Kylo not reasserting his authority by gut-punching Poe or something at the very beginning of TFA effectively ruined Kylo Ren as a villain right from the get-go, and Kylo’s lashing out whenever come off like the temper tantrums of a spoilt brat. That’s the biggest problem with Kylo Ren, he doesn’t feel the least bit menacing, and as Snoke says at the start of TLJ, he’s bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber.

That’s kinda the point, and one of the things that made Kylo Ren such an interesting Star Wars villain. Unlike Darth Vader or the Emperor (or even the prequel villains), Kylo is a total wannabe poser. He projects this fearsome persona that evokes his grandfather while in reality he’s a conflicted coward who lacks any real confidence.

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Ok , I’ll bite …I loved TFA and still do , for me ,a lot of it boils down to Rey’s introduction as a scavenger on Jakku struggling to survive , while feeling isolated , alone and abandoned and asking why …wanting connection . It’s the same thing that made me identify with Starlord in Guardians Of The Galaxy…many friends and family members of mine have passed on and I feel those same pangs . Whatever perceived flaws some have of her are far outweighed for me personally by the things I just mentioned .This thread will be cathartic for some though I’m sure .The only thing I would change on TFA would be some of the Earth based modern humor and colloquialisms

I loved TLJ even more ,though I didn’t really care for parts of the Canto Bight sequence ,like the arrest of Fin and Rose for illegal parking , I thought that was too goofy as was the hillbilly sounding alien that called for their arrest I also thought their escape on the Fathiers felt more like something out of Fantastic Beasts from the Harry Potter universe and didn’t really feel like Star Wars . ( Nothing against Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts , I enjoyed them , but they’re a , uh , different animal altogether . ) I think the whole sequence could use a trim .The only real good thing that came out of the sequence IMO was setting up Broom boy and reinforcing the idea that anyone can be a Force user and it doesn’t have to be about blood lines . The Rise Of Skywalker flipped on this ,I will let others debate on the logistics of that . Even though I enjoyed some aspects of TROS , It’s a fun popcorn movie that I just kinda shut my brain off when I watch , but that’s about it .

For my own Head cannon , It kind of ends with The Last Jedi for me . It has an open ending and one can assume from what transpired , that the galaxy will be inspired by Luke’s actions and be emboldened to rise up …Kinda what I thought TROS would do when I first heard the title .I could even see a fan editor putting in an after credits scene as a coda , using all of the Ships led by Lando flying in from Tros , with the triumphant John Williams SW theme . The end .

Personally , I think Treverrow’s Duel Of The Fates script would have been the way to go for Episode 9 and I enjoyed reading it as well as seeing all the concept art for it and the fan comic and audio drama that were made from it . It also addresses a lot of issues I have heard some fans talk about , such as Fin actually starting and following through with a Stormtrooper uprising . The biggest plus for me is Rose having a substantial role in it and actively being a participant . The biggest issue with TROS for me was how she got sidelined to the other characters ,especially after all Kelly Marie Tran (Trần Loan ) went through . And yeah , I know she addressed this , but I still thought she deserved better . John Boyega too .

That’s all I can think of right now , suffice to say , I like what I like and feel no reason to argue over it . Experience has taught me that I’m not going to sway anyone who doesn’t want to be swayed . Art is subjective …in the words of the Dude , " It’s just like , my opinion man " , or conversely , " That’s just like , your opinion man "

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Tremendous potential, tragically squandered.

I loved TFA and TLJ despite them not telling the story I really wanted (the old guard overseeing the New Republic while Luke works to get a New Jedi Order off the ground) because what we did get was so engaging & well-executed, with such great characters and obvious heart, plus great encore performances from Mark, Carrie, Harrison, & Billy Dee. That it started out with a retread of scrappy underdogs versus white-armored military might was unfortunate, but with just enough freshness that it could have evolved as the trilogy continued. While I didn’t like all of Rian’s choices, I’ve come to believe that (with the exception of the Holdo stuff) he did an admirable job of making the most out of what JJ gave him to work with. To me, TLJ feels the closest to something George might have made, warts and all.

Then TROS happened, and singlehandedly killed my interest in the ST era and my investment in the trilogy as a “true” ending to the saga. That move’s problems have been discussed to death here already, so for now I’ll limit my observations to the fact that Episode IX leaves the galaxy in exactly the same state Episode VI left it: an empire defeated, no Republic, and just one Jedi.

Putting all the other questionable creative choices aside, how the powers-that-be decided that was acceptable is beyond me.

It’s far from original at this point to bemoan the lack of a plan for the ST, which is true but incomplete. It’s not so much that they didn’t have an outline for the overall story as it is that they never decided what developments they needed to include—what key events and dangling promises they needed to address one way or another to make the ST not simply good but relevant to the trilogies we already had. To prove that the Saga needed, or would at least benefit from, a third trilogy.

