Let's Talk About the State of Disney's 'Star Wars'

November 15, 2020, 7:37 PM · The new season of "The Mandalorian" dropped its third episode last Friday. Having just watched it, I thought now might be a good time to talk about the current state of Disney's Star Wars franchise and how it might affect the theme parks.

Star Wars has been around for more than 40 years now, so it's no surprise that many fans' relationship with the franchise has changed over that time. I fell in love with "Star Wars" shortly after the first movie his theaters in May 1977. Many critics revere the 1970s as a golden era of American cinema, but "Star Wars" was the first big movie of the decade filmed for kids as much as adults. George Lucas might have been a protege of Francis Ford Coppola, but Lucas' films have always felt more inspired by old-time, youth-focused, action-adventure serials than adult-oriented works such as Coppola's "The Godfather," which loomed over all 1970s films until "Star Wars" prompted Hollywood to reinvent itself.

Why did that happen? Because kids such as me eagerly spent every dollar we had on "Star Wars" movie tickets, action figures, comic books, and everything else with the "Star Wars" brand. And Hollywood knows how to chase a buck. Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" might have been the first major modern blockbuster, but "Star Wars" showed Hollywood the economic power of the youth market, while also establishing the multi-media franchise model that drives this industry today.

But after "Return of the Jedi" opened in 1983 and no other Star Wars movies or TV shows followed, I — like many fans – moved on to other interests. I grew up and put my "Star Wars" action figures and comic books into storage, where they remain. (Make me an offer. ...Okay, I'm kidding. But maybe not. Depends upon the offer.)

Yet 16 years later, just when I thought I was out, Star Wars pulled me back in. The idea of George Lucas finally turning out the elusive episodes 1-3 charmed me with the prospect of my kids falling in love with Star Wars movies as I did when I was a child. But after watching "The Phantom Menace" on its opening night, I suspected that would not happen.

Yes, my kids fell in love with a multi-media entertainment franchise all right, but it was Harry Potter, not Star Wars. Episodes 2 and 3 left me more disillusioned with Star Wars franchise. Ewan McGregor did a great job with Obi-Wan, and "Duel of the Fates" is a kick-ass track, but that was not enough for me to climb back aboard the Star Wars train like I did as a kid. I never bothered with the TV shows or any of the Extended Universe, beyond taking my son to see "The Clone Wars" animated movie in the theater.

Yet when Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced that it would produce episode 7-9, I was back in, again. Surely Disney would not make the same directorial mistakes that Lucas did with the prequels. The company that was knocking it out of the park with the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be able to rekindle the Star Wars magic of my youth, right?

Narrator: Uh....

Episode 7 was a obvious reboot of the original "Star Wars," and Episode 8 seemed to be the same of "Empire Strike Back" and "Return of the Jedi" until director Rian Johnson blew everything up, leaving fans with an intriguing statement about the persistence of Force awareness throughout the galaxy. But then Disney ignored that in Episode 9 and delivered what I thought was a downright cringeworthy piece of filmmaking — one that I kinda enjoyed while I was watching it, but that fell apart like high school toilet paper the more I thought about it.

The only things I truly have enjoyed from the sequel trilogy era have been "Rogue One" and Walt Disney Imagineering's recent theme park attractions. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance remains one of my favorite attraction experiences anywhere, and I thought the twist in the most recent Star Tours production was the only redeemable thing about "Rise of Skywalker."

And then Disney+ brought us "The Mandalorian."

Watching Friday's episode — mild spoiler alert — I realized when the "frog couple" reunited that I was more sold on their romantic chemistry than I ever was watching Anakin and Padme in the prequel trilogy. You can't tell me two performers in rubber heads are better actors than Hayden Christensen and the Academy Award-winning Natalie Portman, so let's give credit to director Bryce Dallas Howard here. (Yes, the lead from the Jurassic World movies — whose work on "The Mandalorian" is convincing me that maybe she ought to start directing the Jurassic World flicks, too. I doubt she would direct her character to run in heels from a dinosaur.)

