A little warning – will be a rambling post.
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since the first time I saw the original. The Blockade Runner screaming by with the Star Destroyer giving chase is still a powerful image for me. Star Wars has been a big part of my life ever since. The original trilogy is still my favorite time period, the Rebellion Era.
I discovered West End Game’s Star Wars RPG and couldn’t believe the depth of information they created, especially just from the basic set pictures or production art.
The novels that followed were a mixed bag. For every Heir to the Empire you had a Truce at Bakura or Crystal Star. I lost complete interest after Vector Prime, not because of what happened but because I hated the Yuuzhan Vong. They didn’t feel like Star Wars to me. I’ll admit I didn’t read any of the however many dozens of novels that came during that period. But I will say I didn’t attack any of the writers or even the people who DID enjoy that massive arc.
Star Wars is different things to different people. It ranges from space monks with laser swords dueling to World War II air battles but in space. A lot of us will also base our opinions on when we first experienced Star Wars as well. As I said the Rebellion Era is my favorite. The Rebels fighting the Empire. Luke, Han, Leia, Vader, all of it. This is the case for my generation.
There is a whole generation that Star Wars is the prequels and the Clone Wars. Anakin Skywalker, (young) Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Sideous, General Grievous. That is the Star Wars they watched and enjoyed.
We now have a generation that Star Wars is Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and BB8.
I have enjoyed all the Star Wars movies, some more than others. None are perfect. I am very much glad of the ability to push fast-forward to skip over some of the less than stellar dialog that has come out. As of the writing of this post I have not seen the Rise of Skywalker. I have no doubt I will enjoy it.
Having said all of this I’m ready for the Skywalker saga to be over. For over forty years, nine movies, one cartoon series, and countless books and comic books we’ve been centered on the Skywalkers. The galaxy is a big place with so many other stories to tell. Let the Skywalker legacy rest and let’s move onto new characters.
I think my favorite Legends stories were the Rogue Squadron series. They were centered around Wedge Antilles and had minimal mention of the holy characters. It also showed you could tell compelling stories that didn’t involve Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, or the Force.
Did I like what JJ and Rian did with Luke? Yes, but. I found that particular arc more compelling than the super Jedi that could do everything as he was in the comics and Legends. I know, I know, sacrilege. The argument is that Luke was so hopeful that he brought his father back from the Dark Side. He didn’t give up.
Luke was young and idealistic. How many of us were young and idealistic, not giving up, only to have life beat us down. Skywalker started a new Jedi academy, with little to no actual information other than what Yoda and Obi-Wan imparted. He was older, more seasoned, and knew so much rested on him. And he failed, spectacularly. His failure doomed his nephew and all the young Jedi he was teaching.
Say what you will but I know a good chunk of us would have done the same thing. And it isn’t outside of the Story narrative of Star Wars. Yoda went to Dagobah basically to die after the fall of the Republic. He wasn’t going to teach Luke originally until Obi-Wan talked him into it. Luke was too old, too rash, too impulsive.
Now, would I have written Luke’s arc if I had been given the task of writing a new Star Wars trilogy? No. But I wasn’t asked. Like or not the new movies are canon. You can always go back to Legends if that is your safe space, but Luke wasn’t that great there either.
The task of carrying on the Star Wars franchise has hit missteps to be sure. But we have gotten some gold out of it. Rogue One is in my top three favorite Star Wars movies. I really enjoyed the Clone Wars cartoon and LOVE Rebels. I’m not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater and I’m not going to let all the nay-sayers ruin my love for Star Wars.
If you didn’t like the new movies, great. If you did like the new movies great. Don’t go attacking each other, calling names. No one’s childhood was ruined by the Prequels or the new trilogy. If your childhood was ruined by these then you really should seek professional help.
I’m looking forward to new stories in that Galaxy Far, Far Away. The Mandalorian has become must-see TV. I’m blazing through Rebels now and then will move onto Resistance. There are so many great stories waiting to be told. Don’t let the past ruin your future.