On one level, it’s incredibly disappointing to see the landing botched so badly, especially when the problems would’ve been foreseeable from one look at the TROS script, and could have been largely avoided had these films been crafted with the proper mindset. For me personally, marathoning the Saga with the Sequels now means either I have to leave it visually incomplete after TLJ or end on a fundamentally unsatisfying note. An entire era of future storytelling is now tainted. And perhaps worst of all, our only chance at getting a proper VII—IX with the original cast was blown.

On another level, though, there’s still much to be thankful for. I still got hours of enjoyment and exhilaration, lots of new lore to sink my teeth into, new characters I loved, and I got to spend more time with some of my favorite characters in all of fiction, portrayed by their original actors. The ST provided a wealth of new raw material for editors to do awesome things with. Even the massive letdown of TROS inspired me to join a massive, rewarding writing challenge I never would’ve dreamed of if the official film had been acceptable to me.

And from a certain point of view — the one that’s probably the healthiest, which I should try to keep in mind more (even if I don’t always succeed) — the ST can be thought of as a fun “what-if” bonus that we didn’t need in the first place and spent much of our lives thinking we were never going to get anyway. There’s nothing forcing us to accept it as part of our personal canon. I was happy when the Skywalker Saga was just six films, and Disney’s efforts did not and will never take those six films away from me.

Co-author of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER - THE TEAM DALE REWRITE

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canofhumdingers said:

fmalover said:

The moment Poe cracked a joke at Kylo Ren’s expense in front of the stormtroopers and Kylo not reasserting his authority by gut-punching Poe or something at the very beginning of TFA effectively ruined Kylo Ren as a villain right from the get-go, and Kylo’s lashing out whenever come off like the temper tantrums of a spoilt brat. That’s the biggest problem with Kylo Ren, he doesn’t feel the least bit menacing, and as Snoke says at the start of TLJ, he’s bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber.

That’s kinda the point, and one of the things that made Kylo Ren such an interesting Star Wars villain. Unlike Darth Vader or the Emperor (or even the prequel villains), Kylo is a total wannabe poser. He projects this fearsome persona that evokes his grandfather while in reality he’s a conflicted coward who lacks any real confidence.

I think they could have handled that aspect better without ridiculing him.

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From around 2010 to 2015, I had mostly lost interest in Star Wars. So, by the time TFA was about to come out, I wasn’t particularly hyped, but I was optimistic that the movie would be good. All my friends were talking about seeing it. The trailers looked good. The early word of mouth was glowing. So while I wasn’t bursting with excitement in the months leading up to release, I was starting to feel more positively about Star Wars again. I rewatched my old GOUT DVDs for the first time in years. I enjoyed looking at the new merchandise in stores and speculating on the state of the galaxy and what roles the new characters would play. And eventually, my family set a day to go see it. I was nervous that I wouldn’t like it, but I went in already fully believing that the movie was good, and that all there was left to do was for me to simply enjoy it.

I didn’t like it. I thought the dialogue and humor were obnoxious. I thought the acting was mostly underwhelming (through no fault of the actors). I thought the pacing was far too frenetic, especially in the third act. I thought the worldbuilding was cryptic at best. I thought the fanservice was mostly shallow and hamfisted. And I thought the new characters were largely uncompelling. I was enjoying the movie for the first half hour or so, and was fully ready to get invested in these new characters, but somewhere around the time the Falcon or Han showed up, I started to become detached from what was happening on screen.

The character I was by far the most invested in was Finn. I liked him, and was really looking forward to seeing his journey as a defecting Stormtrooper. And I was intrigued by the whole mystery set up surrounding both Kylo and Luke. So, I was disappointed when Finn started to slip more and more into “comic relief sidekick” territory, acting like a well-adjusted, joke-cracking average Joe who gleefully guns down his own former comrades (despite the death of one of those comrades being what broke his brainwashing in the first place). And I was also disappointed that Kylo, a 29-year-old grown man in the guise of a Dark Side warrior, who had a fairly strong introduction at the start of the movie, turned out to be a pathetic, sniveling, emotionally stunted brat. His tantrums in TFA are played almost for comedic effect, and by the end of the movie, watching him flop around pathetically in the snow, I had no interest in the character anymore. As a villain, he was useless, and I felt no sympathy for him, so he failed in both those areas. Snoke was lame and uninspired, as well, and Hux was too young and emotional to be a truly threatening enemy general.

The First Order and Resistance were dull factions, and the state of the galaxy was poorly explained, so I had no investment in the wider conflict or premise, either. Han Solo’s death was both extremely predictable and laughably bad. (What kind of hero’s sacrifice is it to have your hero’s lifeless CGI corpse fall down a bottomless pit? That’s a death for a villain, not a hero.) And by the end, once I realized that Finn was going to stay in that coma and not become a Jedi, my last bit of interest in the new characters was gone. All I had left by the end of TFA was my curiosity about Luke. I held my breath. I wanted so badly for that last scene to make the previous two hours worthwhile. It didn’t.