I am enjoying "The Mandalorian" more than anything in the Star Wars universe — outside the theme parks — since the original trilogy. Framed like a classic television western — such as "Have Gun, Will Travel" and "Wagon Train" — the series has a long-term story arc involving the title character's quest to reunite "The Child" (aka "Baby Yoda") with its people, while each episode typically involves a stand-alone plot where The Mandalorian must right some wrong on whatever planet he is visiting in that episode. The show is so good that it's enticing me to check out "The Clone Wars" and "Rebels" TV series to learn more about the Darksaber and characters such as Bo-Katan and Ahsoka Tano, which are being woven into the show.

Under the guidance of the MCU's Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who helped oversee those TV series, "The Mandalorian" is making me wish that Disney would do to episodes 7-9 what it did to "Song of the South." Just forget that it happened, then let Favreau and Filoni have a go at drafting a new sequel trilogy, with Favreau or Filoni or Howard or Taika Waititi (who directed the final episode of "The Mandalorian"'s first season) directing the films.

WDI's Scott Trowbridge, who oversaw the creation of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, has said on multiple occasions that Disney is not done with its Star Wars land. But the pandemic and the resulting financial pressure on Disney — as well as the rest of the tourism industry — pretty much ensures that any major new developments won't happen for some time.

But perhaps that setback can become an opportunity, for Disney and for Star Wars. Give the people who know what they are doing with Star Wars the opportunity to win back more fans like me, with shows such as "The Mandlorian" and the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, starring McGregor. Put those creative leaders in a room with WDI and let them imagine next steps for Galaxy's Edge that celebrate the best of the franchise and invite fans to 'live their Star Wars story' in ways that WDI leaders have promised but the land — in its current state — does not fully deliver.

I would love to hear from you in the comments, but right now, I am as excited by the potential in the Star Wars universe as I ever have been. The state of Star Wars feels strong to me. As the theme park industry emerges from this pandemic into a new renaissance (I hope!), I would love to see Star Wars play a leading role in that revival.

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Replies (34)

November 15, 2020 at 9:36 PM

Several opinions...

1. I think the prequels have gotten better with age. At least for me they have. "The Phantom Menace" is still garbage but parts of "Attack of the Clones" and most of "Revenge of the Sith" are enjoyable. I also watched the Clone Wars for the first time last year and think it greatly added to my appreciation of the prequels. That series was great. A Dave Filoni triumph.

2. I loved "Rogue One" but I also loved "The Last Jedi." I agree that "Rise of Skywalker" mostly sucked but that's also because it undid so much that Rian Johnson tried to build and I was here for that!

3. Natalie Portman is a great actress when not the love interest in a major blockbuster. Looking at you Jane Foster...

4. Galaxy's Edge is an amazing achievement. The land is incredibly immersive while keeping things accessible to the casual Star Wars fan or newcomer. I have read countless takes on how Disney failed to deliver true fans the experience they craved. Catering to fan boys is not a good long term business model.

5. "The Mandlorian" is a great series and proof that Dave Filoni should be in charge of creative direction for anything Star Wars moving forward.

November 15, 2020 at 8:29 PM

Personally, I liked the sequels. Yes even ROS (whose flaws were mostly because they overreacted to the "TLJ ruined everything" crowd rather than stick to what that movie did right). Mistakes, flaws? Yes, of course. Just like the Original Trilogy was written on the fly and scores of mistakes back then too.

I've spent 20 years listening to the "Prequels ruined my childhood" crowd and we've seen the...ahem...spirited debates on the franchise on this very board. And yes, so much potential as I hope next movies move into the future (as in further in canon timeline) to give new life and so much potential left.

