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Film

5 Reasons The 'Star Wars' Franchise Is Failing And We All Know It

With significant decreases in box office sales since "Solo," Disney and Lucasfilm must correct these five things in order to turn the series back toward the better.

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Since Disney bought Lucasfilm, it was obvious that it was going to be maxed out. Audiences just hoped it would be to Star Wars' benefit. That does not mean that the saga is beyond being saved. Although the following issues must be amended.

Disney, Lucasfilm, this is the opportunity to make things right, don't throw it away.

Failure to follow through.

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When "Star Wars" first blasted onto the scene, the audience was lead to believe that Luke Skywalker would be the one to bring balance to the universe. Then with the prequel series, Anakin is told he is potentially the "chosen one" of prophecy that is to bring balance. (Which could be argued if you count him being the father of the twins who work towards that goal.) This could be acceptable if it ended here, yet now this goal of "bringing balance" is shouldered off onto Rey and Kylo Ren (the grandson of Anakin). When is this ever going to end?! The goal is clearly stated, and the prophecy is there; so when will it be achieved.

Every story has to have an end, whether the audience likes it or not. Just like everything else, there has to be an end to that particular storyline at the very least. Yes, the battle between good and evil will forever rage on, but the manifestation of that is different in each story. Take Greek Mythology, for example, there are hundreds of separate storylines all set in the one Greek Mythos universe and dozens of characters have multiple stories to their names. Yet each hero's story has a definitive end. Those ends are part of what adds gravity and reality to their stories.

The franchise could make movies about similar hero's journeys set in either in the distant past, such as the story leading into the formation of the Jedi Order, or about new characters also in the current "The Force Awakens" timeline that have no contact with the Skywalker lineage but eventually help turn the tide to create the conclusion of that storyline as a whole. The story loses its intrigue and appeal if there is no real sense of achievement; and in order to achieve the goal, the quests must be completed and prophecy fulfilled. At the current rate, the franchise will deter even their most dedicated fans from following, if the hamster wheel of Skywalker-centric movies continues just like the Cantina song.

Potentially ruining their best characters.

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Anyone who has seen the original series can attest to the fact that Han Solo stole the show. Part of his appeal was the mystery of his origin and his sass. Half of the appeal is now demystified and arguably to no great effect. The "Solo" stand-alone movie is not doing well, as evident through the significantly lower box office sales that I won't bore you with; and perhaps, just maybe, it's because the fans have lost some confidence in the franchise. I work at a movie theater and I can truthfully say that the number one comment I get from guests on their way to and from the movie is, "Why not an Obi Wan Kenobi movie first?" They have a point too, at least Obi Wan's story would lead into the series in a more substantial way. To Disney's credit, it has been announced that an Obi Wan movie is in the works. And a Boba Fett movie, and probably a laundry list of others.

Obi Wan Kenobi and Han Solo are obvious choices for stand-alone movies, but Boba Fett? Yes, he's a great character, but in terms of screen time he's only been on screen for up to 18 minutes maximum between the movies. It should be a huge red flag to the franchise that one of their best selling and well-known characters is one that only got 18 minutes between several movies. Let's emphasize that, after the success of his debut, there were multiple chances to incorporate Boba into the series more. Yet decades later the franchise finally decides to utilize Boba...

Then in "Solo," which is set between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, there is the revival of a character who was (based on the movies) believed to be dead. Without spoiling any surprises, the reason to pay attention to this is that the resuscitated character had five minutes or less of screen time before this appearance, and it raises the question of if this character going to show up in "Star Wars Episode IX"? The character was great and was underutilized before, although this does not seem to be a strong move for the series. If it is easier or more effective to revive a previously dead character, in comparison to writing a new and equally great one, then the writing itself is flawed.

What are the consequences behind the characters' choices if even the dead characters don't stay dead?

Too many mediums all at once.

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There are the original movies, the prequels, the sequels, books, comics, radio dramas, and television shows all centered around "Star Wars" Does anyone even know what to believe is canon to the series anymore? Naturally fan fiction does not play into that, yet the universe as the franchise is writing and presenting it is getting too confusing. Of course there are some that take the time to work it all out and make videos explaining it. But the average viewer/reader of any "Star Wars" medium should not have to watch explanatory videos on the universe just to make sense of it all.

The television series is supposed to tie in with the movies, and yet, for some reason that no one has been able to explain concisely. Parts of the books and t.v. shows are not canon to the universe anymore. Characters that were killed off in the movies are resuscitated in the t.v. series and then tied back into the movies. For the average viewer, who is a fan but does not consume more than one or two forms of the franchise, this is confusing and appears to be bad writing.

Just in this last month a new movie, 11 comics, and three books were added to the franchise's universe… How can the franchise expand and thrive if its fans are so overwhelmed with content that they'd rather just drop it and walk away?

Cash grab.

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This isn't about the toys, clothing, decor, and other merchandise. Those products are normal and expected from a big franchise. What makes it seem like the franchise is out to scoop up money before it burns out, is the fact that it pushed for and released two movies in one year. "The Last Jedi" was released on December 15th of 2017, followed by "Solo"on May 25th. Though two different crews and casts were necessary to make the movies, it seemed rushed. Plus the news of director changes does not usually bode well for the final product. The movie release dates are getting pushed up and back and all over the place, which does not make fans more confident in their quality leading up to their debuts. Take your time Disney.

Annoying side characters.

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Each reader immediately thinks of at least one character that annoyed them, just by reading the section header. (Usually, Jar Jar Binks is on that list.) Not every character is meant to be liked, but there are some in the "Star Wars" universe that shouldn't have had as much screen time as they did. For example, Rose Tico in "The Last Jedi"seemed more like a caricature or a fangirl than anything else. The "romance" (if so generously stated) between her and Finn was not even laughable.

Spoiler alert for "Solo" impending: droid L3-37 was grating to experience. L3-37 assuming that Lando was romantically interested in her was just weird and came out of nowhere. The attempt at comedy is evident but it surely missed the mark and didn't add anything worthwhile to the character. The heavy emphasis and unnecessary repeat cameos of the porg in "The Last Jedi"just oozes the intent to sell toys, which leads back to the last point. Characters like Salacious B. Crumb (Jabba the Hutt's pet) are just sloppy attempts at comedy and highlight poor design choices since all the "baddies" look filthy and sleazy. Given a whole universe of different species, it should not be so easy to spot the baddies by appearance alone.

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