At the time, I thought I was the problem. After all, the film was getting rave reviews. All of my friends said how much they loved it. Maybe, I thought, I just couldn’t enjoy Star Wars anymore. TFA had all the surface-level trappings of classic Star Wars, so I should have enjoyed it, right?

I do think the film was very polished and pretty, though. Visually, it was very well put together, and the special effects were top notch, obviously (they do have a boatload of money, of course, so this is expected). And the actors did the best with what they were given. The cinematography was quite nice to look at. The color grading was vibrant and appealing.

Then came TLJ. Over the two-year gap, my state of mind about Star Wars veered near complete apathy. I couldn’t bring myself to care, and I thought Star Wars just wasn’t for me anymore, but I still planned on seeing the movie, partly out of curiosity, partly out of a lingering sense of obligation. I had heard beforehand a couple vague rumors about some controversy over a thing Mark Hamill said in an interview about Luke. I went into the movie with low expectations, but still a little hopeful that the story was heading in a worthwhile direction.

I left the theater depressed. Any lingering feelings of investment in Finn’s journey were stamped out by his being made a fool of in his first few scenes. Watching the scenes of pathetic, cowardly, family-abandoning Luke Skywalker were viscerally uncomfortable to watch (and his logical argument for why the Jedi should end is complete nonsense). Poe was made unlikable. Rey was made even more overpowered and less likable. The film, despite being praised as “bold” and “new,” was still heavily derivative of the OT to the point of plagiarism, with the most original parts of the movie (Canto Bight, Poe’s mutiny, etc.) also being the worst. The film reeked of nihilism, recklessly deconstructing what came before while failing to reconstruct anything of value in its place. And while the film sometimes toyed around with interesting ideas, in the end, it failed to commit to them in any meaningful way.

Rian Johnson knew that Snoke was a nothing villain, so he killed him off, but did he really expect us to take Kylo Ren seriously as a solo villain? After it had been established how incompetent, whiny, and nonthreatening Kylo was? And it’s not like TLJ even tried to build Kylo up to be threatening again. TLJ went out of its way to put Kylo beyond redemption, while not bothering to actually make him a strong villain to go along with his new role. So, what was Rian expecting Episode IX would actually do? All that was left to happen was: “Rey defeats Kylo Ren and the First Order.” That was all there was left to see (which makes it all the more baffling that Reylos gush over TLJ so much. The movie goes out of its way to make Reylo not happen). And It was never the “wide open” ending people described it as. TLJ’s ending tries to railroad the story on a particular path, all while cutting off or ignoring many potential plot threads. It fails both as a second film in a trilogy and as a penultimate film in a nine-part saga, and was just a miserable slog to sit through.

I do think the acting was good, though. Mark Hamill and Adam Driver gave great performances. Carrie Fisher was excellent. Andy Serkis did a good job as Snoke, and I thought John Boyega really grew into his role. The special effects were once again great (though not quite as good as Rogue One, in my opinion). The cinematography was some of the best yet, and Rian Johnson is an amazing visual director. As I said before, the film toyed with some interesting ideas and themes that sometimes grabbed my interest briefly. So overall, it was a more engaging, thoughtful film than TFA.

Then came TRoS. There’s not much I can say about this one that hasn’t already been said. I watched it out of morbid curiosity after already hearing all the negative word of mouth surrounding it. It was amusing. The special effects were pretty, and there were some nice shots throughout the film. I liked finally having the new heroes all together working as a team and getting to all have chemistry together. The plot was mostly filler nonsense, and it was clear the writers had mostly just thrown it together, but I thought it was entertaining for what it was. It was fun seeing the great Ian McDiarmid back in his role, also.

I still hated the treatment of Finn in this movie. It was marginally better than the first two, but with most of his side plot from the early drafts of the film having been deleted, he had very little to do besides act concerned about Rey.

Also, Reylo is completely disgusting. The fact that Lucasfilm and Disney market Rey as an ideal role model for young girls, while also pairing her up with the creepy, mind-violating, mass-murdering, authoritarian snake who’s ten years older than her, and having her kiss him for briefly being good, all while trying to wrap the romance in some language about a destined “Force dyad”, is deplorable.

I feel bad for saying all this. I feel bad because of the people who devoted years of their lives working on these movies, who did an amazing job bringing these films to life. The cast, crew, concept artists, designers, and special effects artists all did an amazing job, and deserve nothing but praise for their great work.

The Sequel Trilogy is excellent in every category, except for writing. That’s the sad part of this. They had their chance. They had the original cast back. They had fan goodwill. They had the best artists, designers, and technicians in the industry. They had a clean slate to tell whatever kind of new story they wanted. And this is what we got.

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Servii said:

From around 2010 to 2015, I had mostly lost interest in Star Wars. I was getting older and becoming more critical of movies in general, but especially the Prequel Trilogy (and RotJ, to a lesser degree) because I was so often surrounded by negativity towards those movies on the forums I visited. Also, I had no interest in the new TCW show, so besides the EU and the upcoming SWTOR, there wasn’t much new content to hold my interest.

