Movies

The Many Mistakes of the STAR WARS sequels

Jan 3, 2022

there's an old saying from a long long time ago i believe it goes something along the lines of nobody hates star wars more than star wars fans and it's probably true however it's easy to just label an entire fan base as impossible to please but when you really look into the problems a lot of fans had with the sequel trilogy i personally think a lot of the criticism is warranted there were a lot of mistakes made along the way to creating the sequel trilogy hey guys welcome back to the show and here we are by popular demand a lot of you have messaged me over the past couple years asking me to cover these movies so here it is am i going to say anything that you haven't heard before maybe not but here's my opinion regardless now let me start off by saying this i think that whichever trilogy you grew up watching you're gonna think that one is the best as someone who grew up with the original trilogy i can see why people who grew up with the prequels like them the most and i can imagine that kids today are probably going to grow up for the most part liking the sequels the most and i think that's great quite honestly i don't expect anything new that comes out to match up to what the original trilogy was for me so while i didn't enjoy the sequels all that much i'm not going to act like they ruined my childhood nothing can take away from the enjoyment that i got from the original trilogy

 

in fact i'll go so far as to say that rogue one actually added to it i think part of the reason people feel so passionately about star wars is because again these are movies they loved as kids so there's a link between the movies and remembering what it was like to be a kid george lucas once talked about how by the time the prequels came out the generation that grew up with the original trilogy who were well into adulthood were the ones criticizing it the most yet kids seem to love those movies and that makes perfect sense i mean star wars was always intended for kids one thing i will give disney a lot of credit for is recognizing that there are a lot of older fans of this franchise and making content that is aimed more towards that demographic i actually loved rogue one and the mandalorian and not just because of the references to the original movies i actually feel that rogue one expanded on a new hope in a way that i never even thought was possible it had a story that was a bit more mature the tone was darker because we all knew what it was leading up to and in the end it was a movie about sacrifice it had a lot of themes that adults could really connect to but in terms of the three trilogies there is a big difference between them and i'm not just talking about how they were made and when they were made but the stories they were trying to tell and the characters they introduced now when the force awakens came out i made a quick video talking about my thoughts on it but i never made any more videos talking about the movies since then and quite honestly at the time i was trying to stay optimistic the movie definitely had some problems but i was trying my best to reserve any harsh judgment until all three movies had been released i've watched these movies multiple times now and as a big star wars fan myself i really wanted to enjoy them but the truth is i just don't really like these movies now let me just say that if you enjoyed the sequel trilogy that's great i'm glad there are people out there that found enjoyment out of this trilogy and there are parts of these movies that i think are really well done but i also think that disney made a lot of mistakes with these movies and i'm gonna go through

 

why i think that is when disney acquired lucasfilm in 2012 they were about to begin production on a movie that would add to a franchise with a fan base spanning over 35 years keep in mind this is the entertainment business disney didn't spend four billion dollars to acquire lucasfilm because they thought star wars was cool they saw a major money-making opportunity not just in ticket sales but in the cash cow that is merchandise and make no mistake they would have made a ton of money making a brand new trilogy telling an all-new story with brand new characters but remember they just spent four billion dollars on this and i think disney knew the best way to maximize the return on a new star wars movie is to not only make a movie introducing all new characters but to try and appeal to older fans as well by bringing back the old characters i think this is one of the main problems with the sequel trilogy because while it might be a nice thought to try and make something that appeals to and satisfies the entire fan base i think that borders on impossible now for me the skywalker saga was done with return of the jedi i was satisfied i didn't really need to see anything more with those characters but again disney knew that bringing back the characters from the original trilogy and continuing the skywalker saga was the best way to get fans interested and they were right the only problem is that the result in my opinion was a movie that heavily relies on nostalgia and things that have already been done the force awakens is a movie that takes so much from a new hope that ultimately i think it fails to really carve out its own identity in the franchise from a story perspective there were some really big moments in this movie that obviously stand out but they were surrounded by so many more moments that made you sit there going wait didn't they already do this i felt that in the force awakens the character i was most intrigued by was finn i like the idea of taking a storm trooper and humanizing them making them an individual a character in terms of a villain you can't just have another darth vader because obviously you're never going to be able to outdo that character so we have kylo ren a character who wants to be darth vader but clearly isn't in many ways this makes for a very interesting character because he's trying so hard to be something he's not there's a lot of internal conflict and i really want to credit the writers for taking a gamble on this because in the beginning it was really hard to tell whether or not this was going to work out in the end i don't think rey is a terrible character but in the end i think they could have developed her a lot better the original star wars follows a story structure known as the monomyth otherwise known as the hero's journey which is covered in the book the hero with a thousand faces it's a story that's been told over and over again throughout the years but we always love to see it there are many different parts to it but i'll just mention a few and see if this sounds familiar the story usually starts off with the main character going about their regular day when suddenly there's a call to action which they initially refuse you must learn the ways of the force

