There is absolutely no question that 2017 and 2018 were bad years for Star Wars. 2017 in particular was especially troublesome. It was first mired by the production debacle with Solo: A Star Wars Story. And then, of course, was the release of Rian Johnson’s fandom shattering Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Despite the (still) lingering effects of a series of bad decisions on Lucasfilm’s part from that time, Star Wars has nonetheless persevered. Quite frankly, its on the verge of flourishing once more, if its not already. Is it really fair to keep saying that Star Wars needs fixing?
First and foremost, its questionable to say it was ever even broken in the first place. Sure, the franchise took some missteps. (If I never see green milk dripping from alien teats again it will be too soon.) But before you say Star Wars needs fixing now, remember that the original trilogy had its own issues. Ewoks weren’t exactly loved in 1983. And yet the Star Wars franchise still grew over four decades into a multi-billion-dollar industry in and of itself. Plus, if you stop and think about it, the Disney ear of Star wars hasn’t really been that bad at all.
Star Wars needs fixing? Maybe not.
Disney’s first foray into Star Wars is regarded by many as not only the best of the new films, but as one of the best in the franchise. I’m of course referring to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Likewise, many saw The Force Awakens as a perfect, if predictable, blending of original stories and characters with the new. Likewise its mixed use of practical and computer-generated effects felt like Star Wars. Nothing to indicate Star Wars needs fixing yet.
Admittedly The Last Jedi did turn the franchise on its ear. However, as much maligned as it is, it didn’t break the franchise. When you have that many films in a series, you’re bound to have one bad one. Even Solo, despite its directorial issues, ended up an enjoyable film. The Rise of Skywalker? Framed against the backdrop of The Last Jedi, many found it not only enjoyable but ultimately satisfying.
Mandalorian, Clone Wars end the debate
Perhaps the debate over whether Star Wars need fixing ends here in 2020. First, The Mandalorian premiered in October of last year. It immediately became the most streamed show on the Internet ever. For the most part, it is universally adored by old and new fans alike. Likewise, its characters and effects are outstanding, and even its making-of documentary has captured fans’ hearts.
But…. it was Season 7 of The Clone Wars, the last four-episode arc in particular, that sealed it for me. With both The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm put its trust in Dave Filoni. That was an easy gamble and one that’s already paid dividends a hundred times over.
The Mandalorian Season 2 arrives this October. A Rogue One spinoff featuring Cassian Andor and K-2SO arrives next year… and then? Kenobi. And let’s not forget that 2022 will see a brand new, lie-action, feature film likely at the hands of Taika Waititi. He only portrayed one of the best characters in The Mandalorian’s first season, and he directed its epic season finale.
So: can we please stop saying that Star Wars needs fixing now?
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