So, by the time TFA was about to come out, I wasn’t particularly hyped, but I was optimistic that the movie would be good. All my friends were talking about seeing it. The trailers looked good. The early word of mouth was glowing. So while I wasn’t bursting with excitement in the months leading up to release, I was starting to feel more positively about Star Wars again. I rewatched my old GOUT DVDs for the first time in years. I enjoyed looking at the new merchandise in stores and speculating on the state of the galaxy and what roles the new characters would play. And eventually, my family set a day to go see it. I was nervous that I wouldn’t like it, but I went in already fully believing that the movie was good, and that all there was left to do was for me to simply enjoy it.

I didn’t like it. I thought the dialogue and humor were obnoxious. I thought the acting was mostly underwhelming (through no fault of the actors). I thought the pacing was far too frenetic, especially in the third act. I thought the worldbuilding was cryptic at best. I thought the fanservice was mostly shallow and hamfisted. And I thought the new characters were largely uncompelling. I was enjoying the movie for the first half hour or so, and was fully ready to get invested in these new characters, but somewhere around the time the Falcon or Han showed up, I started to become detached from what was happening on screen.

The character I was by far the most invested in was Finn. I liked him, and was really looking forward to seeing his journey as a defecting Stormtrooper. And I was intrigued by the whole mystery set up surrounding both Kylo and Luke. So, I was disappointed when Finn started to slip more and more into “comic relief sidekick” territory, acting like a well-adjusted, joke-cracking average Joe who gleefully guns down his own former comrades (despite the death of one of those comrades being what broke his brainwashing in the first place). And I was also disappointed that Kylo, a 29-year-old grown man in the guise of a Dark Side warrior, who had a fairly strong introduction at the start of the movie, turned out to be a pathetic, sniveling, emotionally stunted brat. His tantrums in TFA are played almost for comedic effect, and by the end of the movie, watching him flop around pathetically in the snow, I had no interest in the character anymore. As a villain, he was useless, and I felt no sympathy for him, so he failed in both those areas. Snoke was lame and uninspired, as well, and Hux was too young and emotional to be a truly threatening enemy general.

The First Order and Resistance were dull factions, and the state of the galaxy was poorly explained, so I had no investment in the wider conflict or premise, either. Han Solo’s death was both extremely predictable and laughably bad. (What kind of hero’s sacrifice is it to have your hero’s lifeless CGI corpse fall down a bottomless pit? That’s a death for a villain, not a hero.) And by the end, once I realized that Finn was going to stay in that coma and not become a Jedi, my last bit of interest in the new characters was gone. All I had left by the end of TFA was my curiosity about Luke. I held my breath. I wanted so badly for that last scene to make the previous two hours worthwhile. It didn’t.

At the time, I thought I was the problem. After all, the film was getting rave reviews. All of my friends said how much they loved it. Maybe, I thought, I just couldn’t enjoy Star Wars anymore. TFA had all the surface-level trappings of classic Star Wars, so I should have enjoyed it, right?

I do think the film was very polished and pretty, though. Visually, it was very well put together, and the special effects were top notch, obviously (they do have a boatload of money, of course, so this is expected). And the actors did the best with what they were given. The cinematography was quite nice to look at. The color grading was vibrant and appealing.

Then came TLJ. Over the two-year gap, my state of mind about Star Wars veered near complete apathy. I couldn’t bring myself to care, and I thought Star Wars just wasn’t for me anymore, but I still planned on seeing the movie, partly out of curiosity, partly out of a lingering sense of obligation. I had heard beforehand a couple vague rumors about some controversy over a thing Mark Hamill said in an interview about Luke. I went into the movie with low expectations, but still a little hopeful that the story was heading in a worthwhile direction.

I left the theater depressed. Any lingering feelings of investment in Finn’s journey were stamped out by his being made a fool of in his first few scenes. Watching the scenes of pathetic, cowardly, family-abandoning Luke Skywalker were viscerally uncomfortable to watch (and his logical argument for why the Jedi should end is complete nonsense). Poe was made unlikable. Rey was made even more overpowered and less likable. The film, despite being praised as “bold” and “new,” was still heavily derivative of the OT to the point of plagiarism, with the most original parts of the movie (Canto Bight, Poe’s mutiny, etc.) also being the worst. The film reeked of nihilism, recklessly deconstructing what came before while failing to reconstruct anything of value in its place. And while the film sometimes toyed around with interesting ideas, in the end, it failed to commit to them in any meaningful way.

Rian Johnson knew that Snoke was a nothing villain, so he killed him off, but did he really expect us to take Kylo Ren seriously as a solo villain? After it had been established how incompetent, whiny, and nonthreatening Kylo was? And it’s not like TLJ even tried to build Kylo up to be threatening again. TLJ went out of its way to put Kylo beyond redemption, while not bothering to actually make him a strong villain to go along with his new role. So, what was Rian expecting Episode IX would actually do? All that was left to happen was: “Rey defeats Kylo Ren and the First Order.” That was all there was left to see (which makes it all the more baffling that Reylos gush over TLJ so much. The movie goes out of its way to make Reylo not happen). And It was never the “wide open” ending people described it as. TLJ’s ending tries to railroad the story on a particular path, all while cutting off or ignoring many potential plot threads. It fails both as a second film in a trilogy and as a penultimate film in a nine-part saga, and was just a miserable slog to sit through.

