After the recent news that Disney acquired 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, one would begin to worry about the implications of such a deal. The incredibly massive company which also bought Star Wars and Marvel a few years back has massive stakes in the film and television industry and owns a lot of the properties you love. Sci-fi isn’t too far from reality anymore. Think of Disney’s power in mass media today as comparable to that of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation in the Alien series. By the way, Disney owns Alien as well.
When such a huge company buys other properties, the new owners are bound to use those properties to their advantage. As much as they want to create new and thrilling art, at the end of the day they want to make money and there will always be a corporate mentality behind the films they produce. In the case of some properties, it can be devastating to the fanbase. And as well all know, in the case of Star Wars, the fanbase is massive and each film has a lot to live up to. Here are the 15 worst things that Disney has done to the Star Wars saga.
15. J.J. ABRAMS
Although there was huge hype and a lot of fanfare about Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it first came out, now that the dust has settled, people have realized that it actually isn’t such a great movie. They realized that they had been fooled by a team that was dedicated to pleasing fans without taking any risks.
A lot of those issues come down to writer-director J.J. Abrams who expertly manipulated audiences by playing off of their feelings towards beloved characters. This isn’t to say that the film is bad by any means, but there isn’t much that is very original in the film. Sure there are new characters and new enemies, but the film is practically a reboot of the original Star Wars: A New Hope.
A lot of fans had a huge issue with the fact that Rian Johnson’s latest addition to the Star Wars saga featured the death of the big bad villain without audiences ever being able to find out much about the character’s history or motivation to do evil. Where did he even come from? Fans were also disappointed that Snoke never took part in an epic lightsaber battle.
He was killed before he had his moment to shine. To be fair, we would argue that the last thing we would want would be another prequel trilogy featuring the rise of Snoke. As cool as it sounded to hear about the rise of the Sith and Darth Vader, look at how that turned out. Also Yoda’s battle with Darth Sidious was pretty embarrassing.
13. RECYCLED PLOTS
For a film series that was based on the unbound creativity of a young writer-director with a lot to say, there have so many recycled plot points in Disney’s run on Star Wars movies that it is frightening just how unoriginal some aspects of these films are. There are so many callbacks to George Lucas’ films that at some point it starts to get annoying.
When are they going to try something original rather than doing a remixed version of the same thing? From every single major beat in The Force Awakens to a few key scenes in The Last Jedi — most notably when Rey is brought to Snoke which calls back to Luke’s meeting with Darth Vader and the Emperor in the original trilogy.
12. CONVOLUTED STORIES
Star Wars films tend to make their characters jump through countless hoops a lot for the sole purpose of entertaining the audience with different worlds and creatures. As great as that sounds, sometimes these superfluous scenes can bog down the film. Let’s take The Last Jedi as an example since it is so fresh in our minds.
Since the film needed something for Poe and Finn to do while Rey was doing the heavy lifting, the film sends them on a wild goose chase where they have to find an expert hacker to help them infiltrate the First Order ship to stop their enemies from tracking them so that the Resistance can escape. All of this nonsense takes place because Vice Admiral Hondo decided to keep vital information from our heroes.
11. MILKING CHARACTERS
In a pivotal moment in The Last Jedi when Kylo Ren tries to seduce Rey to join him on his quest that goes beyond the teachings of the Jedi and the First Order, he tells her “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.” As compelling as that argument is, it appears that Disney has no interest in following Ren’s advice.
If Rogue One wasn’t enough proof that Disney isn’t done milking the past, they will continue to milk it by creating a prequel movie for Han Solo entitled Solo: A Star Wars Story which will be released in May of 2018 staring Alden Ehrenreich as the smart-mouthed space crook. We certainly hope that the film turns out to be a success, but we all know how milking Darth Vader’s origins turned out.
10. CAPTAIN PHASMA
Captain Phasma, much like Boba Fett, ended up being a shiny new toy that was actually a pretty pointless character when push comes to shove. These characters certainly look really cool, and they look like they can inflict a lot of damage, but we never actually see that on screen.
Captain Phasma has very little screen time in her two film appearances, yet people fell in love with the character as soon as they saw her, which explains why they were so upset when she was killed after only a few minutes of screen time in The Last Jedi. Star Wars fans get so caught up in minor characters that they fail to realize that the actual character will never live up to their fantasies.
Unfortunately, Finn is probably the least interesting character in the Disney Star Wars trilogy. His character doesn’t really do much besides run away and warn others to run away, all in the name of helping Rey who certainly doesn’t need his help. Sure, sometimes he decides to stay and fight, but then he reverts back to running away. In The Last Jedi, there was a fleeting moment where he became interesting.
At the end of the film, he attempts to thwart the attempts of the First Order to break down the barricade, when Rose saves him at the last second by pushing him out of the way. The one time he was about to do something interesting, a selfless act for the Resistance (rather than Rey) and become an interesting character who would die a noble death, Rose had to ruin it. It was a rather disappointing moment.