 

if you're to come with me to alderaan alderaan i'm not going to alderaan not very good home it's late on import as it is but then there's an event that makes them answer that call and leave the life they know behind to go on this adventure there's usually an older mentor there to guide them they'll meet some friends along the way to help them they'll go through a transformation after they encounter a variety of setbacks failures and victories and ultimately they will have a revelation that will help them achieve their ultimate goal then they'll return home changed forever now again this story has been told to us many many times before you might not have even noticed it and why is that well i would like to suggest that one of the reasons we always find this story interesting is because there's many parts to it that we relate to on a human level and other parts that we want in our own lives escaping the mundane teachers friends adventure self-discovery and of course victory the force awakens applies the hero's journey to rey and it also applies elements of it to finn as well there is no fight against the first order not one we can win what about bb-8 we're not done yet we have to get it back to your base i can't but one of the parts i want to highlight here is the transformation through a series of setbacks and failures because this is something that gives the hero a lot of humanity it's relatable i'm not saying that rey should have been a carbon copy of luke but i'm going to use him as an example not only because i feel he's a character that was well developed using the hero's journey but because of the parallels and how both of these characters were introduced to the audience now our introduction to rey is similar to luke skywalker in a few ways they both live on a desert planet they don't know their parents they work with machines they're both pilots and it's ultimately a droid that comes into their possession by chance that starts them on their journey however luke skywalker has many failures and setbacks on his way to becoming a hero there were many times in a new hope where luke's inexperience was on full display and many more times where he found himself in immediate danger and needed to be saved by others and even after that he fails many more times than the movies to come showing a character's weakness or inexperience does not make them a weak character in fact it's crucial to the development of the hero now i'm trying to be as fair as i possibly can here i'm fine with her being able to fix the millennium falcon and understanding the mechanics because of her experience with scavenging parts from imperial ships and being a pilot this was part of her introduction to the audience but beating kylo ren in a lightsaber duel is a pretty big stretch for me because even though you could argue she might have had training with her beau staff and he was injured kylo ren has been trained specifically in fighting with a lightsaber so we're told that kylo ren and a few of his buddies were able to slaughter a bunch of jedi knights but he struggles with someone who doesn't even have any training it's clear that rey is strong with the force but being strong with the force and knowing how to use it are different things rey is also somehow able to use jedi mind tricks and even though she witnessed kylo ren using the force again she doesn't know how to use it at least to our knowledge luke used the force at the end of a new hope to help him destroy the death star but he was introduced to it by a jedi master who started to train luke how to use it and continued to guide him after death this was a key part of the transformation of the character and even after that luke's formal training was not a cakewalk luke's training with yoda was important for the further development of the character why because he struggled he was tested physically mentally and emotionally and even after that he still made major mistakes i have to say with rey