I know the line is "they should have used the EU stuff" but let's be frank: Outside of Thrawn and Mara Jade, 90 percent of the EU was a convoluted mess that would have been impossible for casual moviegoers to access. A fresher start was better and while it could have been improved, you see the interviews with Abrams, Johnson and Kennedy and clear they truly thought they were doing their best to live up to the legacy (and let's not forget Lucas himself has said "fans would have hated" his Episode VII-IX ideas).

All I know is something Robert himself said that summed up the fandom perfectly: "What is "true" Star Wars to one fan is not to another."

November 15, 2020 at 8:32 PM

@AndrewL:

1. I have been a prequel defender since they aired and amused at how suddenly the same folks slamming them for years are on the "oh, they were good, George should have been allowed to continue his vision" path.

2. I still liked ROS but again, blame its flaws on Disney mistakenly believing the "TLJ ruined it" represented the majority of fandom. As someone wonderfully put it "no one can hate Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans."

3. Agreed on Portman, a lot of great actors suffered in the prequels.

4. Sadly, have yet to get to the land but desperately want to and love seeing videos of it.

5. Agree on Mandalorian and such. A great video of fans arguing on ROS and such, screaming about it back and forth on merits etc...then Baby Yoda shows up, they all gush and the moderator is "wait...THIS is what you all agree makes Star Wars great?"

November 15, 2020 at 8:44 PM

@MikeW: I don't know if you've ever watched "The Clone Wars" series but it makes the prequels even better. It's a cartoon but does the franchise justice. "Rebels" was a bit too Saturday morning cartoon for me to get into.

I also agree about the hate for ROS. If we're being honest... all the Star Wars movies are good movies. Fans just get into their feelings too much.

November 15, 2020 at 8:48 PM

I used to think I took the movies way too seriously...then the Internet came along.

November 15, 2020 at 9:03 PM

I personally think the prequels are a mixed bag. Some of the writing sucks, CGI is overused and looks worse with age, and it’s hard to get invested in storylines, especially in episode 1 and most of episode 2. However, many of the locations, some of the characters (I’m not a jar jar hater) and almost all of episode 3 are quite good in my opinion.

Agreed on talent being wasted. There were good performances (Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L Jackson come to mind), but Hayden Christensen is terrible, jango is uninspiring, and more that I can’t think of off the top of my head hold it back.

Rise of Skywalker is a POS. It accomplishes nothing plot wise in a plot driven trilogy. It’s an art film in a series that needs blockbusters. It’s agonizing for me to watch it knowing all the potential that was wasted with that movie. The plot could have been so great and set up a killer episode 9, the story arcs of characters such as Finn could have been smooth, and the trilogy’s direction was wrecked by Rian Johnson’s stupid idiotic plans. I feel strongly on this issue...

The land looks like a mixed bag. They never should have picked a location no one has heard of, but for what it is it’s visually stunning. Unfortunately, Smugglers run is wasted space that is basically a modernized star tours when they had the opportunity to make a unique, memorable ride like they did with rise of the resistance, which looks fantastic.

Agreed with the mandalorian and the greatness of rogue one. Damn Kathleen Kennedy

November 15, 2020 at 9:14 PM

Okay, I think "damn Kathleen Kennedy" is just a bit much. And do you mean TLJ when you talk about "Rise" as you mention set-up ep 9 and such.

I do know it can be divisive as for every board that hails TLJ as brilliant and ROS horrible, another slams TLJ and how ROS 'did its best to correct it." Which once more, proves how divisive this franchise is and trying to "fan service" such a fickle fandom was doomed.

November 15, 2020 at 9:38 PM

Rise of Skywalker was OK but not as terrible as some are saying. Truth be told the biggest problem with IX is that there was too much story stuffed into it and the movie seemed rushed to get everything in. Maybe there should have been TWO episodes to cover it all. But in spite of it all the final movie paid homage to each of the previous eight films somewhere and that was pretty neat.

I suppose if there are to be any new official movies, they would start a brand new story line in the vast universe. (Episode X anyone?) Until then, I look forward to more stand-alone films a la Rogue One.

