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  • Writer's picture The Vindicator

The Uncertain State of “Star Wars”

A look at the current state of the “Star Wars” franchise and my hopes for the future.

Written by Andrew Paduano

It is a period of mystery in the world of the famous “STAR WARS” franchise. Ever since the insidious COVID-19 PANDEMIC, the franchise and the FILM INDUSTRY declined in activity. 

Along with years of CIVIL WAR among the fanbase due to the controversial SEQUEL TRILOGY, the culture has taken hits. Many projects have also been announced by DISNEY, only to be canceled or never heard from again.

But a new hope emerges. Famed feature films are catching the attention of general audiences once again. Newly-announced DAISY RIDLEY and DAVE FILONI films bring excitement for the future. Fans are left to see if these films will spark or kill the burning flame that is the current state of “STAR WARS.” 

Author’s Note:

I’m sharing thoughts from my perspective. They may be wrong and yours may be different. This is not an informational piece. If I wanted to go deep into specific films and shows, I’d need a whole issue!

What I’ve Observed

“Star Wars” is currently in a place of mystery. There’s been many Disney+ shows released recently, but a lot of their storytelling has felt a bit directionless and was met with controversy. There also haven't been any feature films since the last film in the Skywalker saga and sequel trilogy, “Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker.” Even though I did not think the sequels were well-written films, I enjoyed them immensely. I really miss the build up to when new “Star Wars” films came out. They’re really just amazing holidays.

It’s been commonplace for “Star Wars” projects to be announced, only to be canceled or not heard from again. With all the aforementioned things affecting the franchise over the past five or so years, I also cannot help but feel like general interest in the franchise has also declined. Don’t get me wrong, I still very much appreciate and happily enjoy the new shows. Some have even had moments that I only dreamed would come to the screen. “Star Wars” is still flourishing, but not as much as I would hope. There are still plenty of general audiences who are generally accepting of it. But, in my experience, I have not heard many ordinary people talk about the new “Star Wars” stuff like they did when the previous sequel films started releasing, except for communities I follow on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

There’s not been many new characters or captivating stories that anyone talks about like they would for shows such as “Breaking Bad” (very extreme example, but you get the idea). Shows like “The Mandalorian” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” certainly have many scenes with epic fan moments, but from what I’ve observed, they were talked about for a little and not much long after. And, among the fans, I see a lot of controversy. If you’ve seen any amount of “Star Wars” fans online, you know the topic can be just as (if not more) dangerous as politics and religion. To be fair though, Star Wars fans have been like this for decades.

The Writing 

Could the lack of traditional feature films be the main cause? Or the disruptions from COVID-19? I don’t know, but it’s probably a combination of factors. I suspect that it has a lot to do with the writing — the way the stories and characters are being told. They’re just not strong enough to keep many people interested long-term. With millions of movies, TV shows and short-form content being produced, it's getting harder to stand out and capture people’s attention. Many people want rich stories that are well-written. Bigger companies like Disney seem to prefer assembly-line production. They churn out what sells and use highly efficient (but still very cool and innovative) productions such as “the volume” sets. I get that they operate on large scales and have tight deadlines, so the storytelling may not be as easy to get right, but maybe they should rethink their processes a bit and focus more on the storytelling and characters. Maybe they already do this — most people don’t know what actually goes on behind the scenes — but it doesn’t seem like it.

Not all — but many — of the new TV shows seem to lack structure. Sometimes, there are a lot of “filler” episodes. Sometimes, the main story will not connect to anything or explain the state of the galaxy in a meaningful way. Sometimes, if the story is meant to be smaller-scale, it is not contained and rather connected to larger stories. This happened in “The Book of Boba Fett,” leaving its main storyline about Boba Fett feeling neglected.

What I Hope For

I hope for stronger writing and characters in the franchise: stories that make logical sense, flow well and continue to grab people’s attention more. Many midseason episodes of “The Book of Boba Fett” focus on a completely different story. The episodes barely had any connection — they were really just “The Mandalorian” episodes. While the show had its cool moments, it overall felt somewhat hollow. And “Andor,” which showcases the kind of quality of character, storytelling and world building I’m looking for, barely got any attention. Some other good shows such as the animated series “Star Wars: Visions” and “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” have not seemed to spark much discussion except from the most devoted fans.

However, I do have faith in the newly announced Rey movie (starring Daisy Ridley), and the upcoming movie by Dave Filoni, chief creative officer of Lucasfilm. Both are said to be features, which “Star Wars” is known for drawing a ton of attention towards in the past. The Filoni movie may tie together many of the stories that were left unfulfilled in the recent TV shows, possibly featuring one main villain and a strong event that the story is structured around. 

Ridley also said in a recent Josh Horowitz interview that she believes the new Rey movie will be very fun and that if she didn’t have faith in the story, she wouldn’t be doing it. I trust her word on this and it makes me excited.

There have also been amazing moments in the recent shows. We got to see Luke Skywalker being a Jedi again. We got Baby Yoda. We got to see live-action Thrawn in “Ahsoka” and it was a dream come true. I loved every second of his screen time, especially his entrance scene. However, I did not think he was written well. He was not the tactical genius we knew from the books. At least, not yet.

I’m not saying “Star Wars” is doomed or that it should “go back to the good old days.” Rather with more thought-out writing, the new “Star Wars” projects can gain and keep the attention of many more people. 

They got the spirit, just not the execution.


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