A Beloved Franchise, A Long Time Ago

Drew's Hi-Res headshot
Drew Russom

I love the Star Wars property. I may have been eight when I started the prequels, but I had already seen the original trilogy by the time I was six. The Star Wars series is intrinsically tied to my life, as it is for millions of people. While the franchise wavered during the late nineties and early two thousands, I never had deal breaking issues with those movies that pushed me away from the series. I now feel, with the release of the most recent Star Wars movie trailers; I can honestly say that I am not excited to see it come this December.

This article will not be about the breakdown of each of the movies of the new trilogy. This dissertation is about my culminating frustration with the patronizing nostalgia that plagued the continuation of the new saga. I specifically can pinpoint the final straw that broke the camel’s back; it was a meme. After the teaser to Rise of Skywalker was released, I started seeing memes that illustrated the emotions of the viewer before and after a specific moment in the trailer. The moment or two moments that I am referring to is the ruins of the second Death Star and Emperor’s laugh. This really got me to thinking, are Star Wars fans, or are perceived to be, easily swayed by the prospect of recycling old material?

The short answer is yes to both, and it has been the case long before the prequels. During, the now deemed Legends canon, much of the comics and looks rarely explored the past of the Skywalker lineage or characters that were given undeserved importance and attention. So the franchise is not beyond reusing characters never moving on from the previously established. However, this was the expanded Universe; it had no bearing on the mainstream zeitgeist. For many, many people, the movies are all they know, and even these have been tainted by this mentality.

However, I do not believe that this was done haphazardly or with any lack of creativity, but more with a fan-fiction writer’s mindset of “wouldn’t it be cool if…?”. We have had plenty of tales that were interesting, cool, or just well written adventures in Legends canon. However, the new trilogy is more reactionary to the previous three movies, as well as itself. I think episode seven was made the way it was to invoke, which it did successfully, the original trilogy. The trailer for episode nine is trying to achieve the same sensation, but also trying to gain forgiveness for the errors of The Last Jedi.

At the end of the day, Disney owns an intellectual property that has a built in fan base that has existed since nineteen seventy seven, and is embedded with the pop cultural zeitgeist; it will always make its money back no matter how divide said fan base becomes in the future. I did not touch about the side movies, but Solo did contribute to this deteriorating opinion. I want to explore the Star Wars Universe, and Disney could do better by introducing more of the old canon that they eradicated from the expanded universe. Hopefully after Rise of Skywalker, since the next trilogy has been green lit; Poe, Finn, and Rey will foster and in a generation unshackled by the previous generation, and Disney will stop this yearly Star Wars initiative.

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