November 15, 2020 at 9:41 PM

I cannot recommend The Clone Wars enough. Skip the first two seasons because they aren't good, but its an all around great show. Theres some bad episodes, as expected in any tv series, but the good episodes are so good, especially the last four episodes of season 7.

I think the Mandalorian really helped Star Wars in a time where alot of people weren't really feeling it anymore. It also helped push Disney Plus and helped the company make alot of merch sales with The Child, so Disney is pretty happy with what Faloni and Favreau have done.

As for Galaxy's Edge, without the broken promises in mind it is a marvel of theme park making. It does need some help with kinetic energy, but the land and both attractions are some of the best experiences out there in the industry. Now all we need are those roaming droids, walk around aliens, and additional Smugglers Run missions and the land will be more complete.

November 15, 2020 at 9:49 PM

On merchandising it's funny how Disney wanted to roll out scores of Baby Yoda merch but Favreau refused as he wanted it kept secret until the first episode aired which makes sense.

And yes, Clone Wars is fun as folks hated the 2008 movie but it ended up livening things up in the late time period before the Disney sale and works wonderfully.

And throw in Fallen Order, easily the best SW game in years.

November 15, 2020 at 9:51 PM

Read an "art of ROS" book which makes it clear that Carrie Fisher's death was a huge blow to things as plan was for her to embrace becoming a Jedi at last and aid in swaying Kylo and obviously that had to be changed. Also, again, how they took the "TLJ" backlash too much and such.

Although amused how some complained about bringing back the Emperor when the EU did that just five years in-timeline after ROTJ so some ideas were older than folks thought.

November 15, 2020 at 10:26 PM

As someone who grew up during the prequel era, I personally like all of the Star Wars films except Episode I. Yes, some are better than others (IV, V, and VII top the list for me), but all of them are entertaining. Episode I does have some highlights (mainly the final act), but it is largely a slow, exposition heavy piece that feels too disconnected from the rest of the saga to get fully invested in. Personally, when I feel like watching the saga films, I'll usually watch III-VIII, as Luke was the protagonist of the original trilogy and these six films do a great job of telling his story without leaving too many loose ends or holes in the plotline.

As for the Sequel Trilogy, my opinion is this: TFA was a fantastic start to a new trilogy, and did a great job of setting the stage for a new story while tying in to what happened previously. Yes, it could have been a bit more original (Starkiller is the biggest offender in that respect), but it is well made and introduces new characters you care about. TLJ started strong, but it feels like they took the first half of a middle installment and tied it to the second half of a final installment, with a "to be continued..." addendum at the end. I think this one would have benefitted greatly from a more cohesive plan for the trilogy as a whole, as from what I understand Rian Johnson was given free reign to do whatever he wanted and they'd pick it up from there. This resulted in TROS being a functional conclusion, but not a particularly satisfying one as it feels like plot threads from the original trilogy plan were intertwined with necessary additions and modifications due to TLJ's ending, which resulted in a mess of a film. Fortunately, because of the way TLJ ended, it is possible to ignore TROS and pretend the ending to the conflict happened off-screen, which is also an underwhelming conclusion but arguably a superior one.

As for Galaxy's Edge, I enjoy the land as it is, but lament how much there could have been. Visually, the land is spectacular. Both attractions, while not the greatest of all time, are high quality rides that I do most visits. The shops and restaurants fit right in with the Star Wars universe, and sell merchandise that is as authentic as you're realistically going to get in a theme park. The problem, however, lies in the fact that it still feels like a theme park. Missing are the characters and elements that would make this feel like a city on an alien planet rather than an attempt at mimicking one on Earth. To me, that is the biggest element that the Wizarding World got right but Galaxy's Edge missed, and I do hope Disney is able to rectify that mistake in the future.

