Disney is Ruining Star Wars


Senior Grace Wood , a long time Star Wars fan, is showing her support for the franchise by wearing a classic Star Wars shirt. She is also showing her disdain for the newest installments by giving two thumbs down.

BE WARNED: This article will contain spoilers for Star Wars Episodes 1-8.

I have been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, and unlike most people, I can find enjoyment in the prequel trilogy. However, even I draw the line with the poor understanding and treatment of the franchise and its characters. I respect the latest installments as movies, but they simply pale in comparison to the original trilogy and seem to have lost the core elements of what makes Star Wars fun.

Let’s take a step back and focus on the beginning of the franchise. The year was 1977 and a man named George Lucus just wanted to create a fun, sci-fi, and modern fairytale. He was limited by the technology of the time and a budget of only $11 million. To put that into perspective, The Last Jedi had a budget of $325 million. Because of this George had to make sure that every single cent spent was shown on screen; it has been called “the most expensive low-budget movie ever made.” He also had to go through multiple big script changes to accommodate for the small budget.

Even though the trilogy had a very humble start, it accomplished what Lucus wanted. Under the modern Sci-Fi action, it was an old school fairytale-like quest. You have a young and overconfident hero/knight (Luke Skywalker), an older knight to guide and mentor him (Obi-Wan Kenobi), a princess (Princess Leia) to save from a castle (Death Star) guarded by an evil knight (Darth Vader) and it doesn’t stop there. The entire trilogy expands on this and begins to add more character development and Shakespearean style drama. I’m sure I don’t need to go over the infamous “No, I am your Father” plot twist, Han and Leia’s romance, or Lando’s betrayal. My point is, the original trilogy felt like it had a story worth telling, with realistic character progression and powerful moments.

Although the prequels are typically regarded as the worst Star Wars movies, I think they have some of the best and classic Star Wars moments. Without them, we wouldn’t have Darth Maul and his double-bladed lightsaber, The Jedi High Council, Anakin’s character arch from slave to sith, or all the expanded knowledge and lore of the series that we have today. I understand why people call these movies bad; it was Lucus’s terrible sense of forced humor and overuse of CGI. He simply became overconfident in his writing and in the effects that computers could produce at the time; he was out of touch with his audience and the time period. He also didn’t know how to convey things to the audience without the aid of dialogue.

With all of those complaints, I acknowledge that the originals are objectively better movies, but I think that the prequels are good Star Wars movies. What I mean is that the original Star Wars movies were fun; they had way more lightsaber duels, space battles, and overall action shown on screen than any other installment. When you look at them from a story perspective you see that the prequels actually had an excellent plot; they just suffered from a horrible execution. Much like how the original trilogy had a clear character arch from farm boy to Jedi, the prequel trilogy mirrored this with his father’s fall to the dark side. Seeing a young Obi-Wan being forced to fight his former apprentice was one of the most emotional scenes in the movies, but listening to the horrible line, “it’s over, Anakin! I have the high ground,” before he delivered his final blow, was pure torture for the audience.

The sequel trilogy, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many redeeming qualities. When I first saw episode seven, I thought it was really well done. I left the theater thrilled because of all of the new characters and mysteries: the Knights of Ren, Rey’s force vision, Luke’s island, and of course Supreme Leader Snoke. However, in less than two weeks I was back in school when I overheard someone detailing the story of the movie to his friend; that’s when it dawned on me, I realized that it borrowed too many plot elements from the original movie. A desert planet, a planet-destroying base, the main protagonist that finds a droid carrying important information to help the Resistance, a mysterious Jedi on an isolated planet that the main protagonist will have to seek out, Han and Leia’s roles don’t ever change. I don’t think I need to go on.

I was willing to overlook these issues, as I was under the impression that episode eight would wrap up all of the mysteries of episode seven while simultaneously giving the characters the treatment they deserved. It did neither. Rey had absolutely no character progression and remained the same. Luke, on the other hand, now stands against the Jedi that he fought so hard to bring back. I know there was a lot of off-screen development between episodes, but am I supposed to believe that he would ignite his lightsaber against his nephew for simply having dreams about the Darkside? Even if it was for only a moment, I don’t believe that this was the Luke we saw in Return of the Jedi. I don’t even have enough time to go over the pointless casino plotline, Snoke’s meaningless death, or the dull two-hour long hyperspeed chase.

It also lacks the previously mentioned “fun” elements of Star Wars. Ian Heller, a sophomore, says that all of the fight scenes for The Last Jedi “were terribly choreographed” and that “the story was crap, to put it mildly.” Brandon Brooks, a junior, adds to this by saying “there was a lot of unnecessary material,” and he feels like it is more of a “Disney Trilogy” than a sequel trilogy. Harrison Adamson, a senior, believes that Star Wars has lost its meaning. He feels like “Star Wars before Disney is actual Star Wars” and everything after is just a continuation; “at some point, it just needs to put down.”

It seems I’m not alone with these complaints. And that’s not even going off the various other Star Wars T.V. shows, comics, and video games that have been touched by Disney. There is a reason why episode eight has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and 43% for the audience reviews. It’s not an entirely bad movie on its own. However, when you look at the franchise as a whole, then you notice that it’s a copy and paste of the original trilogy without any satisfying conclusions or character development. I highly doubt that episode nine will be able to fix these issues and please long-time viewers of the saga. It really is sad to see such a beloved franchise be ruined and mistreated until even the fans get sick and tired.