Disney's "Star Wars:" the Fall of a Legacy - Part 1
A story from long long ago, in a time and galaxy far far away...
Ah, Star Wars. A once timeless classic retelling the Hero's Journey in a space opera, about a Moisture Farm boy that transformed into a hero and ultimately, changing the destiny of an entire galaxy, toppling a repressive empire, and redeeming a man that was once hated yet now revered. This is the tale of the Skywalker family, Anakin, Luke, and Leia, along with their friends and companions, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, C3PO, R2D2, and so many others.
But alas and alack, such a finality to a perfect saga, the 6th Episode, which actually finished the Skywalker saga properly, was butchered and betrayed such a conclusion by the 9th episode, The Rise of Skywalker. There are plenty of articles out there that go into painstaking detail as to how such rot from the vine occurred, but none so much as to portray the fall of a Legacy as this one movie has done. How did we get to this point? To where such irreparable damage is laid bare? Well, let us begin with the previous two epoch of excrement, The Broken Revival (aka The Force Awakens) and the Last Death Knell (aka the Last Jedi). We begin with The Force Awakens.
The Broken Revival
To bring back a franchise after many thought was finally fading away was a huge gamble. This is especially concerning when said gamble was paid in the tune of over 4 Billion (with a B) dollars to the chief creator and holder to the merchandising rights to the said franchise. Thus, George Lucas was made into the Billionaires' Club as he sold off his "Kids" to the "White Slavers" of the Walt Disney Company.
Much like any "self-respected" corporation and not one to allow this golden goose a chance to rest, the Walt Disney Company saw fit to create the means to continue this beloved epoch to facilitate an income stream that would sustain them. Naturally, the actors themselves that made the iconic juggernaut of cinematography, along with all that handled production behind the camera, are either retired or passed on.
To be fair, these legends in their respectful fields have done much and more to craft this timeless tale of the Hero's Journey, each character having their own story to tell and to compliment the other with witty banter, and competent tactics and strategies with well-timed jokes along the path. Because of how it was once considered ageless, even when in production in the 1970s, it inspired generations to connect with these characters and see their ultimate triumph
This required new actors to replace and, in the Walt Disney Company's best hopes, surpass the original actors; a feat that has failed entirely. They would also need an individual that would not upset the established lore of the franchise while pumping in new ideas. Rather than attend to the multitude of books, online fanfiction, and yes even fan-crafted films of the Extended Universe of this galaxy far, far, away, the Walt Disney Company default to a "director" that is known in this profession to directly reboot franchises into the ground: Jeffrey. Jacob. Abrams. This was the Walt Disney Company's "safe bet."
The Safe Bet of J.J.Abrams
Never one for innovation, but never one to stray far from any path, the choice of making J.J. Abrams the apt choice and the safest bet; someone that screams obedience to carry water for those at the top, yet he also made sure the recuperation of that 4 Billion dollar price tag would take place, else his credibility as a movie director would come into further question.
So like any self-respecting conman fancying themselves as a "director" of sorts, he did the one thing most imitators have done ad nauseum:
By altering enough of a working property at JUST the right amount to not be so vis-à-vis from a New Hope.
To be fair, the author of this article was duped at the time of the Force Rehashed's original box office release. There was enough to give a sense of nostalgia while leaving enough flexibility for future movies to come into their own. Therein lies the problem. Unlike in the ORIGINAL where the plucky hero is coming into his own, Rey was given nothing, yet excelled at everything. Those more adept at noticing this inconsistency recognize the problem as a "Mary Sue;" more on that in another article.
J.J. was also the safe bet in that he would not radically stray from the wishes of executives that were tone-deaf to pop culture, yet signed the checks at the end of the day. He remained obedient to the end, blindly shoving their ideologies and "demographic geotargeting" at the detriment to the mythos of Star Wars itself. He also has a bad habit of rushing through scenes as seen in the final telling of this nightmare, where there's not enough time to process the current insanity before the next wave of insanity assaults the senses. This is done with mechanical precision, which explains why he works for Bad Robot Productions.
Despite devote fans of this pop culture crying heresy to the Seventh Hell-ish Episode of Star Wars, the box office profits were all the justification the Walt Disney Company needed to continue down this death march. 2+ Billion US dollars in total World Sales, a majority of which comes from the United States alone, is not something to ignore. And thus, with HALF of the 4 Billion dollar buyout to George Lucas recuperated, the Walt Disney Company steamboated their new ship into spinoffs and series akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, creating Star Wars-themed movies and marketing within each year ad nauseum till the franchise was dead.
This is undeniable proof that corporations have no concept of cooling-off periods where even among movie productions, there comes a time where audiences need a break to process what they have seen, not (as some critics point out) "shut up and consume product." Eventually, it gets regurgitated and the vomit permeates the vicinity thus ruining the once hallowed tale of our heroes from a galaxy far, far away.
Yet again, it must be stated that the mythos of Star Wars was powerful enough to "accept" this new episode with some shred of dignity. There are many things to be questioned, but for the moment the fans (the Fandom Menace chief among these souls) were optimistic of this new telling of our Heroes' Journey.
Author's Note: It is highly presumptuous of the author to speak for the Fandom Menace when the author is not truly among them, but the author does understand them to a degree and even follow some of them as a means of balancing out viewpoints.
The Ill Omen of Things to Come...
Despite the commercial "Success" of this movie director's interpretation, this is but the herald of failures that would plague the beloved artwork that is Star Wars. But even WITH this questionable success, none were prepared for unchecked cancer that plagued the series, a malignant tumor of the foulest protrusion and perverse entitlement that even the Shroud of the Dark Side could not have better fallen over our fair galaxy far, far, away. To acknowledge such a plague shall have to be done in the second part of this series. But for now, I would love to hear your thoughts in regards to THIS moment in the Disney Sequel Trilogy.
Stay Tuned For Part 2!
To be Continued in the next part of this Questionable Saga of "Star Wars."
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Michael Rivers