Star Wars has recently been criticized as being fatigued as a franchise. Are we getting movies too much? Is it time for Disney to cool down the production?
The franchise fatigue for theory for Star Wars implies a number of facts to be true. First and foremost, people are tired of seeing Star Wars. Second, there is such a thing as too much Star Wars.
Is this really the case?
The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi both did well at the box office, but the latter especially has faced a backlash among fans. While both films stand up in their own right, they don’t advance the saga the right way.
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The Force Awakens in a lot of ways felt like an update of A New Hope. Young person living on desert planet ends up being force sensitive, flies around with Han Solo and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon, and ends up embarking on a quest against an evil government led by a dark lord.
The Last Jedi didn’t feel like a reboot of The Empire Strikes Back, but it was ambitious in all the wrong ways. Instead of setting out to take the saga in new directions, it seemed more set on burning things down and starting anew.
Episode IX needs to close out the Skywalker saga and set up for a bright franchise future.
If there is anything Legends teaches us, it’s that the stories are endless. We learned about Jedi and Sith wars thousands of years into the past and descendants of the Skywalkers generations into the future. There were alien invasions, Bounty Hunter plots, political intrigue and other fresh plots across many types of worlds.
The big point that separated the Legends authors from the newer films is the ability to separate from the past without discarding it.
Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire introduced a new threat, new worlds and new characters, while retaining a certain familiarity about the world. Luke Skywalker still acted consistently with the character we’ve always known. As did Leia, Han, Chewbacca and others.
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Adam Driver has acted well, but the Kylo Ren role is not anything new. He rules in the same manner as Darth Vader, which is with brute force and ruthlessness. It’s not a fresh direction.
Supreme Leader Snoke feels too much like Emperor Palpatine, in being a mysterious leader who hides and lets a subordinate do his bidding.
If anything, the franchise isn’t fatigued, it’s just suffering from the same old story being rehashed.
Grand Admiral Thrawn was new. He didn’t rule with emotion and he wasn’t overwhelming in the sense that Darth Vader was. He was a strategist with a respect for his opponent’s abilities. He played chess while everyone else was playing checkers.
The future of Star Wars doesn’t need to adhere to the Legends continuity to be successful and it doesn’t even necessarily need to borrow from it. But the future has to be fresh. When moviegoers sit in the theater watching the epic conclusion to the Skywalker saga, nobody should walk out feeling like they’ve been there before.
Perhaps even more so, Episode IX needs to be fresh, while being respectful of what’s been established.
The franchise isn’t fatigued, but it desperately needs new energy and a strong future. There are more stories to tell. We don’t constantly need a rebellious element versus an evil government.
There are more stories in the galaxy far, far away waiting to be explored.