 

even over the course of the trilogy i just never got that sense of development and growth to that degree but the story structure is not what makes the force awakens feel like such a rehash of a new hope it's because the movie tries to replicate so many of the story details the droid carrying crucial information the villain hunting down that information the massive evil army going to a cantina full of aliens looking for help the villain capturing one of the main characters and interrogating her the giant battle station used to destroy other planets infiltrating that battle station the villain killing the elder character while the main character watches in shock and finally destroying the battle station now i personally don't think it was a good idea to do what was basically another death star but i understand why they did it they wanted to have a major immediate threat for the other characters to have to deal with it gives you a second story line apart from rey's journey to find luke skywalker and it gives the movie a space battle with a big explosion at the end i would argue that if they would have kept the same structure and didn't replicate so many of the story details from a new hope it would have been a more enjoyable movie and it wouldn't have felt like such a rehash however i think replicating so many of the details was what disney was going for after all this was their first star wars movie and maybe they felt it was better to just reproduce what people enjoyed in the past rather than gamble on something completely different now i wouldn't call it a bad movie i think it has some great moments and i also think it was well directed but i don't like how many questions were raised by the end the original star wars was self-contained and even though it was only the first act of a much larger story that george lucas had written it had a definitive ending a satisfying conclusion that doesn't leave you with a bunch of questions the force awakens on the other hand is the exact opposite disney set out to make a trilogy so it begs the question wouldn't it have been a better idea to just hire a set group of writers from the beginning to plan out how this story is going to go over the course of the trilogy you don't have to write the scripts with all the dialogue and the details and everything but just outline the story and plan out where you want these characters to go but mark the original trilogy didn't do that well actually it kind of did when george lucas originally wrote the script for star wars it was so long that he decided to take the first act and make a movie based off that it got to be a very fat script about 200 pages the only way i could cope with it was to say i'll take the first third the first act and i'll make that into a movie but i'd written all this other stuff so i put it on the shelf i said by hook or by crook i will finish this movie and then when he was negotiating his contract with 20th century fox part of that contract is that he would get the rights to make the sequels as well as the rights to the merchandising which was probably one of the smartest things anybody's ever done in the entertainment industry again disney paid four billion dollars for this don't you think it would have been a smart idea to just take some time to plan this out and make sure everybody's on the same page but then again maybe they didn't want to take that time maybe they just wanted to get the movie out and start making a return on their investment so what you get is a lot of open-ended questions and now because ryan johnson is writing and directing the second film there's already expectations or ideas from the fan base of what those answers should be i gotta say

 

i think that's a really crappy position to be put in as a writer now you could look at it as oh jj put this stuff in the movie and it gave ryan johnson opportunity it gave him ideas okay that's one way to look at it but another way to look at it is well you put this stuff in here and i don't want to deal with this stuff in my movie so then you had this dueling director's thing that's what it felt like going into this movie i have to say i really didn't have any specific expectations i was hoping that some things from the force awakens would be explored but what i didn't expect was a movie that so blatantly contradicts established character traits that are basically the core of the character so let me just get this out of the way right now i don't know who this guy is but it's not luke skywalker this movie explains that when luke skywalker was training ben solo he sensed that ben had turned to the dark side had a fleeting moment when he considered killing him ben saw that and with the help of a few others slaughtered the rest of luke's students so luke fled to a little island and started living like a hermit in other words he gave up yeah i don't think so and this is not the same thing as when yoda and obi-wan went into hiding they were betrayed and hunted down by an army this is luke's nephew and if we've learned anything about luke skywalker over the course of every movie he's been in it's that he does whatever he can to help his friends and his family at any cost he didn't run and hide when they attacked the death star and he watched everyone else get blown to smithereens he didn't pull a u-turn and pack it up when they were fighting the imperial walkers and his partner got killed and even after his snow speeder got shot down he still went after this thing when luke sensed that his friends were in trouble on cloud city he immediately left to go help them even against the advice of yoda and obi-wan kenobi two jedi masters he even went up against vader a fight that he had no chance of winning and then after vader kicked his ass cut off his hand and revealed that he was his father luke was like okay i'm gonna take my chances falling down this pit rather than give up and join you and then i'm gonna get a new hand and come at you again right after i rescue my friend from this fat tub of garbage luke voluntarily knocked on death's door when he faced the emperor because he wasn't going to give up on his father he was so convinced there was still good in him a sith lord and now you're telling me that 30 years later as a jedi master he gives up on his nephew who he's training now i know what you might be thinking throughout this movie luke mentions multiple times about how he felt he failed ben solo and it was devastating and throughout this video i've been talking about how failure has been an important part of luke's development and you're right except here's the difference every other time luke failed there was something tied to that failure something that came right after that eventually led him to victory and that something is called persistence

