Star Wars Celebration Day has come and gone, and we got a host of new announcements. From the first trailer for The Last Jedi to the revealing of Star Wars Battlefront II, fans of the franchise have plenty to sink their teeth into for the rest of this year. It seems that there will be no end to the properties, movies, and merchandise that Star Wars fans will be receiving, and we love every minute of it.
But let’s take a few steps backward for a moment.
Star Wars has become such a cultural phenomenon over the years that it is inescapable. Everyone knows who Darth Vader is unless they’re really sheltered or living under a rock. This franchise is big and has been ever since the original trilogy came out. Having such an impact on the world raises the question: does Star Wars deserve all of the praise and love that it receives? Is it really the be all end all to many fictional worlds?
After careful consideration and thought, we’ve come to the conclusion that while Star Wars is excellent, it’s not amazing enough to become this explosion of popularity. We’re not saying that the franchise is bad or that we hate it- just that it’s a bit overrated.
Still disagree with us? That’s fine. Just read on to figure out the 15 reasons why we think this way.
15. The Story Isn’t Original
Let me clarify this point a bit more. The world of Star Wars that is full of Wookies, Jawas, and Jedi is completely original. Through the work of George Lucas and many other brilliant minds, the galaxy far far away has become a universe of its own. However, the same can’t quite be said for the story of Luke Skywalker taking on the Galactic Empire. While nobody has come up with Skywalkers or Solos before the first Star Wars movie came out, the originality fades when you begin to break down the story to its core.
The age old tale of a young farmer boy taking down an imposing threat with the help of a mentor that he loses and friends he gains isn’t something that was unheard of at that time. Even in ancient Greece, there were writers creating stories like this. While you could argue that every story suffers this when broken down, many people cite Star Wars as a pioneer in this area. While I won’t deny that it’s quite fun and adapts this type of story very well, it’s not the first fictional tale to do so.
14. The Movies Aren’t That Good
The original trilogy is about as close to perfect as you can get in terms of big movies (with the exception of Return of the Jedi). I’ll admit that they’re quite excellent to watch. However, we all know that the prequels, while loved at the start, aren’t exactly the greatest movies ever created. The Force Awakens was a great movie, but after the hype has died down, some cracks have begun to show. Even Rogue One with all of its beautiful cinematography has its fair share of problems that make the film a bit tougher to see a second time.
The problem that I notice is that many people rave about a movie simply because it’s Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I love these movies and have many of them myself, but they’re not as good as people say they are (save for Episodes IV and V). The Force Awakens takes A New Hope almost beat by beat, and Rogue One has a painful lack of character development. It’s little things like that that people seem to ignore due to their excitement of a new Star Wars movie coming out in theaters.
13. Poor Protagonists
Remember that old saying that everyone loves a great villain? Well, this is a principle that Star Wars has adapted in their movies over the years. Characters like Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and the Emperor himself have all been some of the most memorable antagonists to grace the world of film. Unfortunately, this level of care hasn’t always been given to the heroes that are supposed to hold their stories. Now I’m not talking about supporting characters like Han Solo. I’m instead directly referring to the main protagonists like Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
While the stories of these movies themselves might be excellent, it’s clear that the protagonists aren’t. Luke Skywalker was a bit of an insufferable whiner. Unfortunately, that proved to be genetic, as his father Anakin was an even worse whiner. Rey in The Force Awakens was a step up, but some complaints are due in regards to how great she is at just about everything. Jyn Erso in Rogue One was also quite flat, despite being portrayed by a phenomenal actress. At the end of the day, there aren’t very many great protagonists in this franchise, and when a protagonist has to carry a movie forward, that can become problematic.
12. The Prequels
The prequels. The moment anyone says those words, a chill runs down our spines. While they’re not the worst things to grace cinema, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith are far from the masterpieces of the original trilogy. Poor writing, poor acting, insufferable CGI (save for some good sequences), and a cringe-worthy love story make these movies just watchable at the very best. However, as I stated before, people flocked to see these films when they came out. By the time we realized that they were all pretty terrible, that didn’t change anybody’s opinion on the franchise. People still went nuts over Star Wars, despite the fact that an entire trilogy of movies fell short on many levels.
I will say that in between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, there was a period where the franchise wasn’t as popular as it is now. People weren’t talking about Star Wars like they were now. Still, it seems as if the majority were willing to just pretend that they never existed. In a society where movies are heavily scrutinized, you would think that people would have thought less of the franchise as a result. Nope.