I do think the acting was good, though. Mark Hamill and Adam Driver gave great performances. Carrie Fisher was excellent. Andy Serkis did a good job as Snoke, and I thought John Boyega really grew into his role. The special effects were once again great (though not quite as good as Rogue One, in my opinion). The cinematography was some of the best yet, and Rian Johnson is an amazing visual director. As I said before, the film toyed with some interesting ideas and themes that sometimes grabbed my interest briefly. So overall, it was a more engaging, thoughtful film than TFA.

Then came TRoS. There’s not much I can say about this one that hasn’t already been said. I watched it out of morbid curiosity after already hearing all the negative word of mouth surrounding it. It was amusing. The special effects were pretty, and there were some nice shots throughout the film. I liked finally having the new heroes all together working as a team and getting to all have chemistry together. The plot was mostly filler nonsense, and it was clear the writers had mostly just thrown it together, but I thought it was entertaining for what it was. It was fun seeing the great Ian McDiarmid back in his role, also.

I still hated the treatment of Finn in this movie. It was marginally better than the first two, but with most of his side plot from the early drafts of the film having been deleted, he had very little to do besides act concerned about Rey.

Also, Reylo is completely disgusting. The fact that Lucasfilm and Disney market Rey as an ideal role model for young girls, while also pairing her up with the creepy, mind-violating, mass-murdering, authoritarian snake who’s ten years older than her, and having her kiss him for briefly being good, all while trying to wrap the romance in some language about a destined “Force dyad”, is deplorable.

I feel bad for saying all this. I feel bad because of the people who devoted years of their lives working on these movies, who did an amazing job bringing these films to life. The cast, crew, concept artists, designers, and special effects artists all did an amazing job, and deserve nothing but praise for their great work.

The Sequel Trilogy is excellent in every category, except for writing. That’s the sad part of this. They had their chance. They had the original cast back. They had fan goodwill. They had the best artists, designers, and technicians in the industry. They had a clean slate to tell whatever kind of new story they wanted. And this is what we got.

You just expressed my feelings about the ST in general, and TFA in particular, better than I ever could. Seriously, fuck TFA.

The one point where we differ is TLJ. I love that movie and it’s my all-time favourite SW movie.

Do you agree with my previous post about Finn’s portrayal as something out of a minstrel show, and that Rey is essentially on God mode?

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Do you agree with my previous post about Finn’s portrayal as something out of a minstrel show, and that Rey is >essentially on God mode?

Yes, I do. It amazes me that the black main character in the most recent Star Wars trilogy–a trilogy that was marketed as being inclusive–is so disrespectfully written compared to Lando and Mace Windu. John Boyega deserved so much better than that.

I agree on what you said about Rey, as well. I generally try to avoid talking about the issues with Rey’s power level and development, because some people take those criticisms the wrong way. But yes, it’s a significant problem.

I do consider TLJ the least bad of the ST. It’s the only one of the three that tries to rise above being just standard Hollywood schlock, and I appreciate that. TFA is my least favorite Star Wars film, and I’ve discovered that’s partly because I really can’t stand JJ Abrams’ frantic directing style.

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I’m a little baffled we’re only now starting a thread like this.

Overall, the trilogy was an uninspired mess with moments of greatness. Everything is needlessly derivative in both story and aesthetics. For settings we get a bunch of boring desert and forest planets. Only TRoS actually tried to tell an original story, but even then said story is utter crap. Only Rey, Luke, and Kylo get lightsabers because that’s what the OT did and god forbid we deviate from it. It’s blatantly obvious to me the Knights of Ren should’ve all had lightsabers.

Finn actually an excellent character in TFA, he just unfortunately never evolves out of being a Rey simp. I certainly wouldn’t call the character racist like fmalover. Rey is not OP in the slightest. She has the power level I’d expect her to, and I don’t get why everyone else is so up in arms about it. Luke doesn’t feel out of character at all. He feels like a believable progression of his RotJ self. Poe is…honestly not bad for someone who was supposed to die in the first 20 minutes.

Now for the good. The first 40 minutes of TFA are flat-out perfect. The rest needs a lotta work, but that opening is gold. I think bringing Palpatine back was not just good but necessary. He’s the thing that ties the whole Saga together. Was he handled well? Not particularly, but it’s better than nothing. And no, I don’t care about the Prophecy, not to mention it’s literally explained in the movie that balance was restored in RotJ and that it just wasn’t permanent balance. The two rhyming Han and Ben scenes are perfect. Rey and Kylo’s dynamic is great, and just Kylo as a whole. TRoS’s breakneck pacing feels 100% appropriate imo for a finale. I love Fuhrer Hux’s speech.