 

i'm also curious as to how ben turned to the dark side how did this happen i mean ben was born after the fall of the empire he's the son of han and leia and he was being trained by luke a jedi master so i think it's fair to say that ben was surrounded by the light side of the force for most of his life so how did a sith like snoke get close enough to turn him to the dark side i'm serious i'm not just being critical here i would actually like to see that and even though it was a fleeting moment of instinct the idea that luke would even consider killing his own nephew is ridiculous in my opinion i've seen some people try to justify it by using the example of luke's moment of rage and return of the jedi but not only was luke much younger and much less experienced but this was during a fight after vader threatened to go after leia and with this i just don't understand how it happened so suddenly luke even said he sensed darkness building in ben and saw it during moments in his training so why didn't luke address this earlier now i really didn't know what to expect from luke going into this movie but again this just seems so contrary to what the character was built upon people seem to be very split on this and look luke obviously has his flaws as he should and i understand what ryan johnson was trying to do but based on everything else luke has faced in the past it feels inconsistent with the character that this would be the thing to break him to such a huge degree since he has gone up against much bigger threats than this and succeeded and you don't even have to study the character just watch the movies here's a quick look at the evolution of this character and the courage of his convictions in the face of incredible adversity compared to how he's portrayed in this movie i want to learn the ways of the force and become a jedi like my father i'm luke skywalker i'm here to rescue you i won't fail you i'm not afraid and bring order to the galaxy i'll never join you i will not turn and you'll be forced to kill me never i'll never turn to the dark side you failed your highness i am a jedi like my father before me go away i can appreciate that ryan johnson wanted to bring his own ideas and maybe take some things in a new direction but this movie felt like the beginning of the dueling directors where jj abrams planted some ideas with the force awakens and then ryan johnson just threw them out the window in favor of what feels like a movie that's constantly trying to surprise the audience now when i first saw this movie i was really excited to see what ryan johnson was going to bring to the franchise but very quickly into the movie i found myself thinking well that's weird it started in literally the first 10 minutes with the bombing scene now here's the thing in most sci-fi movies

 