A lot of people grew up loving the original Star Wars trilogy because of how creative it was. At its core, it’s about the struggle between good and evil, but there is so much going on that we had never seen before on film that it was an incredibly engaging experience, and it still is today. Even though some of the special effects might not hold up quite as well as they used to, the humor is still fantastic.
The same cannot be said for all of Disney’s attempts at humor in the series. The most recent entry featured an exchange between Poe Dameron and General Hux where Poe pretends to have a problem hearing him over their audio transmission. It really undermines Hux’s position as an intimidating villain, and it’s not even funny.
A lot of fans felt that Luke Skywalker’s behavior in The Last Jedi was completely out of character for the hero. They find it extremely hard to believe that Luke would reject the teachings of the Jedi, and, in a moment of weakness, almost kill his nephew because he feared the darkness present within Ben. What these fans fail to realize is that Luke is human, which makes him imperfect just like the rest of us.
He struggles with the light and dark side of the Force just like anyone else. And if we are to believe his version of the story, the dark side of the Force held him in its grasp for just a moment before he realized what he was doing and came back to his senses — but it was too late, as we well know.
6. MAZ KANATA
Don’t have a reason to include Yoda in the new Disney films because it would be completely random for him to appear as a Force Ghost to Rey? No problem! JJ Abrams decided to create another 2-foot being that spouts wisdom. Enter Maz Kanata. Don’t worry, this character is totally original because she isn’t green like Yoda. She’s orange! Plus she has Coke bottle glasses and Yoda didn’t have that so that means she’s completely original.
If she is such a major player in the Star Wars universe, how come she never made an appearance before these Disney films? Also, her cameo in The Last Jedi served absolutely no purpose. She just showed up so that fans wouldn’t complain that we would have never found out what happened to her after The Force Awakens.
5. BEHIND THE SCENES DRAMA
There is a lot of behind the scenes drama regarding these new Disney Star Wars films. Both Rogue One and the much anticipated Han Solo spinoff films have had a lot of issues to contend with. First, Rogue One had massive reshoots and rewrites courtesy of Tony Gilroy, the director who brought us The Bourne Identity, who took over the duties from Gareth Edwards.
Luckily fans seemed to enjoy the film so all the drama turned out okay. As for the Han Solo film, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller clashed a lot with Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy. Apparently, Kennedy ran a very tight ship and she didn’t approve of the way the directors were handling the entire shooting process. They were promptly fired and replaced by Ron Howard. Ouch.
There is so much nostalgia oozing from every frame of the Disney Star Wars films that it can become sickening. Is it really necessary to play off of people’s nostalgia to get a rise out of them? For example, was it really necessary to include a CGI Tarkin and Leia in Rogue One? Doesn’t it make much more sense as an auteur to prove the quality of your work based on your own merits rather than piggybacking off of the work of others?
You could argue that any time a new director makes a sequel or reboot of a film series, they are also piggybacking off the work of others, but if they are skilled directors, they are able to take what has come before as the while creating something entirely new and thrilling. We’re not saying it’s an easy endeavor, but it’s certainly worth the effort.
3. REY’S LINEAGE
Since the first trailer for The Force Awakens was released, fans analyzed each second of footage in the hopes of finding out who Rey was and where she came from. There are countless fan theories online linking her to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and even Leia and Han Solo, making her Ben Solo’s sister.
However, it appears (for the time being, unless JJ Abrams decides to reveal that Ben’s admission that her parents are nobodies is a lie) that Rey’s lineage actually has nothing to do with anyone we have seen in the Skywalker saga, and a lot of fans are up in arms about this decision. However, Rey’s heroics prove that you don’t have to be a Skywalker to be a hero — you can be anyone.
2. RIAN JOHNSON
Admittedly, we enjoyed Rian Johnson’s film, which completely upended everything that JJ Abrams set up in The Force Awakens, because he decided to take a lot of risks with the characters and shocking turns in the story rather than play it safe.
However, a lot of fans who were actually annoyed that Abrams’ film had to many similarities to A New Hope were the same fans that were annoying with Johnson for taking so many risks and actually doing something a little different within the Star Wars universe. In fact, based on the scores fans have been giving The Last Jedi, they are really angry that he didn’t play it safe. If they wanted more of the same thing, why didn’t they just watch the original trilogy again?
1. NEW FORCE POWERS
A lot of people lost their minds when Rey, a newbie to the Force, was able to defeat Kylo Ren in a lightsaber fight at the end of The Force Awakens. They assumed she must have some kind of special Force Power. Then in The Last Jedi, Rey and Kylo Ren are able to speak telepathically and actually see each other through the Force, while Luke Skywalker learned how to Force Project and Yoda can burn down the tree which holds the ancient Jedi texts.
In Rogue One, it is revealed that even non-Jedi are able to be in tune with the Force, which bothered some fans. All of these instances are completely new to the Star Wars film universe, and a lot of fans were really annoyed that the new films take a lot of liberties with the Force.
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