Oh and the tone across all three movies feels like a parody. No, not just TLJ, TFA did it too.

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Servii said:

Do you agree with my previous post about Finn’s portrayal as something out of a minstrel show, and that Rey is >essentially on God mode?

Yes, I do. It amazes me that the black main character in the most recent Star Wars trilogy–a trilogy that was marketed as being inclusive–is so disrespectfully written compared to Lando and Mace Windu. John Boyega deserved so much better than that.

I agree on what you said about Rey, as well. I generally try to avoid talking about the issues with Rey’s power level and development, because some people take those criticisms the wrong way. But yes, it’s a significant problem.

I do consider TLJ the least bad of the ST. It’s the only one of the three that tries to rise above being just standard Hollywood schlock, and I appreciate that. TFA is my least favorite Star Wars film, and I’ve discovered that’s partly because I really can’t stand JJ Abrams’ frantic directing style.

BTW, I would appreciate if you checked out the thread titled Your ideal Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. I posted my versions of episodes VII and VIII plus a few additional notes, but I haven’t posted my version of episode IX because the thread has lost steam and I still don’t have a clear vision of it apart from a few vague ideas. Your feedback would be welcome.

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fmalover said:

Servii said:

Do you agree with my previous post about Finn’s portrayal as something out of a minstrel show, and that Rey is >essentially on God mode?

Yes, I do. It amazes me that the black main character in the most recent Star Wars trilogy–a trilogy that was marketed as being inclusive–is so disrespectfully written compared to Lando and Mace Windu. John Boyega deserved so much better than that.

I agree on what you said about Rey, as well. I generally try to avoid talking about the issues with Rey’s power level and development, because some people take those criticisms the wrong way. But yes, it’s a significant problem.

I do consider TLJ the least bad of the ST. It’s the only one of the three that tries to rise above being just standard Hollywood schlock, and I appreciate that. TFA is my least favorite Star Wars film, and I’ve discovered that’s partly because I really can’t stand JJ Abrams’ frantic directing style.

BTW, I would appreciate if you checked out the thread titled Your ideal Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. I posted my versions of episodes VII and VIII plus a few additional notes, but I haven’t posted my version of episode IX because the thread has lost steam and I still don’t have a clear vision of it apart from a few vague ideas. Your feedback would be welcome.

Yeah, no problem. I’ll take a look and see if I can think of any suggestions.

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Really cool thread and I’ve enjoyed reading all the posts - thank you all!

For me it’s a case of mostly agreeing with the general vibe - I liked TFA but the feeling kind of wore off, I didn’t like TLJ but it was very pretty to look at. Where I definitely part company with most folks is that I (to my genuine surprise) loved TROS and it remains my favourite SW movie since TESB. I just wish it had been called Revenge of the Jedi.

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thebluefrog said:

The disjointed nature of the three films proves they needed ONE director and ONE writer for all 3.

I actually disagree with this. The original trilogy had different directors and writers too - Lucas, then Kershner then Marquand for directing, and while Lucas wrote Star Wars alone, TESB was the work of Kasdan and Leigh Brackett then it was back to George again. What the OT lacked which the sequels had was an overarching vision, in this case the vision of George Lucas.

As I said in my original post here, I see why the decision was made - Disney wanted to replicate the production model of the originals and let each new writer/director build off the work of the last. But I agree it didn’t work out this time, and in any case a series of stories that is planned out from the start is much more rewarding to watch or read than one that’s winging it. I would have preferred a general story outline for all three films before TFA started production, then have new directors on each film to each bring their own visual flair to the story. The sequels’ main problems don’t lie with their direction, it’s their writing.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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As for the sequels i liked Rey, Poe and Finn but it could as easily have been set in the far future or had no connection to episodes 1-6 except for marketing reasons and drawing fans in to see the original actors for Star Wars, Empire and Jedi.

I also commend Rian on Last Jedi Luke was nuanced and interesting, not my take on the character and there’s a couple of things i’d change but love the Zen monk Buddist stuff. I like that Luke by this point has moved beyond lightsabers and is more powerful, even Yoda wouldn’t have been able to force project himself across the galaxy. Last Jedi has the best score of the lot and the best cinematography, Mark Hamill did a fantastic job. I think Daisy Ridley did her best acting in the three in this movie as well. There was an earnest realism to her portrayal.

I kind of liked the JJ movies but they are just fun comic book movies isolated from Star Wars, as Star Wars they kind of are near the bottom if slightly above Attack of the Clones or the Holiday Special. I did notice by my third watch the Rise of Skywalker doesn’t really make sense and it just a sloppy mess. But i still like elements of the movie but the execution is hamfisted and there is something false and flat about the whole film.

I sort of see these as the Disney edit of Legends. I don’t think the mesh at all with Lucas Star Wars canon. Last Jedi might fit if there was proper buildup on Luke’s fall more than a short flashback. And He trained Rey and didn’t die until the 9th movie. Force Awakens on the other hand is just a remake of Star Wars, and Rise of Skywalker is a remake of Return of the Jedi and Dark Empire.