there are things such as gravity on spaceships and explosions in space that wouldn't happen in real life but we accept them with the idea that these spaceships have some sort of gravity technology in them and as for the explosions well that just makes the action more fun i mean who doesn't love explosions but there are some things that are universally understood such as there not being any gravity in open space as well as no oxygen so in this scene you have a ship dropping bombs on another ship now the explanation that i read for this is that oh well the bombs are magnetic okay that's fine but what about the remote that is literally falling into open space and speaking of open space this character is just lying here breathing in space but that's nothing compared to what i consider to be the dumbest moment in all of star wars i don't care how force sensitive someone is the idea that someone could be sucked out into space hang out there for a while and then just fly back into the ship is so incredibly stupid i can't believe they went through with it but again this is another one of the surprise twist moments that this movie is riddled with oh you thought leia was dead well surprised she's not she's just gonna fly back into the ship and everything's all good you thought luke was going to accept anakin's lightsaber well surprise turns out he hates that [ __ ] now you thought that based on her being strong with the force and her abilities with the lightsaber that rey was going to be related to someone important well surprise no her parents were nobodies wave after wave of twists constantly take finn for example the guy finally has a fight with captain phasma it's just too bad this hasn't really been built up more i figured they were going to do that in this movie and then they would have their final battle in the next movie since you know it's the conclusion but whatever they fight somehow it manages to pale in comparison to the intensity of the fight between finn and the stormtrooper in the force awakens but anyways phasma dies so later on crait finn has this moment where he's about to sacrifice himself by driving into the cannon to destroy it and this is well done they draw it out a bit so that as an audience member at first you don't want it to happen but then you accept it but surprise now they have rows crash into him and then we have this incredibly stupid moment which is supposed to be sentimental but ends up being unintentionally hilarious not just because of how stupid the dialogue is but because in the background the first order uses the cannon and blasts open the door so now the resistance is totally exposed advance no quarter no prisoners okay people you heard the man no prisoners which means kill everybody these two should be pretty simple they're right in front of us they're right there it's pretty crazy how that even happened i mean that if that speeder would have kept driving right into the cannon it probably would have destroyed it and then i don't know how we get through that door it's so it's a good thing that other speeder just crashed right into it somehow i mean what a stroke of luck it's not like they would have done that on purpose oh wait what are they doing now are they making out okay you know what just open fire actually you know what can i push the button i've always wanted to do that please please aside from rey on the island with this guy the other storyline has the other characters involved in what can only be described as the o.j simpson chase in space it feels as if they looked at other star wars movies and said wow there have been some great chases in star wars but what if we did a chase that was super long and super boring i really don't have much else to say about it the only good part is the end in my opinion also this whole thing with rose and finn going to canto bite isn't this supposed to be kind of a time-sensitive mission so why do we have this scene where they're just kind of hanging out and rose is talking about how much she hates rich people hey you know what i hate the idea of being murdered in space well my two friends who are supposed to be helping me are on another planet taking in the sights and talking about stuff that really isn't that important right now so after the force awakens introduced us to snoke and made him pretty intimidating he isn't really developed at all he just ends up being a discount version of the emperor and again to me it felt like ryan johnson took another one of jj abram's ideas and just said uh no how do i get rid of this and to be clear he had every right to do that this was his movie and the thing is i have enjoyed ryan johnson's work in the past brick knives out looper i love those movies and this movie i do feel was well directed but from a writing perspective i just don't think it stacks up but mark you criticized the force awakens for being too similar and now you're criticizing the last jedi for being too different look i'll give ryan johnson credit for not making a rehash of the empire strikes back and it's not that this movie is too different in fact there's some parts of it that i enjoyed but as an audience member i didn't enjoy the writing that felt like it was constantly trying to fool me and as a star wars fan i didn't enjoy how it dealt with some of the ideas put forth in the last film and i definitely think the character of luke skywalker was completely mishandled so the movie was polarizing with fans some people loved it some people hated it so disney brings back jj abrams and even though jj abrams apparently said that he loved the script for the last jedi this movie still feels like damage control to me where jj abrams tries to undo some of the things that rian johnson did kylo ren destroyed his helmet okay well we're just gonna patch it back together again they destroyed anakin's lightsaber okay well we're just gonna patch it back together again snoke is dead okay well let's bring back emperor palpatine and this is my biggest problem with this movie because again just my opinion but bringing him back undermines one of the most important moments in all of star wars and arguably the most important moment in the original trilogy vader's redemption up until the force awakens the skywalker saga as a whole was really the story of anakin skywalker and the character arc was completed fittingly when he destroyed the person who lured him to the dark side and turned him into darth vader the act of killing palpatine also killed darth vader in the figurative sense now some could argue that the act of killing palpatine was more important than palpatine actually dying but i don't know something about bringing him back just takes away from it for me there was some real finality there in that scene when we watched him fall down the reactor shaft and explode and now that finality has been erased i also think that the character of emperor palpatine is much too important to be shoehorned into this final movie it feels like damage control as if after the last jedi they really didn't know where to go with this so they just resorted to trying to replicate the end of the original trilogy we've already done this rey's major weakness seemed to be the unknown identity of her parents and it's clear that this crucial part of the character that could reveal so much about her and answer the questions as to why she was so strong with the force and able to use it without proper training was something that jj abrams and ryan johnson saw it differently jj wanted them to be somebody ryan wanted them to be nobody and then the final answer we get from jj abrams is well they were technically nobody but rey's parents parents were somebody her grandfather was a sith lord who created darth vader slaughtered the jedi and ushered in the era of the galactic empire the fact that such a key part of the main character was so mishandled is embarrassing in my opinion

