Opinion: Star Wars has changed

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

I am not a movie person at all. But there are a few movies I appreciate, usually smaller, independent ones, and there was one franchise that I loved: Star Wars.

If you told me in 2010 that there were going to be five more Star Wars movies and three TV series in the next decade, I would have been ecstatic. I’d loved the movies, all of them, and had seen each of them half a dozen times. For years I didn’t miss a single Friday-night premiere of The Clone Wars. I had action figures, Lego sets, comic books, everything. I loved it just as much as every other kid in my grade.

Even at twelve, I knew that Disney had a reputation to upkeep, and that because of that, they’d have to play it safe. But I tried to stay optimistic. If nothing else, it might at least have some cool designs. But anyone who’s seen the newest, what, five movies? They know that none of that happened.

Instead, Disney took the worst route possible.

You look at the movies and there’s nothing new at all. It’s all the same expected Hollywood crap that the original Star Wars subverted. You look at George Lucas’s original designs, you see something far from American culture: Darth Vader was based on the armor of a samurai, and Darth Maul was rooted in the design of the Oni, the stories and shots took inspiration from Akira Kurosawa, the Jedi were a clear reference to the Samurai, both in form and in creed.

Han Solo was very clearly a typical cowboy-type character, and a large part of the story was reminis-
cent of westerns – with some even calling the film a Space Western. Star Wars mixed two cultures in a way that created something entirely new.

And Disney had to go and throw it all away.

Half of the costumes in the sequel trilogy would look perfectly normal if I saw them at a mall or on Instagram, and almost every one of them looks like you took a character from the original and prequel trilogy and shifted it ever so slightly.

Every single aspect of it is different for no other reason than having differences, and the differences serve no purpose but to show that this isn’t George Lucas anymore — it’s Disney.

More than that, the story feels completely directionless. One minute, they’re slowly pacing their way through the remains of a fallen Star Destroyer, the next they’re trekking through a million-dollar mess of CGI. Is it a copy of Hoth, but the dirt is red for some reason? Or instead, is it a massive space station?

Instead of creating a coherent world, what Disney puts first is the amazing story, one that had to be thrown away and rewritten dozens of times as directors came, left, and came back again, slowly abandoning all sense of coherence and meaning.

Of course, all of my complaints could be similarly placed for the prequels — but really, what this comes down to is Disney. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve been buying up entertainment franchises like it’s Black Friday.

As entertainment slowly and steadily paces towards monopolization, every piece of media we consume will become more refined, more crafted, and more manipulated to create the greatest profit possible. It won’t be about any meaning anymore — and that’s only if you think the average movie today is meant to have any meaning anyway. Instead, it will be about profits and nothing else.