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Funny that this thread was made yesterday! I was just thinking to post some thoughts I had about the Sequel Trilogy, but wasn’t sure which thread I would post them on.

The Sequel Trilogy is certainly a mixed bag for me, just like it is for many others here, and I agree that it could’ve been done a lot better in a lot of ways. But, there are a few positive things I got out of these films that I wanted to share.

I actually liked how the relationships in the Skywalker family were all in a very bad place. The original trilogy definitely evolved into a family soap opera, and I think Luke, Han, Leia and Ben all being in bad places in the Sequel Trilogy allows audience members who also have their own damaged familial relationships could observe the Skywalker family and take some kind of lessons from it.

For example, a big issue for a lot of people in the ST is Luke. I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but I identified a lot with the regret and shame Luke felt. Some people can’t accept that he would make such a big mistake, and that’s fine. I guess as someone who struggles to change their bad habits and in the process has made a lot of mistakes in their life, it was cathartic to see him overcome his utter failure and grief. If the hero I identified with growing up can go through such a major setback, then maybe I can too.

Another example is Han and Leia’s relationship with their son. They’re not perfect parents, and no parent is. Every parent is going to make mistakes. No matter how hard they try to nurture and develop their children into well-rounded adults, they are going to mess up in some ways. And sometimes their kids are going to mess up too. You could argue this is unhealthy, but I appreciate that despite all of Ben’s mistakes, they loved him selflessly and gave their lives for him.

Han is definitely a father who struggled to communicate and relate with his son. In a way, they all made mistakes with Ben, and Ben made mistakes with them too. But despite being literally stabbed in the heart by his own flesh and blood, he places a gentle hand on the face of his son. There is something powerful to me in the genuine selflessness and love Han displays for Ben at the end. It’s the ultimate forgiveness. Obviously most children aren’t going to kill their own fathers, but I appreciate what it represents. Children may hurt or disappoint their parents, but parents still have this ability to love them unconditionally.

I know we all would have preferred to have had an actual scene between Ben and Leia in TROS, but in a way, I think Leia dying before Ben has chance to make it amends works narratively. I’m sure a lot of people have had the experience of losing someone before they were able to get some closure, or heal some wounds of the relationship. Just to speak personally for a minute, my grandparents helped raise me, but as a child and young adult, I feel like I didn’t really show how much I appreciated them when they were alive. I still carry this guilt. They devoted their lives to take care of me, and what did I do for them?

For Ben, he feels like it is too late for him to “come home” because his mother’s gone. But the vision of his father reminds him that what she believed in, and what she fought for, is not gone. My grandparents aren’t around anymore. I can’t take care of them and show them my appreciation. So instead, I have to decide to try and live in a way that they would’ve wanted me to live, and I have to try and make sure the effort they put into raising me doesn’t go to waste.

There’s definitely a lot I would’ve done differently with these movies if I was the one making them (which is why I enjoy fan edits), but I appreciate a lot the stuff the filmmakers decided to say about both biological family, as well as found family.

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jedi_bendu said:

I actually disagree with this. The original trilogy had different directors and writers too - Lucas, then Kershner then Marquand for directing, and while Lucas wrote Star Wars alone, TESB was the work of Kasdan and Leigh Brackett then it was back to George again. What the OT lacked which the sequels had was an overarching vision, in this case the vision of George Lucas.

Actually George had most of Empire written when Lawrence Kasdan got involved. He mostly just polished it. So most of what was written came directly from the maker himself. It’s out of respect for Leigh Brackett that he isn’t recognised for just how much he was directly involved.

However I do agree. I think having different writers isn’t a bad thing as the transition between writers in the fifth and six Harry Potter movies isn’t felt per say as the source material stays consistent as it came from one vision. They needed to sit down and plan where they were going to figure out the story they wanted to tell. Instead it was a baton race that created unnecessary plot holes and lack of cohesiveness as the story progressed.

The sad thing is they had a story ready to be made but they threw it out because they thought they could do better.

I honestly think the perfect world scenario would’ve been completing George’s nine part saga and branching out with the spinoffs. They could have enjoyed and ate their cake selling the return of nostalgic familiarity of X-Wings and TIE Fighters with Rogue One, and at the same time continuing and finishing the Skywalker saga as intended.

It would’ve been a true win/win for everyone. Fans who love George’s story get closure, fans who love the Original Trilogy get a film or two (Solo) that have lots of roots in the original films, and etc…

Afterwards it’s onward with seeing where it’s best to take Star Wars next.

As it stands I feel lots of apathy because the story I grew attached to feels incomplete and like it’s missing important pieces to the puzzle. I’m sad to say but I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be able to get into Disney Star Wars. I can’t even get into Mandalorian. I tried watching the first few minutes of the first episode but I just felt emotionally detached like I was mourning the lost of a family member. I want to get into it and enjoy it for what it is but everything feels so corporate now. It feels like everything within the series now relies on nostalgia and nothing more.

