COG Considers: What Happened to Star Wars?
As a young Padawan, I sat in awe mesmerized by the vast world created by the one and only George Lucas. Like many others, I became enamored with the franchise, collecting paraphernalia, and having make-believe lightsaber battles with my siblings. Watching the original trilogy became a Christmas tradition in my household and even to this day, they still give me that warm, fuzzy feeling of the holiday season. Unfortunately, riddled with disease, the Star Wars franchise was decaying and now stands a hollow shell of its former self and the reason for this is the one and only George Lucas.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all his fault but a large portion of the blame has to land on his flabby chin. Although I adore the original series, Lucas retrospectively altered them, removing the charm that consumed the originals. The additional CGI is laughable and the alterations to existing scenes adjust perceptions of iconic characters.
Okay, we all try to forget about the prequel trilogy but let’s revisit it. After years of waiting and wondering, we were finally gifted the snoozefest that was Anakin’s backstory. Who would have thought that one of the greatest villains in cinema history would be a dull, whiney brat? With characters like Jar Jar Binks, it became harder and harder to love the series.
It’s the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
Who could save the franchise? How about an evil conglomerate with a mouse as a mascot? Almost as if J.J. Abrams looked at the fantastic work of Bluepoint Games and thought, ‘Hmm, these remakes look amazing! Should I just remake New Hope?’ in came Force Awakens, a fun Marvel-esque version of the classic. Although harmless, it lacked any of the innovation that the originals had but the real issue lied in its sequels. With no clear direction, promising protagonists such as Finn were relegated to comedic sidekicks and iconic characters such as Luke were butchered. Jedis around the world were left with little hope, with only the three originals and Rogue One as shining examples, the unthinkable had happened… there were more shit Star Wars media than good.
Strutting through the steel, sliding doors with his robe flailing and lightsaber harnessed was the man, the legend, Jon Favreau. With a lineage in film and television that evoked the aura of a Jedi Master, fans looked at him as their savior.
Then… it happened.
I watched The Mandalorian and that same warm, fuzzy feeling emerged. Not only does the show carry the essence of the originals, but it also develops the world of the franchise in a way that hasn’t been done previously. Where seedlings were planted, The Mandalorian allows them to grow, taking the audience on an emotional and epic journey that dare I say, surpasses the original saga. There is a clear story arc that was absent from the modern trilogy, characters have interesting backstories and the writing is less formulaic. With an incredible start to season 2, the show seems to be going from strength to strength and I for one, cannot wait to see where the story will go.