Regarding the Mandalorian, I do feel this show is overhyped, but after watching the first season, I said that if Disney had condensed the story into a movie it would be their best Star Wars installment. Unfortunately, the second season hasn't quite captivated me to the same level, but I hope it starts to pick up in the next couple episodes.

Regarding other Star Wars stuff, the only other media I've really gotten into is the Clone Wars animated series. I watched the first two seasons when they originally released, then gave up because it wasn't keeping my interest. However, after hearing that Ahsoka Tano would be a part of Mandalorian, I've gone back and started watching select episodes from the later seasons (I've watched about forty episodes spread across seasons 3-5 so far), most of which have been better than I remember. Season five in particular features a lot of plot threads that likely tie into the Mandalorian, and I'd highly recommend watching the last two arcs of the season (episodes 14-20, plus episode 1) as auxiliary material for the show.

November 15, 2020 at 10:43 PM

If they had used Zahn’s original thrawn trilogy for the sequels it would have turned out so much better

November 15, 2020 at 10:47 PM

@AJ Hummel brings up the key issue I have with folks going "they should have stuck to the EU": Even many Star Wars fans haven't kept up on all the movies/comics/games/etc and so getting all that backstory ("Chewie is DEAD? Who are the Vong? Why is the Empire still around?") would have been too much.

I agree, an overall plan for sequels better but remember first movies were "make it up as we go" too, sometimes too much planning can backfire.

November 15, 2020 at 10:52 PM

@ftbalgirl79: Problem being Thrawn trilogy was set five years post ROTJ. No way does that work with the actors being so much older.

November 16, 2020 at 3:39 AM

Throughout this pandemic my wife and I have basically become hermits. Our social life has been put on almost total hold and we have been out just once for dinner since March. One of the ways we have coped is to designate Saturday evenings as 'Movie Night' and we have steadily and weekly worked our way through various series of films. This last Saturday we reached the end of a ten week run of all the Star Wars films (we added in Rogue One between episodes 3 and 4 as it makes so much sense to the plotline).

I was an original Star Wars fan having seen it the first time as a teenage lad in 1977 and I've enjoyed it ever since. But Dear Lord please deliver me from Star Wars 'fans'. I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed all 9 films in the series, even the prequel series. They were all far more enjoyable than I remember and I particularly enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker. I don't really care about whether or not it was 'true' to this or that story line or what it 'did' or 'didn't do# the the Star Wars Universe. I just enjoyed a visual spectacle full of references to forty years of continuing story and a lovely respect to characters that have literally accompanied me for much of my life.

One can get too worked up about a fairy tale. If you just embrace the fairy story, like a child, it's a hell of a good ride.

November 16, 2020 at 6:43 AM

Robert: "I am enjoying 'The Mandalorian' more than anything in the Star Wars universe — outside the theme parks — since the original trilogy."

Me: Ditto! Watching S2E2 I looked at my son and said, "This is the best 'Star Wars' production ever produced.

Robert: "Framed like a classic television western — such as 'Have Gun, Will Travel' and 'Wagon Train' ..."

Me: I compare it to the 1970's "Kung Fu" as well.

Stormrunner: "Damn Kathleen Kennedy."

Me: You're kidding, right? Do you believe that billion dollar product such as the Star Wars franchise (story, production, etc.) is only steered by one person?

Stormrunner: "The land looks like a mixed bag."

Me: When you write "looks like" it makes me ask if you have visited SWGE?

Stormrunner: "They never should have picked a location no one has heard of ..."

Me: I suppose that's why attendance suffered so greatly when SWGE opened.

November 16, 2020 at 9:57 AM

Star Wars has never needed saving. In the 16 years between the film releases of the original and prequel trilogies, the franchise was filled with books, comics, and video games.

The "worst" performing film (other than the Clone Wars film used to kick of the Cartoon Network series) in the franchise was "Solo: A Star Wars Story" which took in slightly less than $400 million. Nearly every executive in Hollywood would be ecstatic with that number for any other film. Despite that number, many people who skipped it in the theaters (because of hate for "The Last Jedi" have said it is a very good film in its own right.

