The latest cinematic installment of the Star Wars franchise under Disney is set to hit theaters on 20 December 2019, titled The Rise of Skywalker, and I couldn’t care less about it…
A whole host of reasons.
I articulated many of those reasons in a previous blog post about why I am finicky and jaded about modern movies. You can read that blog post at the link below:
That post focused on why I’m turned off by moviemakers today in a general sense, though I did touch on how Star Wars is being utterly destroyed by LucasFilms head Kathleen Kennedy and her feministic agenda, among other mistakes and miscalculations, but I feel compelled to elucidate upon what I said about what is wrong with Star Wars under Kennedy’s stewardship in light of the new movie coming out soon.
Here are five reasons why Disney Star Wars sucks and will never receive another penny from me:
1. The character development in the Disney Star Wars movies is severely lacking.
The pushback from those who like these movies against those (like me) who don’t is that the criticism is about giving “strong female characters” the lead and central roles in the films. In other words, the criticism against Disney Star Wars is based on chauvinism and misogyny rather than on legitimate reasoning.
Nothing could be further from the truth…
Take the character “Rey”, played by Daisy Ridley, who was promoted by Kennedy and Disney from the very beginning as a “strong female character” rather than just letting the writing and acting speak for itself.
If the Rey character was well-written with a backstory, a compelling reason to care about what happens to her (a human element), and was not what is generally called a “Mary Sue” (more on this later), no one would be criticizing Rey being the central character of the new trilogy. The Rey character, and the movies themselves, so far, are poorly written.
2. Rey is a “Mary Sue”.
For those who don’t know what a “Mary Sue” is, simply put, a Mary Sue is a seemingly perfect character that generally lacks a believable backstory and suffers very little, if any, adversity within a story, and therefore lacks a story arc. A Mary Sue already knows how to do anything the story requires her to do with no set up or explainable impetus for how they learned whatever skill or talent they display in the story.
The male equivalent of a Mary Sue is a “Gary Stu”.
In contrasting Rey in the new trilogy to Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, the fact that Rey is a Mary Sue becomes glaringly obvious…
In A New Hope, Luke is a petulant, whiny, teenage farm boy, who dreams of adventure and a life beyond his home planet and becomes a reluctant hero who had to learn the ways of the Force (like his father before him) after his aunt and uncle are killed. Luke is unaware of his true heritage and power potential and is very reliant on his newfound friends and his mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi.
It took Luke all of three films, including losing both of his masters to death, learning his father is the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader, facing Darth Vader twice, getting defeated handily the first time around and getting his hand chopped off in the process, all before he became the Jedi hero who saved the galaxy and redeemed his evil father.
Rey, on the other hand, already knew how to fight with a lightsaber, fly and fix the Millennium Falcon better than Han Solo and Chewbacca, use the Jedi Mind Trick, and defeated and injured a highly trained Jedi/Sith Lord in Kylo Ren in lightsaber combat on the first try. All in the first film we see her in (The Force Awakens). How exactly did Rey come to be so powerful with the Force and where did she develop her considerable skill set?
This is not solely the result of an SJW/feminist agenda, but rather very poor writing and/or a hastily designed attempt to win over and engage a younger, more impatient, less attentive audience. Disney’s goal was always about attracting a more female audience as Star Wars is generally considered a “guy film” even though it isn’t.
3. Disney is more interested in turning a buck than telling a story.
The George Lucas Star Wars films (original trilogy and prequels) were all released three years apart from each other.
Because of this, audiences anticipated each new film offering with the glee of a kid waiting on Christmas morning to come. It also gave Lucas time to create a compelling story.
Lucas’ notorious plot holes and his penchant for inserting characters in his films seemingly created strictly for merchandising to kids aside (I think the original trilogy and the prequels would have been much better off without the Jawas, the Ewoks, and JarJar Binks), allowing so much time between films is what made them authentic, memorable, and highly anticipated. It allowed the actors who played central roles to naturally “age progress”. For example, Mark Hamill really wasn’t all that far out his teens (a young-looking 25, to be precise) when he first played Luke Skywalker and was over 30 by the time he played in Return of the Jedi.
While there is roughly two years separating the Disney Star Wars trilogy films (2015, 2017, 2019), there are standalone Star Wars films in between each of these films. Not enough time to build any anticipation, which only exacerbates the poor writing and the next problem…
4. Disney put too much emphasis on “killing the past” regarding the previous Star Wars films.
They even include virtually this exact quote in a Kylo Ren exchange with Rey in The Last Jedi.
Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.
Seems to me that the way they killed off Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (but not Leia…) that Disney’s intent is truly to kill off the past. But are they…?
5. The first two Disney Star Wars films rips off themes and tropes from the original trilogy.
The Force Awakens is very much a ripoff of A New Hope and The Last Jedi has eerily similar tropes and storylines to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The throne room battle in The Last Jedi is a vapid rehash of the throne room battle in Return of the Jedi.
Disney really missed an opportunity to either continue where the original trilogy left off or tell a completely new story where the rise of the First Order is explained and Rey is given a backstory to build upon. Instead of “letting the past die”, Disney could have built a new future based upon the past events of the previous films.
These franchise offerings feel rushed, poorly developed, and more interested in proffering an agenda than telling a story.
As far as I’m concerned, the Star Wars story ended with Return of the Jedi. I didn’t let the past die and I refuse to kill it because I don’t want to. Disney has yet to give me a compelling reason to want to.
-The Rational Ram