When listening to music, something happens in our brains called the mere exposure effect. What this means is that the more we are exposed to the song, the more we will become familiar with it and, in turn, like it more. The same principle happens with movies and franchises. Over the years, Star Wars has become more familiar in our minds because of all of the exposure of it we see through commercials, books, and Lego bricks. While that’s not inherently a problem, there is a caveat to this mere exposure effect. If someone is exposed to a song too much, overexposure occurs and actually decreases their liking of said music.
As you can probably guess, overexposure is the phenomenon that has occurred with Star Wars. This franchise has been running for so many years that, as I said before, everybody knows what it is. This becomes a problem because we are constantly bombarded with messages pertaining to Star Wars. It was only a matter of time before many of us got sick of hearing about a new movie or game related to the franchise. Many people have already gotten sick of this universe because of how prevalent it is in our culture today, and we don’t blame them.
10. The Love Comes from the Original Trilogy
Let’s all be real here. If it weren’t for A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, nobody would care about Star Wars. The only reason that the franchise has become so massively successful is because of those three movies. Much of the love for the series stems from those properties. You don’t see people celebrating Jar Jar Binks or General Grievous. Instead, everyone dresses up like Darth Vader and Han Solo. Need I say more?
What makes this a bit more interesting is that the original trilogy would not have succeeded as well if it were to come out today. It was so loved because of how different it was, and generations of people have held on to that for years. The reason that The Force Awakens became the highest grossing movie of all time and everyone won’t stop talking about The Last Jedi is because they’re continuations of the original trilogy and the characters we all know and love. Even the games have adopted this motto, with the most recent Star Wars Battlefront game only taking elements from the original trilogy. Then there’s Rogue One, which was exciting because it set up the events from (you guessed it) the original trilogy.
9. Expanding the Universe
I’ve said this about Marvel, and I feel that it applies to Star Wars as well: having such a massive ambition can serve to the detriment of your product in the long run. After the original trilogy ended, there have been so many books, comics, TV shows, and games that have fleshed out the universe of Star Wars. While many of them are no longer canon, that doesn’t mean that a new universe isn’t already being made. Disney is creating a new canonical world for the franchise, seeking to connect and tie everything together similar to what Marvel is doing.
The problem with this is that it drastically limits what writers, directors, and artists can do with their abilities. Take Rogue One for example. That movie had direct limits and guidelines that it had to follow because of how close it was in the timeline to A New Hope. In the future, more movies like this are going to suffer from the same problems because they have to satisfy the continuity. And for some reason, there aren’t any plans to tell any stories from different periods in the Star Wars universe. It’s either the original or new trilogy.
I still remember when the first trailer for The Force Awakens came out. So many people were excited to see it that it exploded across all forms of social media. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing that the trailer for the new Star Wars movie came out. Then there was the trailer that Han Solo and Chewbacca were in and everybody lost their minds over it.
While I’m all for being excited for something, the level of hype that fans of Star Wars is unreal. When a new movie is announced, the shares of Facebook go through the roof. It’s crazy how nuts people go over this franchise. The Phantom Menace was practically sold out at every theater on opening day and that was the worst Star Wars movie ever created. People rave about how excellent and perfect these movies and shows are, and while I agree to some extent, I don’t feel that it deserves all of this hype. This is coming from someone who even rode the hype train before The Force Awakens came out for months.
I’m all for being a huge fan of a particular franchise, but I believe that there comes a point when people take it a bit too far. In the Star Wars movies, there exists no guiding deity. Instead there is only the Force, which has both dark and light sides. Force sensitive people in this universe choose how to apply it in their own lives, creating both the Jedi and the Sith. The Jedi feel that the Light Side of the Force is the way to go, and that their job is to uphold the balance of the Force and the galaxy itself.
Because of the love of Star Wars, this philosophy of living has been adapted by people in real life. You heard me correctly- there are those who believe in the Force and attempt to become Jedi themselves. While you won’t see them wielding any lightsabers or being guardians to the world, they do acknowledge the existence of the Force any try to enlighten themselves through it (as they do in the film). This group of people who adapt these methods of living have dubbed their religion Jediism. Whether it’s cool or not is up to your discernment.
6. Plot Conveniences Everywhere
Every story has some essence of a plot convenience. When telling a story, a writer needs certain characters to be in certain places in order for a certain event to take place. The best kinds of stories do everything they can to avoid this trope. Yet it remains prevalent in many popular films today, and Star Wars is no exception. What makes it a bit more frustrating is that the universe itself has an explanation for this conveniences that many of us here don’t buy into.
Throughout these films, conveniences are everywhere. BB-8 came to Jakku, met Rey, and shortly after met Finn who just so happened to know Poe Dameron. Luke Skywalker worked with Princess Leia who just so happened to be his long lost sister. These movies explain these conveniences as the Force bringing people together for a specific purpose. While it’s a fun concept to imagine that this entity is setting the stage for the intense action to unfold, it is used lazily at times. However, people are willing to defend it with their lives the moment anybody brings it up. No matter how you feel, you have to admit that Star Wars has a lot of plot conveniences.
