The Dark & the Light: How the Tone of Star Wars Has Changed

Details surrounding the upcoming Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, were slowly doled out over the course of 2018. We knew first that Jon Favreau was writing and producing the series and that the show would air on Disney's streaming service, Disney+. We know that the show will be set three years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and that it will center on a "lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy." Other than that, there have been few details... until now, that is.

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Speaking on a panel at a Television Critics Association event, Taika Waititi, one of the directors attached to The Mandalorian, hinted that the show would adhere to the tone of the original trilogy, which he stated, "should be adhered to, it's what the fans like."


It'll be interesting to see if the show actually does capture the tone of the original films, and if it's able to distinguish itself from the rest of the contemporary elements of the Star Wars franchise by doing so. The tone of the franchise has evolved significantly in more than 40 years, all without sacrificing the balance between lighthearted fun and intense action and drama.

It's no wonder then that Lucasfilm is incredibly protective of that tone. If you need an example, look no further than Solo: A Star Wars Story, which saw a change in directors quite late into production. It was reported that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy due to the many creative differences between them. The tone they introduced contrasts greatly with the tone the film was ultimately imbued with.

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But what is the current tone of Star Wars and how does it differ from that of the originals? For that, we'll have to take a look back at each trilogy, starting with the newest one.

The sequel trilogy may include familiar faces behaving similarly to their younger selves, but that does very little to draw the tone of the films closer to that of the original trilogy. Both The Force Awakens (directed by J.J. Abrams) and The Last Jedi (directed by Rian Johnson) takes the beloved elements of George Lucas' works and approaches them in new and exciting ways.

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Most viewers will agree that the films do a lot to enhance the action and comedy through different styles of dialogue and camerawork -- angles and techniques that were either limited or completely unused in the other trilogies. Thanks to the editing, the newer films are also slightly faster paced than the originals and the prequels to suit the grounded, humorous dialogue.


NEXT PAGE: So, What is the Tone of the Original Star Wars Trilogy?

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