The Star Wars franchise was something that I grew up with when I was a teenager. When I was in class 6th, I was introduced to the franchise by the video games, Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It was the first time, I ever invested in the franchise. Then I started watching all the Star Wars films (before the Star Wars: The Force Awakens). 3 years after I got the Force Unleashed and Battlefront 1, I got Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and that was the game I invested myself in. I have spent hundreds, if not thousands hours playing this game. The story of the game is also good. It revolves around a retired clone trooper who recounts his story from the sands of Geonosis to the snows of Hoth. It also shows the brutal realities of war and camaraderie. It was something that was missing in the movies.
Then the Clone Wars Tv series dropped on Cartoon Network (When Cartoon Network used to air good cartoons). As a fan, I watched the episodes like I was watching a terrible Saas-Bahu serial. I also watched the Genndy Tartakovsky version which reminds me of Samurai Jack meets Neon Genesis: Evangelion.
Albeit I got a lot of flacks for it because I wasn’t investing in my studies, I must admit. If it weren’t for Star Wars, Hollywood, and video games, I wouldn’t have learned English. The fact that I learned a subject outside of school makes me question the current education system. Hell, even history videos are more informative and entertaining than the teachers in school. Anyway, when Disney acquired Star Wars in 2012, they announced that they’ll release the Sequel Trilogy. Furthermore, in E3 2013, Electronic Arts and DICE Studios announced the new Star Wars Battlefront game which made me even more excited.
Fast forward to 2015, the game finally came out and I must say, I was disheartened. The game is style with no substance. In other words, the game looks good, lacks content. Although the movie The Force Awakens was great, it was just the rehash of The New Hope. Even the factions, the Resistance and the First Order are just Rebels and Empire with a fresh coat of paint. Then the Last Jedi came and everyone’s perception of Star Wars has changed. To add more spice, Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) came under fire because of the aggressive monetization system like the Loot-boxes. It was so bad, that the Dutch Court fined EA 10 million Euros for implementing it in their games. Belgium had to ban the loot-box because of the controversy. Even Hawaii Representative Chris Lee called it an online gambling cantina to lure kids into spending money. Although DICE improved this game and removed the loot boxes, the damage was already done.
By the time The Rise of Skywalker came out in 2019, people have already given up on Disney’s ability to make Star Wars movies. The movie was just a fanservice material, nothing more. To see one of my beloved franchises being decimated makes me flabbergasted and bamboozled.
In my opinion, Disney had a lot of source materials to utilize. Those materials could have been a reality. Instead, they chose to go the easy route and exploited the nostalgia to make a quick buck. The Star Wars movies under George Lucas (particularly the Prequel Trilogy) had flaws too. For example the cringy dialogue and the overuse of special effects. At least, it had a structured story and the actors were well used. The Sequel trilogy treated its cast like an abandoned house. The cast from the Original Trilogy was treated well, mostly. Although they were killed off in each of the Sequel Trilogy. The new characters were underwhelming. Some were so cringy that the actors who played them were harassed online. The actors are not responsible for the bad writing and directions. The ones who hold the leashed messed it up and they should be called out for it. So I don’t think they should be bullied for it.
Another problem is Disney doesn’t understand Star Wars. They think it’s space, lightsabers, wars, and bounty hunters. To be quite honest, the pre-Disney movies were made for the fans, at foremost. Disney movies on the other hand were made for the average viewers. They think that they’re Marvel movies. But the difference between Star Wars and Marvel is their fans. But Disney doesn’t see that. They only see them as brands to sell more merchandise. Sadly, Star Wars movies have regressed because of the decisions of the upper echelons of Disney.
It’s not all that bad though, the anthology movies are great in their rights. The last season of the Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, Rebels, and the Bad Batch had made me and the fans reinterested in the franchise. EA’s video game, the Jedi Fallen Order was good too. I hope it stays that way. The Star Wars Franchise was something I and the other fans grew up with and we only want what’s best for it. And I hope it continues to be that way.
But given Disney’s recent controversy with the Mulan live-action movie and its current appeasement to the Chinese Government, the future seems uncertain and bleak(Probably to get more communist gold). I hope they don’t mess it further as they did with the Sequel Trilogy.