5. Better Stories Are Seldom Used
How long has it been that we’ve been waiting for a Darth Plagueis movie? While Star Wars has a lot of great tales in its main saga, the horrible truth of the matter is that there are so many better stories in the Expanded Universe that they could use and never do. For example, Boba Fett went out like a punk in Return of the Jedi. People who just watch the movies will never know how truly amazing he was. The same goes for General Grievous.
For some reason, the higher ups at Disney are concerned with expanding the original trilogy and their new trilogy that it seems that they’ve forgotten that other great Star Wars stories exist. Where is Admiral Thrawn? Why haven’t we seen any sort of adaptation of Knights of the Old Republic? Where in the world is any resemblance of Sith Alchemy? There are so many legends that would make for perfect movies, but Disney is so adamant on not using them that we have to get used to Han Solo spin-offs and follow ups to The Force Awakens.
4. The Thousands of LEGO Sets
Legos are some of the best toys for any creative child. Being able to build whatever they want is something that inspires even the most cynical kids. However, there are also many properties and licenses that Lego has a hold of that leads them to create some amazing sets. The problem with this is that of all of the themes they’ve done over the years, none have been as long lasting as Star Wars. For decades, Lego sets based on the galaxy far far away have come out with more to come on the way.
What makes this upsetting to people like me is that some cooler Lego themes have since been lost. Whatever happened to The Lord of the Rings? There was more potential with that series. What about Harry Potter? Anyway, Star Wars dominates the Lego scene, and with the creators putting so much time into that theme, there are others that lose some build quality as a result. There are numerous properties that Lego could adapt, but because their big focus is on Star Wars, it has since limited their scope in regards to other licenses. Perhaps that’s the eclectic little kid inside of me talking.
3. Star Wars Day
There are franchises that get really big over the years, but to get your own celebration day puts you on a playing field entirely your own. Yet here we are after Star Wars Celebration Day has just passed. Now before you get really upset, understand that I’m not speaking against the existence of Star Wars Day. People coming together and celebrating the galactic franchise that they love isn’t a problem by any means, and I appreciate seeing all of the happy faces.
What irks me is that there are plenty of other franchises that deserve this kind of attention. Because of the popularity that spawned after a trilogy of great movies, Star Wars has exploded into a phenomenon worthy of its own convention, in the eyes of the public that is. Granted, there may be other conventions that celebrate other franchises, but if that’s the case, where are they? If they exist, they get almost no publicity. There are other franchises that are as much if not more deserving than Star Wars– the mixed bag franchise. Again, I’m not saying that Star Wars Celebration Day shouldn’t exist, rather that other franchises should be getting the same treatment.
2. It Will Be Milked for Decades
Do you know when the original Star Wars movie came out? 1977. Do you know what year it is now? 2017. That means that the franchise has been around for 40 years. Since then, we’ve had so many things to sink our teeth into. What’s even more astounding is that there are still plenty of Star Wars products that we have yet to receive, with a movie coming out every year these days.
Rarely do franchises ever become so beloved that they can survive for decades, especially to the degree that Star Wars has. Unfortunately, people know that the franchise makes money, and that means that they’re going to milk it for all that it’s worth. That means new movies, new games, new shows, more toys, and so much more that we’ll all be sinking in Star Wars stuff for decades. Even after Episode IX is finished, I guarantee that there will be plans for more movies in different time periods and whatnot. Again, the franchise has been around for 40 years since the first film released. Why would it not continue for 40 more? Who’s to say our children won’t grow up loving Star Wars?
1. Nothing New Anymore
Rounding out many of the issues I’ve had with this franchise over the years, the fact of the matter is that there isn’t anything new anymore when it comes to Star Wars. While there was a lot done to shake things up in the franchise when it began, it largely relies on nostalgia and expectations to deliver success these days. Take the two biggest announcements from the Celebration Day: The Last Jedi trailer and Star Wars Battlefront II. The first is a continuation of a movie we’ve already seen, and the second is a sequel/remake (two for the price of one!).
When it comes to Star Wars, there aren’t many surprises these days. We all have a general idea of what to expect considering that Disney isn’t deviating from the original trilogy much. On top of that, there weren’t any announcements that were entirely new. Star Wars, being as big as it is now, has been delegated to delivering more of what people have come to love over the years. The franchise is following the Hollywood trend of cashing in on nostalgia, which is starting to get old. It’s only a matter of time before people start getting old of the direction Disney is taking Star Wars too.