Top 5 Reasons Why Disney Star Wars Is No Good
October 30, 2012 a day that will long be remembered, the day Disney bought out Star Wars. It has been a subject of controversy over the last few years as of this article and has proven that Star Wars fans are very loyal to the franchise. Personally, I have not been happy with the buyout, even since the day of. In this article, we are going to discuss 5 reasons why I do not think Disney and Star Wars do not mix and what the problems most have had with the franchise up to this point.
5. Cattering to the Wrong Demographics
What I mean by demographics is that Disney is working too hard to try and bring a fanbase into the franchise that is nonexistent. I cannot pinpoint the exact statistics, but I recall reading on Jedi Temple Archives (A Star Wars Action Figure and News website), showing statistics that most of the fanbase for Star Wars are men, usually in their 30s and 40s. I do not think it takes hard research to conclude that almost anything Disney Star Wars has released up to this point has not catered to that core demographic thus far. They are sacrificing stories and the aspects that made Star Wars unique to try and appeal to a different audience, but it does not seem to have the results they have wanted. Because of this, they have failed to bring in a few audience and have alienated the core fanbase. Recently, as of this article, larger news networks have even started to state Star Wars is troubled, especially among young people. A general search on the internet will point to pages of articles related to this. Star Wars has survived this long due to the core fans that have invested in it, when Disney turned their back on them, and tried and failed to reach a non-existent audience, is when it started to see a decline.
4. Hollow Characters, Hollow Stories
I think we can all agree Hollywood has been making mostly lackluster and unoriginal movies over the past decade, and Star Wars is no exception to that rule now. The characters have been a subject of controversy over the last few movies, and it seems to only be getting worse. First, the OT characters you thought were your heroes are now being portrayed as washed up and failed characters, and the new ones to replace them do not seem to live up to expectations for most people. It does not seem the new characters really have a place in Star Wars and for most of the audience, it simply has a lack of interest and motivation to invest in them, and their really is no reason to. The stories seem to bring nothing to the table that people were wanting or asked for. Disney could have used this opportunity to make a Republic Commando action film, or a Darth Maul standalone, or a Han Solo series, not movie, but instead, went with a generic approach to stories and concepts people didn't ask for, and that causes a lack of interest. No matter what anyone says, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker will be more reminiscent than Rey or Finn, and Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi will be more reminiscent than Poe Dameron or Kylo Ren.
3. Too Many People Involved with the Franchise
Before the Disney buyout, Star Wars was the vision of one man, and anything that was to be written or made into the Star Wars timeline had to go through this one man. Whatever opinion you may have of how George Lucas handled the franchise through the years, he made the brand what he wanted it to be and a certain amount of respect comes from that. Since Disney has been involved, too many people have been involved with the creative and overall direction of the franchise to the point of it having an identity crisis. JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, just to name a few, each want to make the franchise how they want it to the point where it shows in the lackluster direction the franchise has taken. The three people I have listed above, and many others involved, have taken Star Wars to the point of no return. Each person involved wants something totally different with the franchise, and when they combine their ideas, it is incoherent. When Star Wars was controlled by one man, at least it was consistent with one man's vision, not with many others. When too many people are involved to cash in, it causes a mess for the franchise and a hole that they are making harder to climb out of.
2. Treating the Franchise As More of a Business Instead of Entertainment
At the end of the day, the Star Wars franchise is a business first and entertainment second, but that does not mean it needs to be so blatantly obvious. We see Disney putting a lot of money into this between the various movies, T.V. shows, and any other form of media, and we here them talk about the numbers terms of money, but isn't all this supposed to be made more for entertainment? I think Disney has taken the cookie cutter approach with Star Wars and it has proven to be controversial for the franchise. The model seems to be make the most efficient product, with the most output. To me, that sounds more business than about the entertainment. At least under Lucas, the franchise had time to grow and develop, especially with three years between a movie. Three years to give time for fans to sort out the movies and for more information about the backstories surrounding them. Now, things are moving along so fast with products that have little of interest, kind of like an assembly line. Star Wars seemed to stay above the typical Hollywood franchise for over 35 years, and since the Disney buyout, it seems to have slump to nothing more than another sole money-making franchise. It doesn't seem the business cares enough about the product as long as it sells. Disney knows it can feed on nostalgia with the fans, but overtime that business model will simply not work as people lighten up.
1. Doing Away with the Expanded Universe
This is by far the biggest mistake Disney has made when it comes to Star Wars and the damage it has done will not be forgotten by many fans. Some loved the EU, some didn't, but one thing is certain, the EU fans have a fight until they die mentality when it comes to the EU. Personally, I loved much of the EU, and it saddens me to see most of these characters will be washed away with time someday. Sure, older or longtime fans will still follow it, but as new generations emerge and more media comes out to crowd out the EU, it simply will be forgotten about. One aspect about the EU is it seemed to be a direct connection between the fans and George Lucas himself. It was not big corporations or big businesses making the EU stories, just fans like you or I with George Lucas's permission to write a story that fits in with the Star Wars timeline. Their was an establishment within this universe that gave it a sense that the fans mattered, and could contribute in some way to the Star Wars lore. With Disney, it is a large corporation giving the ok, and most of the time it seems to be okayed for people that are well established and fit in the inner circle. It doesn't seem to be the fans making the decisions outside the movies anymore, and that annoys people. Its especially annoying to people when those in charge of the franchise give the impression the fans are too stupid to understand the content. Another aspect about this is it doesn't settle well with people to remove characters, like Mara Jade and Jaina Solo, from a franchise that people have followed for over 20 years. Taking away characters that people have invested in and have grown to love over the years leaves people bitter. The EU had grown for about 37 years, and for an outside business to come in and tell you that it no longer exists is going to turn a lot of people off and rethink investing into the franchise again.
So what do you think of these point? Star Wars always seemed to be a unique franchise with how it was handled over the years, but it has definitely lost that way since the buyout. I know nothing can be changed at this point, and even if things did see improvement, the idea of Star Wars being owned by a large corporation like Disney doesn't settle with me, and I'm sure many others. The EU will never come back, what has been released under Disney can never be taken away, and history cant be erased. The best advice I can give if you feel the same way, is to not buy into what you do not like. If you do not like the current direction of the franchise, do not give it your time or money. Support the EU, and whatever else you think made Star Wars special for you. No matter anyone's opinion, I think it is clear most of what Disney has released will not be as reminiscent to both fans and general audiences like the OT and PT trilogies were.
© 2019 Jason