I have a theory (just a theory), that is probably going to generate some controversy…Star Wars is a conservative film. It is very much a modern Western. George Lucas was not some pot smoking hippie. Coming at the source material from a liberal progressive angle has created the bizarre content we see under Disney. Even when it is made well…it just seems off.
George has been described as a more “conservative” guy, but not in the political or ideological sense. The Rebels in Star Wars were the Viet Cong, and the Empire and the Emperor were the United States and Nixon. George has said this.
For the prequels, there is literally a quote out there where he says Bush is Vader and Cheney is the Emperor. Even Anakin’s line, “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy” is a paraphrase of Bush’s, “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists”.
I do think that the original Star Wars film was vague enough for the message to feel like it could apply to anyone. A liberal or conservative could watch Star Wars and see themselves as the Rebel underdogs. Although I’m not really sure what could be seen as explicitly “liberal progressive” that the internet or media hasn’t primed people to identify as such.
George is “conservative” in the sense he values tradition and the romanticism of civility. He has said he finds contemporary storytelling boring. He prefers to teach through action of characters and visual literacy versus more of a narrative literacy preacher as you see more often these days. He also values doing things as cost effective as possible. He learned this skill from his father who was very conservative but fair. George is more “liberal” in terms of his political views and wanting a fair and equal society. He values the underdog. He’s a complex individual as all the really great creatives are.
The key difference between George’s films and Disney’s films when it comes to ideology is the people and what they do with their power. With the Disney era it’s mostly portrayed with the exception of Rogue One that good guys are good and bad guys are bad. It’s used more in a symbolism type of way like DJ. He’s a symbol. This compared to George who let the viewer draw their own conclusions with subtly. You see it with say Dooku who is a living and breathing character with ideologies and views but has a history with Qui-Gon and Jedi to go along with leading the Separatist Movement. He also has a place within the story as a foil to Anakin and to foreshadow what he will become. With DJ he’s just there to tell us the Resistance and First Order are good and bad. We don’t actually see or understand the conflict they’re going through except on superficial levels. We hear about how the Republic needs to be restored but we have no reason to understand why it’s needed. We merely understand it on some level in The Force Awakens due to its over familiarity with A New Hope. It’s all about context that is lost and how ideology is portrayed as good and bad in the Disney films with no middle ground.
The best example of this within George’s story is comparing the Rebel Alliance on Hoth and Geonosisians on Geonosis. Both are rebels but with different intentions and beliefs. One is separating from the Republic, the other is trying to bring it back. Both are trying to escape the capture of the Republic and Empire but the implications of what will happen to both if caught is completely different. They’re similar from each other but different.
The Prequels and Originals are meant to mirror and juxtaposition one another. You don’t get this with the Sequels as it’s trying to be familiar to the Originals without understanding context. The next logical move is exactly what George planned with a power vacuum created by the end of the Empire and Hutts. Space pirates and others would try to exploit the Republic from securing itself again. There’s no logic or reason within universe to understand how the First Order secured funds and amassed a massive fleet without massive exposition. They avoided it anyways and went for what was easy.
I definitely agree with you though, prequelsrule, about how it would’ve been nice to have seen Luke with a thriving (or at least some students) Jedi order.
I also agree, that if they jump ahead beyond the sequel trilogy, there will just be a Jedi order and it won’t matter who started it per se. I feel Luke will be seen as the founder of the New Jedi Order, and Rey will be seen as his successor who continued it after him.
This is exactly what George planned to do. There would be 50 to 100 survivors of Order 66 and over the course of the trilogy he would rebuild the Jedi Order then pass on in Episode IX. I assume in this scenario the Solowalker granddaughter would become the Grand Jedi Master bestowed onto her by Luke after defeating Darth Maul and Darth Talon. Luke would have his material victory and Leia would too for that matter as she’s elected Supreme Chancellor to echo Padme giving away democracy in The Phantom Menace.
Everything came full circle within George’s story instead of ending with putting us in the same story position in a matter of speaking as Return of the Jedi.