For anyone who tells me that George Lucas should have input in the future or that Disney should use his original vision, I let them know about 4 billion reasons why that shouldn't happen. He sold his rights to the story, and it's about what Disney and Lucasfilm wants to do with the story now (and the same goes for Indians Jones 5 if it ever sees the light of day).

No one hates Star Wars more than toxic Star Wars "fans". They are free to go away and back to their self-written fan fiction where, in their minds, everything is right in the galaxy.

November 16, 2020 at 10:43 AM

I'm an original trilogy kid. This fairytale story in a lived in sci-fi setting was just magical to me. Sure it was stolen together (or inspired) by a ton of more original works but it had hart, humor and a solid story with believable characters.
The prequal where boring, badly acted and forgettable. The Disney SW movies did exactly as I expected as it's what Disney did with the Muppets, they have no idea what they bought. They miss what the characters and the world is about in these franchises so they produce Chinese nock offs that look the part but don't feel the part.
And than we have the Mandalorian, this time not a trooper that chooses to fight for the good but a rent to kill who gets attached to baby Joda or should I say buy-me Joda, their product placement puppet that sometimes uses it's force and insight, than is a comedic relief and most of the time is just a baby. Endless walks, rides or flights fill up an already short show trying to mask it's tiny budget and lack of contant. We get the weekly loop of something happens and than we are back at the start and didn't got any further, not the story nor the characters develop in a meaningful way. I just don't get the hype.

November 16, 2020 at 10:51 AM

So true Twobits!

I'm a little bit younger than Robert, but Star Wars was also a HUGE part of my childhood. Sadly my collection of vintage toys fell prey to my youthful entrepreneurial spirit, but when the prequels rolled around, my disposable income went towards re-amassing a toy collection that now occupies the walls of my office and significant space in my attic. While I've now given up on that obsession (I do still occasionally buy a toy if it's on sale, but a far cry from the complete figure collections I collected 20 years ago), I still consider myself a pretty hard-core Star Wars fan.

Here's where I fall when it comes to the IP...The original movies are not perfect, but I think their role in the development of science fiction/fantasy in the public consciousness is unmatched. Star Trek was the first mainstream sci-fi IP to really resonate with the GP, and I was a Trekker when TNG debuted during my high school years, filling the void between the original trilogy and the prequels. Star Wars took the sci-fi genre to an entirely new level and instead of a weekly episodic encounter, forced fans to wait years between installments. That was the magic of Star Wars - anticipation, the fan fiction and improvisation about what would come next, the mail-in offers for figures of characters that you never even saw on film but knew existed. The scarcity is what drove the popularity, and the decade plus without new original material created so much pent-up demand that not even the greatest movie in history could have live up to the expectations heaped upon The Phantom Menace. For my money, if you removed Jar Jar Binks from TPM, it's actually not as terrible of a movie as many make it out to be. I know a lot of people seem to like Revenge of the Sith the most of the prequel trilogy, but I actually think it's the lesser of the 3, particularly given the awful acting of Hayden Christenson. He was a pretty highly regarded actor, but his delivery is about as dry and stilted as you could possibly get, and not even Ewan McGregor can save it. For my money, the battle between Yoda and Sidious in the Senate Chamber is superior to the more highly anticipated battle on Mustfar anyway.

As far as the Disney films, I've enjoyed all of them, but Rogue One is probably my favorite, particularly how it perfectly transitions right into ANH (gives me chills every time I watch it). I also didn't hate Solo, but I think Miller/Lord might have been able to infuse the film with an energy and freshness that you never get in Ron Howard's mister fix-it movie. Of all the films in the sequel trilogy, I actually enjoy Rise of Skywalker the most. It's tough to bring together the entire Star Wars universe and to wrap it up with one nice bow, but I think JJ did a solid job while not veering too far off the path. He had a lot of masters to answer to (fans all over the spectrum as well as his real bosses in the executive suites), and managed to strike a compromise that gives the series a definitive conclusion. Are there still questions remaining and more unknowns brought to the fore by Episode IX, sure, but I think all of the important arcs have been resolved while still giving the universe a place to go moving both forward and backward in the timeline.

