Under Disney, The Future Of Star Wars Is Unsure
Entertainment

Under Disney, The Future of 'Star Wars' is unsure

Contrary to its own central message of peace, the new films find themselves torn between devotion to the franchise's past and creation of some sort of viable future.

47
Under Disney, The Future of 'Star Wars' is unsure
Disney's Lucasfilm Ltd.

At the heart of Star Wars is a quest for peace: peace within the self as well as a quest for good. Its daring worldbuilding to tell human stories about spirituality and morality not only created a critically acclaimed film series but created characters in whom viewers could see themselves. Currently, however, there is a distinct sense that Star Wars is not fully at peace with itself. This disharmony of the new movies is evident not only in the inner-workings of the franchise but also in the stories themselves which seem to struggle between reliance upon the secure past and extension into the unpromising future.

Since purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney has rapidly released four new Star Wars films: "The Force Awakens," "Rogue One," "The Last Jedi," and "Solo." As of now, these movies could be put in two categories: those planted in the past, crafting stories that exist within an already-laid groundwork, and those attempting to find viable futures outside the shadow of the forty-one-year legacy. Disney purchased the sprawling franchise for $4 billion only seven years after the release of "Revenge of the Sith," the last of three prequel movies filled with empty dialogue, rigid heroes, chafing rules, and mindless duels that glamorized weapons intended to be used only in emergencies. In inheriting something which had just been tampered with unsuccessfully, Disney executives seemed to have detected one thing above all—people are fiercely protective of that which initially won their hearts.

What we see in "The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One" are attempts to recreate the Star Wars that was under siege. Creators made the safe decision to plunge into the past of a veritable masterwork: fans were assured that practical effects and careful casting would paint a portrait of the original trilogy. "The Force Awakens" clearly mirrors "A New Hope," reloading the story so that it may repeat itself with a refreshed cast of characters. It introduces new characters and one or two new questions, but it largely falls back upon what has been proven, including John Williams' essential musical presence. "Rogue One" similarly serves as an ode to the classic films. Taking place right before "A New Hope," the attire, palette, speech, technology, and environments are evocative of the everything fans first fell in love with, and Michael Giacchino's musical choices mirror those of Williams; the plot even unexpectedly becomes an encomium to "A New Hope" by sacrificing its characters for the sake of the rebel alliance.

The parallels drawn by both movies are poignant and fascinating; The Force Awakens suggests a reassuring circularity within the Star Wars universe, while Rogue One portrays the galaxy as we first met it and clarifies how it exists because of the sacrifices of a few. But we also see amidst the striking beauty of the familiar what could be dismissed as safe choices; in the depths of the scripts lie the same stories cloaked in another skin. In making these movies it is possible that Disney has proven to be a master not of ingenuity but of mimicry and profitable continuity.

On the opposing end we have the two most recent films, "The Last Jedi" and "Solo," one of which has some storylines so foreign to the feel of the original trilogy that a campaign has been launched to completely remake the film, and the other of which has underperformed in the box office. Almost eight months after its release, "The Last Jedi" is still receiving criticism because it took the trusted parallels by which J.J. Abrams suspended the new trilogy and cut it free of the past, injecting the plot with shocking new themes such as struggling against a sense of worthlessness and questioning tradition.

"The Last Jedi" tries to find a new path for the trilogy by freeing it of the path that seemed to be laid out for it, but in doing so frustrated millions of fans and probably baffled creators and producers. "Solo" likewise aims for something different tonally; it is a simple romp with none of the spiritual and emotional heft of the other films. The palette is brighter and sharper and the score by "How to Train Your Dragon's" John Powell warmer and more irreverent. The end result is an adrenaline-fueled, irrepressible portrait of a quasi-Han Solo's borderline directionless misadventures.

These two do not follow in the footsteps of their cinematic siblings, but they have received the harshest criticism. Does this uneasy extension mean that Disney is unable to venture further into this universe? Are the creators they hire able only to recreate and not create?

As of now the trajectory of the Star Wars films is entirely uncertain. The question remains as to how Disney will respond to the critical and monetary chastisement which seems only to increase with each entry. Creators are clearly struggling to carve out a narrative future with the weight of the past upon their shoulders. But, as George Lucas has made so clear, he always strived to make in Star Wars something that wasn't there before. It is a radical, outrageous landscape for a father and son or a smug outlaw and fully armed princess to find each other… but executives should note that audacity and creation are in the very fibers of stories that need to be told.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments