In defense of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I’ve defended Star Wars: The Last Jedi (an opinion that automatically inserts unnecessary fan rage and unreasonable attacks) to which Marvel just did at the end of Infinity War, by the way, except Rian Johnson did it three or four times in one film.
By that, I mean, the part when your mouth gaped and popcorn fell out of it while your brain tried to comprehend the screen as if advanced nuclear physics calculations had appeared on it.
Just speaking from a film perspective, Marvel is doing something that hasn’t been done since films first came out: They’re serializing movies. You can say George Lucas’ wanted to create the modern serial by imitating the Buck Rogers films he loved as a child, but he didn’t do that.
Instead, he established something incredible in making what is a Saga about family and friendship against the backdrop of cosmic war and wonderful effects. Marvel has weaved an interconnected tale that never intends to end with multiple properties flying towards us at a record pace three to four times a year. And, they are doing it with quantity and quality.
Obviously, mimicking Marvel is all the rage. The DC extended universe has tried to latch onto Marvel’s shoes, and franchises like Universal’s Monsterverse’s are sprouting all over like roving multi-million dollar black holes. Star Wars has already begun to break from its path with stand-alone films and new trilogies on the horizon—but will they ever compete with what Marvel has pulled off?
Some slight advantages may be in Marvel’s favor as they have almost 80 years of story points to rip and coalesce from. Star Wars sports the Legends tales, but they don’t have something similar to Marvel who sports how many Infinity something or other titles?
Purely from a storytelling perspective, everyone already knows the characters. So when someone like Tom Holland dons the Spidey suit, we don’t need backstory anymore. Whereas, in the Star Wars universe, our new heroes are introduced and fleshed out or in Rey’s case, unfleshed. Still, something I would always hang my hat on was that Marvel did heroes while Star Wars pulled off better villains.
If Loki was the best villain Marvel had, the conflicted Kylo Ren had more depth to him. Infinity War may be considered ensemble, but it’s Thanos’ film. And, Thanos’ machinations, horrible and flawed, come from a place that is somewhat…human.