I will be honest and say that if not for the earworm of a theme song and the cool conceptual art at the end of each episode, I would not have been as invested in The Mandalorian as I have become. The first handful of episodes of the first season were excruciatingly slow, and the show was almost unwatchable until Gina Carano showed up. The second season is moving at a brisker pace, and holds far more promise in where the story is going. The Mandalorian does not play like a classic TV show, and instead is put together more like an overly long feature film. The b-stories are short and self contained with very few accessory characters threading through the main story arc. Compared to more modern sci-fi/fantasy shows like Watchmen, Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian is still a notch below the best of the genre.

For me, I think the biggest issue with Star Wars right now is why it was so successful. Star Wars was placed on that high pedestal because of its inaccessibility (it took YEARS before you could watch any of the movies on TV and when they debuted for home viewing, it was always an EVENT for the network that had the rights). Now with Disney cranking out new official Star Wars IP at an unprecedented rate, the IP is basically drowning in its own success. For Star Wars, there can be too much of a good thing, and I think Disney is starting to recognize that (helped out by pandemic). The Marvel audiences are used to rapid fire sequels/spin-offs just like the comics, but Star Wars fans were sustained for over 2 decades with just 3 feature films and a Christmas Special (the X-Men franchise has surpassed that in half the time). Star Wars stories need time to breathe and develop through the public consciousness, not continuously added to with more movies, TV shows, and projects that are nothing more than a financial play.

That's why Galaxy's Edge probably holds the biggest key to sustaining the Star Wars universe, because change to a theme park land comes slowly. However, it also assumes that Disney is willing to let Batuu become the place that the fans want it to be, and not just something that conforms to an accountant's balance sheet.

November 16, 2020 at 11:26 AM

Russell nails it, Disney realizing pushing a new Star Wars movie every year was a bit much for everyone (I personally believe "Solo" would have done better in the fall rather than three weeks after "Avengers Infinity War") and backing up from that. That they're taking time developing new movies shows they're learning from the mistakes and so give fans time to breathe and regroup before capturing more magic again.

November 16, 2020 at 11:28 AM

I liked Solo.

There, I said it.

November 16, 2020 at 12:34 PM

As a child of the 70s, I saw Star Wars in the theater with my family. Not my thing...I felt nothing when leaving the theater but everyone else in the world was in a frenzy. Over the years I caught up with most of the films at some point but never traveled to a theater for any of them. An idle curiosity drove me to keep watching because I for the life of me, couldn't figure out the appeal to this franchise. Eventually, I just gave up and figured I'd never find any fascination in the Star Wars universe.

Then Disney+ launched and everyone and their cousins were going ape over the Mandalorian. A friend of mine kept harping "You've GOT to watch it!" so eventually I threw in the towel and fired it up. What an impressive series!! And NOT just because of the "the child" which I do admit adds a certain charm to it. Now I look forward to a new episode dropping on Fridays and I'm still a little shell shocked I even care.

Kudos to Mr. Favreau for finding the perfect format, characters, and plotlines to draw me in! That's not an easy task to achieve! Now am I all atwitter with anticipation to visit Galaxy's Edge??....meh.....

November 16, 2020 at 12:42 PM

It’s such a shame so many people hated Last Jedi. All JJ Abrams is capable of is recycling old stories. At least Rian Johnson tried something new. But, people like the same-old stuff, hence why Disney’s live-action remakes make so much money despite little creativity.

November 16, 2020 at 1:49 PM

B Goodwin: "I liked Solo. There, I said it."

Me: The nominees for best TPI post of 2020 are ...