 

but that's what happens when you have different people with very different ideas trying to figure this out on the fly again there were parts of this movie i liked but it also included some ridiculously stupid things like the moment with the dagger which almost makes the movie feel like a parody of itself this movie feels like it takes the worst elements from the last two movies trying to surprise the audience with twists while doing things that have already been done but not nearly as well as before once again pretending to kill main characters only to turn around and say nope they're fine i believe that doing this repeatedly leads the audience to become disconnected from the story you can't fully engage with the movie if there's a part of you that doesn't trust the writing and what's being shown to you on screen this is clearly the worst conclusion out of all three trilogies and it's not even remotely close revenge of the sith was a movie that really knew where it was going it felt like such a culmination and used the audience's knowledge of the story from the original trilogy to help showcase really intense conflicts and dramatic moments return of the jedi had its flaws but again it was a satisfying ending to the story of darth vader with not only the completion of his character arc but luke's as well and the irony here is that this movie undermines that conclusion while trying to basically do the exact same thing so really it's undermining its own ending as well it's like the movie is trying to say oh yeah he wasn't really dead the last time but trust us he's like super dead this time why should anyone believe that i did enjoy the lightsaber battle between rey and kylo ren i thought this was well done the kiss at the end of the movie felt weird and unnecessary quite honestly i don't think the story had to go there i like what they did with kylo ren's character in the end i felt he was the most compelling out of all of them which is unfortunate because i think the others had a lot of potential but i don't think finn nor poe were developed very well at all past the first movie and again making rey a palpatine feels like a hail mary pass that only ends up adding insult to injury looking back if i could describe the entire sequel trilogy with one word it would have to be inconsistent and unfortunately that was disney's biggest mistake i have my problems with the prequel trilogy but the one thing i'll say is that at least george lucas was consistent with the story that he wanted to tell over the course of those three movies and i also think he did a really good job of expanding the universe and giving that trilogy its own identity quite honestly even though i didn't enjoy this trilogy as much as i had hoped i would i have still enjoyed some of the other things disney's done with star wars and honestly i hope they keep making movies even if they don't appeal to me because at least it might get a younger generation

 

interested in the star wars universe by the way for those of you entering the contest the code word for this video is dice so there you have it be sure to post your thoughts in the comments on these movies if you'd like but that's pretty much it for this one as usual thanks for watching guys i'll see you all next time hey kai you know you might have noticed my uh my scar here yeah got this bad boy on the weekend it's uh actually you know what it's actually wow you have one that's almost the same that's crazy honestly i never even noticed it man like looks totally badass though yeah i got this on the weekend was that this is that this cantina you've probably never been there though it's like two three systems over and uh yeah so i was there i was there and there was this guy you know probably a jedi actually but and you know how it goes i i had to teach him a lesson you know he started uh hitting on my girlfriend who you wouldn't know her though she works on a different ship but uh yeah there's this there's this rumor going around that this is actually you know fake like i gave this to myself it's just ridiculous so you know if you hear anybody talk and feel free to tell them you know no it's not true totally real he's a super cool guy he wouldn't do that we're really good friends you see how nobody received a threat at any point during that criticism the fan base is just so charged up and it leads to people doing really stupid things like harassing directors harassing actors you gotta relax all right well i'm gonna go get something from the lunchroom probably like a bagel you want anything just let me know just i'll let you boy me foreign.

Related Posts