Why The Star Wars Sequels Were Always Going To Be Disappointing

Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the crucial iconic collection in all of popular culture, with a historical past that stretches again many years. However all through that historical past, the franchise has had no scarcity of entries which have sparked controversy amongst followers.

From the much-maligned Prequel Trilogy to the notorious Vacation Particular, Star Wars has been upsetting its followers for nearly so long as it’s existed. However in recent times, the collection’ largest punching again has been the Sequel Trilogy, consisting of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX of the Skywalker Saga. Many followers see advantage within the Sequels regardless of their popularity, whereas many extra see them as a blight upon the franchise that may be greatest wiped from canon — however no matter high quality, this type of polarizing reception to the Sequel Trilogy was inevitable from the start.

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Clearly, any new entry in Star Wars canon goes to be below loads of scrutiny it doesn’t matter what. The collection has one of many largest fandoms on the earth, which signifies that no story will be capable to please everybody. However a direct canon continuation of the Authentic Trilogy on the massive display — one thing that followers had thought unattainable for many years — is one thing that may at all times be doomed to disappoint no matter what. And on this case, the issue lies not solely with the fanbase however with an inherent flaw within the very premise of a Sequel Trilogy.

The final shot of Return of the Jedi

Initially, Return of the Jedi was supposed because the grand finale of the whole Star Wars saga, and its story was written to replicate this. It’s the proper end result of each character’s improvement — Han proves himself as a real hero, Leia discovers she nonetheless has household, and Luke holds onto hope and overcomes the Darkish Aspect, changing into a real Jedi within the course of. And naturally, Darth Vader chooses his family over his master, destroying Emperor Palpatine and taking his final breaths as Anakin Skywalker as soon as once more. Even Lando will get to pilot the Millennium Falcon yet another time. No matter how you’re feeling concerning the Ewoks or the Jabba’s Palace phase, Return of the Jedi is an ideal ending to the Authentic Trilogy in each means that counts. It ties collectively each theme and character arc that’s been build up all through the collection to supply a cathartic, becoming conclusion to the story.

The ultimate scene could not present how the Empire is dismantled or whether or not Luke begins a brand new Jedi Order, however it reveals all the things that issues. The heroes of the Revolt have fun their hard-fought victory after bringing an finish to the Empire’s reign, the entire galaxy looking to the skies with hope because the misplaced heroes of the previous watch over their successors with satisfaction. The conflict that started with the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan is lastly over, permitting the fallen brothers to relaxation in the end. It’s a cheerful ending of the perfect type — touching, heartfelt, and well-earned. However in fact, that is now not the true ending of the Skywalker Saga.

In any case, the mere existence of a Sequel Trilogy that continues the story of the Revolt and the Empire signifies that by necessity, the ending of Return of the Jedi can now not perform inside canon because the definitive ending it was meant to be. The story isn’t as over as it seemed, which robs the conclusion of the Authentic Trilogy of a few of its thematic weight. In any case, what good is a cheerful ending if the story retains going afterward?


And therein lies the issue with making a Sequel Trilogy to start with. Luke, Leia, and Han already received the proper ending to their tales, so bringing them again for extra would solely do extra hurt than good. At greatest, any new story that might be instructed with them wouldn’t be capable to stay as much as the Authentic Trilogy, and at worst, it will actively undermine the story of the earlier movies. And certain sufficient, plenty of Star Wars fans weren’t happy with how the Sequel Trilogy handled the legacy of the earlier movies.

Whereas some followers discovered Han’s loss of life to be an appropriately stunning and tragic second, others have been dissatisfied that he died earlier than he might be reunited with Luke. And naturally, Luke himself proved to be an much more polarizing determine in The Final Jedi. Many moviegoers have been livid at seeing the once-great Jedi Knight diminished to a bitter shell of a person as a result of very worry and impulsiveness he had conquered again within the Authentic Trilogy. In the meantime, some thought-about his sendoff a becoming one, with the hero of the old generation dying peacefully after passing the torch to his successor. And whereas Leia’s time within the trilogy was sadly lower brief by Carrie Fisher’s premature passing, followers stay divided on how satisfying her present position within the story is.

After which, in fact, there’s the matter of the Emperor. Though Palpatine was thought gone after Anakin sacrificed his life to destroy him, he was revealed to be alive and nicely in The Rise of Skywalker by way of conspicuously ambiguous means, manipulating the occasions of the Sequel Trilogy from the shadows. At first, some followers have been excited to see the final word villain of Star Wars return for the grand finale of the Skywalker Saga, however in follow, Palpatine’s massive comeback proved to be quite problematic for quite a lot of causes. Placing apart how Palpatine was truly written within the movie, the actual fact that he returned after Episode VI renders Anakin’s sacrifice all however utterly meaningless. It’s nonetheless an ideal ending of his character arc, actually, however the truth that his betrayal of the Emperor had no lasting penalties positively provides the second a lot much less weight if one watches Return of the Jedi with the Sequel Trilogy in thoughts.

Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker

The truth is, the whole story of the Authentic Trilogy suffers due to Palpatine’s unexplained revival. Regardless of all the things the Revolt does to take down the Empire, regardless of all of the sacrifices the heroes make, their efforts are rendered meaningless in the long term. In any case, the galaxy solely is aware of peace for a couple of years before the Empire returns within the type of the First Order, with the Emperor himself nonetheless pulling the strings. Nothing actually modified at all around the course of 30 years, and Han, Luke, and Leia all find yourself dying due to it. The once-optimistic ending of Episode VI is rendered downright grim in hindsight, figuring out all of the tragedy that’s nonetheless to return.

No matter one’s private ideas on the standard of the Sequel Trilogy, it’s arduous to disclaim that the story of the Authentic Trilogy suffers a bit when it loses its sense of closure and finality. The endings that have been initially supposed for Luke, Leia, Han, and the Emperor work a lot better thematically than those they’ve now — which raises the query of whether or not a direct sequel to the Original Trilogy might ever work in any respect. Whereas different entries within the new Star Wars canon like Rogue One, Rebels, and The Mandalorian have been welcome additions, the controversy attributable to the Sequels far outweighs their deserves. Maybe this was one story higher left untold.

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