November 16, 2020 at 1:50 PM

I liked "Solo" too, some good stuff, a nice take on how Han became Han and really wanted a follow-up to "Darth Maul, intergalactic mob boss" so deserved to be a bigger hit.

November 16, 2020 at 4:03 PM

Toxic Star Wars fans: "'The Force Awakens' was too much like 'A New Hope'! It's awful!"

Same Toxic Star Wars fans two years later: "'The Last Jedi' wasn't enough like "The Empire Strikes Back"! It's awful!

November 16, 2020 at 6:38 PM

@TwoBits-

I cannot agree more. I guess my say in this doesn't have the same weight because I wasn't born back when the OT came out, but it seems like those kids hated the PT. However, now that the PT kids have grown up, we're seeing so many kids saying that they're amazing and the best trilogy, even though the kids that turned adults that watched the PT in theaters hated it. Now the same thing is happening with the ST, it's the same cycle happening over again.

Solo, IMO, was a breath of fresh air from all the other Star Wars content, at least in the movie department. No lightsabers, aside from that crappy Maul cameo. It's a genuinely fun SW movie that you don't need any prior knowledge to watch it. It's a shame that it flopped though, I kinda wanted to see Solo 2.

November 16, 2020 at 8:00 PM

@MikeW I certainly fall on the side of TLJ being horrible and ROS being forced to make the best of an impossible situation, having to essentially undo one bad movie and cram another one in. I do principally blame Kennedy for bringing things that shouldn’t be in Star Wars into the series.

November 16, 2020 at 9:11 PM

Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy killed star wars. They completely sidelined George Lucas after promising to keep him involved, derailed JJ Abrams decent but not great set up in Episode 7, and even ignored Mark Hamill's pleas to not destroy his character the way they did. The Disney trilogy is garbage and Ive seen far better youtube fan films than anything in that trilogy.

November 16, 2020 at 9:27 PM

"The Mandalorian" is awesome! If Disney doesn't somehow include "The Mandalorian" and Baby Yoda in Galaxy's Edge, they're making a mistake. Can you imagine the excitement if guests saw the Mandalorian walking through GE?

(Yes, I know "The Mandalorian" doesn't fit GE's timeline. But most Disney guests know nothing about the timeline or GE's backstory.)

November 16, 2020 at 11:07 PM

Daniel, I don't understand what you mean by Luke being ruined due to Johnson and Kennedy. A book called "The Star Wars Archives" reveals that Lucas always planned for Luke to become a reclusive hermit and die in Episode VIII.

November 17, 2020 at 12:10 AM

Man I really don't want to get into another TLJ argument... but...

I mean Kathleen has produced some of the best sci-fi movies of all time. I don't really know what happened. She tried to do so much with the SW brand at once, and tried to make it all progressive and appeal to more demographics. While the idea is nice, (because who wouldn't want to show Star Wars to everyone), it was so pandered and forced (haha get it) that none of it worked. Her plan for the brand did not work and I honestly feel kinda bad for her. She had such big plans to grow the brand but it all blew up in her face and now she will always be known as "the person that destroyed star wars" rather than "the person that helped make a lot of famous and great movies". As much as I dislike what she has done, I just feel so bad for her.

As for Rian, he made a good movie that tried too hard to do too many things. I'd much prefer if he did all three films so all the ideas weren't all crammed into one movie. Side note- I don't understand why so many people are upset at Luke's state in the movie. It was more interesting that way than to see an all powerful flawless old guy just tearing apart the first order.

But man, when I first saw TROS, I actually believed it was a good film. It took me a second watch to realize that it had no identity. It tried to erase all the controversial parts of TLJ while trying to build a new ground upon it. Shouldn't of been one movie, but rather two. It totally killed the pacing of the movie. Anyways, I really hope this is the last time I argue about this. But if it's just my luck, it won't be.

November 17, 2020 at 4:43 PM

I like the parts with the spaceships and sword fights.

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