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Am I losing it or is the Star Wars film franchise finally ready to get its act together?

Instead of retracing the steps of the days of George Lucas, perhaps the Star Wars film announcements at Celebration mean the franchise is ready to go far, far away.


It only came out more than three years ago, but 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker feels like something we don’t speak of. The film happened – retracing many steps of past lore and ignoring why audiences enjoyed 2015’s The Force Awakens worked so well. The first film in the new trilogy combined the old classics and revealed new characters we want to journey with. A former stormtrooper named Finn had a change of heart, joined the resistance, and picked up a lightsaber to fight a master of the Sith. Sure, he got severely beaten – but the thought that only the “chosen few” were force sensitive was a fantastic concept.

This concept continued with the character Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) in 2016’s Rogue One and expanded upon in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi – first with Rey (Daisy Ridley) not having a specific linage, force ghost Yoda burning down a Jedi temple, and a young stablehand using the force to grab a broom. It seemed like the Star Wars story would finally get an injection of new life – much like how George Lucas first constructed the universe influenced by old Westerns.

But instead of forging new paths, the Star Wars franchise has been replaying many old habits. Rise of Skywalker gave us a bunch of zombie Sidiouses in a stadium, a non-sensical love story put together haphazardly, a Chewbacca death fake-out undone by the very next scene, and making Rey a Skywalker. They couldn’t resist the fan service itch at the expense of opening this beloved story to new heights. If you notice, there hasn’t been a theatrical release since 2019, and things have been focused on the smaller screen.

With that being said, shows like The Mandalorian and Andor have given new hope (heh) to the breath of stories that could be told. However, it’s not Star Wars unless you have that major release component. There has been some constant reshuffling in how this would be done and who will be involved – some announcements from the first day of Star Wars Celebration gave me some optimism. The three films announced in particular – James Mangold’s project will focus on the dawn of the Jedi order, Dave Filoni will look to tie the streaming worlds together, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will bring back Daisy Ridley as Rey as she looks to rebuild the Jedi order.

I say, great. Go for it. This franchise needs to start in places where is no previous foundation made. That’s not saying you can’t do callbacks and harken to things people know. If you go to the well too much, you’ll see very little to go on. Case and point might be the limited Kenobi series that happened last year. Under Disney's guidance, Star Wars has fallen in love with staring at its ghost and trying to reduplicate that feeling. The proper way to do that is by allowing the story to get messy, get fearless, and introduce new characters and themes, enabling these new stories to flourish. Most of all, don’t waver at the slight hint of discomfort.

The Last Jedi grossed almost 1.4 billion dollars worthwhile before deciding to throw the car in reverse and hit the “remember this” button readily. Maybe I’m delusional, but these movie announcements make me optimistic. Let’s face it; Star Wars has nowhere to go other than new frontier. A wise person once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (yeah, we all know the quote). Disney got into a loop of chasing the thing instead of making a new reason to love it. They have gotten every drop out of the nostalgic fruit, and now it’s time to see some story-making muscle. Not just the Darth Vader “in case of emergency” move.