Star Wars: Disney falling short
Solo is easily the best of the crop of Disney films, but especially in terms of character development and emotion. Rogue One is a competently executed action film and has one of the best battle scenes in all of Star Wars, but there’s no serious attempt at character development or building emotion, and performances and “characters” are dull and barely developed, with only a robot even being somewhat interesting or funny and no one else even coming close to the robot.
Despite fine actors being attached to the actual Sequel Trilogy and even solid acting performances, the writing and storytelling were so insanely terrible that no actors could save the convoluted mess.
The Force Awakens negated the sacrifice of Vader and his redemption by Luke by basically putting the galaxy in the same peril Vader’s sacrifice and Luke’s redemption of Vader was supposed to save it from. The middle chapter—Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi—was a betrayal of Luke Skywalker and the very heart of Star Wars itself, and the final movie in the trilogy—The Rise of Skywalker—shoved so much unnecessary, poorly-conceived and barely-explained random junk and characters into the nonsensical plot that any major power behind the climaxes was severely diluted or fell flat (not to say that there weren’t some nice moments, but the totality was a train wreck of storytelling).
And Star Wars: Rebels had nowhere near the character development or emotional buildup not because the show was shorter but because the majority of the show was predictable and redundant and there was not as much effort to develop the characters. There were some excellent moments and payoffs (spoilers: basically everything with Vader, Ahoska, and, to a lesser degree, Thrawn), but the best moments of the show— Ahsoka’s confronting Vader, her reuniting with Rex, and the final Obi-Wan/Maul duel —earned their payoffs nearly entirely from content outside of Rebels, essentially piggybacking on the efforts and gravitas of Clone Wars.
And as for Resistance, well, I haven’t seen it. So even with so much content over the past seven years from Disney, those of us seeking character-driven, emotional buildup have been left bitterly disappointed, with only the rarest of moments even being anywhere near that ballpark.