"Pleasure’s fun. It’s great, but you can’t keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it’s here and it’s gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you’ll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It’s all about your pleasure: it’s about you. It’s a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it’s a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you’re doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.” - George Lucas

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As it stands I feel lots of apathy because the story I grew attached to feels incomplete and like it’s missing important pieces to the puzzle. I’m sad to say but I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be able to get into Disney Star Wars. I can’t even get into Mandalorian. I tried watching the first few minutes of the first episode but I just felt emotionally detached like I was mourning the lost of a family member. I want to get into it and enjoy it for what it is but everything feels so corporate now. It feels like everything within the series now relies on nostalgia and nothing more.

I’m in the same boat. I know that there are still good aspects of modern Star Wars, but the current state of things just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I’m still revisiting some of the old EU books and playing KOTOR, but I have no investment in Star Wars as an ongoing franchise. I’m far more excited about the great work done on fan preservations than I am about any official new content.

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Servii said:

As it stands I feel lots of apathy because the story I grew attached to feels incomplete and like it’s missing important pieces to the puzzle. I’m sad to say but I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be able to get into Disney Star Wars. I can’t even get into Mandalorian. I tried watching the first few minutes of the first episode but I just felt emotionally detached like I was mourning the lost of a family member. I want to get into it and enjoy it for what it is but everything feels so corporate now. It feels like everything within the series now relies on nostalgia and nothing more.

I’m in the same boat. I know that there are still good aspects of modern Star Wars, but the current state of things just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I’m still revisiting some of the old EU books and playing KOTOR, but I have no investment in Star Wars as an ongoing franchise. I’m far more excited about the great work done on fan preservations than I am about any official new content.

That’s pretty much me exactly. I’m loving The Clone Wars as I only got to see the movie when it came out and a few episodes as they aired on an over the channel before the Disney sale. It’s been really fun (bittersweet as well) to explore George’s last stories. I’d like getting into more of the EU as I’ve only read bits of it in the past but unfortunately prices for works I’m interested in like The Star Wars comic book adaptation are out of budget. I am ready to play the new Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga game though. I doubt it will but I hope it can at least get me to accept the Sequels for what they are as playing The Complete Saga last year helped me find my full love of the first six films again when I was feeling nearly defeated. I think the game and Visions are the only two things I’m feeling a glimmer of optimism about as far as new content is concerned.

The fan preservation is definitely great work. I’d like to get more into it. I’d honestly like making video essays about Star Wars but I don’t really know where I’d start entirely or feel I have the time to devote to the topics I’d cover.

"Pleasure’s fun. It’s great, but you can’t keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it’s here and it’s gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you’ll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It’s all about your pleasure: it’s about you. It’s a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it’s a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you’re doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.” - George Lucas

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Rise of Skywalker is a remake of Return of the Jedi and Dark Empire.

Strongly disagree. The plot was its own thing.

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Servii said:
Then came TLJ. Over the two-year gap, my state of mind about Star Wars veered near complete apathy. I couldn’t bring myself to care, and I thought Star Wars just wasn’t for me anymore, but I still planned on seeing the movie, partly out of curiosity, partly out of a lingering sense of obligation. I had heard beforehand a couple vague rumors about some controversy over a thing Mark Hamill said in an interview about Luke. I went into the movie with low expectations, but still a little hopeful that the story was heading in a worthwhile direction.

I left the theater depressed.

Stardust1138 said:

As it stands I feel lots of apathy because the story I grew attached to feels incomplete and like it’s missing important pieces to the puzzle.

Apathy–there’s the deadly word in art. When you don’t feel anything for the characters, it’s a death sentence for the story. You guys mention it, and it’s a microcosm of the problem for most of the audience.

No one felt anything for the new characters after TFA. They just weren’t interesting or compelling. The hero is only as good as the villains–and the villains were terrible in the sequel trilogy. They were reduced to jokes–or, worse, boring.

Some people mentioned Poe mouthing off to Kylo as a bad start. That’s very true, but it could’ve been salvageable with the right character development post-TFA. Han mouths off to Imperials but suffers for it often, climaxing in Vader capturing him and freezing him. However, TLJ and ROS both made Kylo ineffectual and weak–he loses every fight with Rey. That’s not an interesting or threatening villain.

Hux, Phasma, Snoke, Pryde–who cares about any of them? They never seriously hurt the heroes and die as jokes. Snoke’s final scene is him cartoonishly lying there like Jar Jar, tongue hanging out and all. Hux gets slapped around by everyone INCLUDING the comic relief character Finn. Phasma does nothing memorable at all.

Vader was a threat. Darth Maul was a threat. Palpatine was a threat. There’s a reason why everyone remembers those characters, because Lucas knew how to write the most basic requirements of the hero’s journey: the villain has to be a credible challenge to be overcome.

Since nothing permanently bad happens to Rey or Finn or Poe, there’s no emotional engagement, so no one cares about them.

Apathy.