Screen Rant encourages Star Wars fans to be less critical, except when it comes to the Prequels

Here is an interesting case of doublethink. Screen Rant blames some Star Wars fans for being overly critical of the new movies and for not trying to understand the vision behind them. But when it comes to the Prequel Trilogy, this questioning of the attitudes of the fans mysteriously vanishes.

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“As the old saying goes, nobody hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans, and one only has to look at the response to the Skywalker saga’s sequel trilogy for proof. Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 meant the galaxy far, far away would enter the modern era of blockbuster filmmaking, complete with annual releases. […] And though there’s been much enthusiasm for these films and the characters they’ve featured, some portions of the fan base have struggled to determine what they want out of the latest episodes.

Much like The Phantom Menace in 1999, Episode VII and its sequels are movies viewers have been making in their heads since the original trilogy concluded. Everyone had their own ideas of what happened to Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, so there was no way what Lucasfilm officially released could live up to all expectations. The fact The Force Awakens was as well-received as it was is something of a minor miracle, and the likes of Rey and Kylo Ren have already become integral parts of the overall series legacy. Still, many people had gripes with how things turned out, which is something that’s been happening ever since the heyday of the classics. Lucasfilm has never been able to completely win with the fans.

One of the most common complaints about the prequels was that they didn’t “feel” like Star Wars films. The lived-in, dirty, and practical aesthetics of the original trilogy was traded for a shiny artificial CGI sheen. Performances were criticized for coming across as wooden, as even talented thespians like Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman couldn’t do much with the dialogue George Lucas (who never proclaimed to be a wordsmith) came up with. Fans were excited to have more Star Wars, but they wanted it to be closer to what they remembered. So when the studio brought in J.J. Abrams to make Episode VII, the longtime Star Wars aficionado crafted a tentpole in the same spirit of the originals. The overall response to Force Awakens proved this was the right approach, but Abrams was blasted by some for basically remaking A New Hope and forsaking the creativity the property is known for. […]

To quote Rey from the Last Jedi trailer, it’ll be important for Lucasfilm to find “a balance” as they continue developing their famous franchise. In what amounts to their “Phase 1,” it was smart from a business perspective to play on familiar tropes and themes, and they wanted to make sure there was still an audience for the property. Eventually, they’re going to have to move past “legacy elements” like the Skywalkers, Han Solo, and the Death Star if Star Wars is to thrive longterm into the next decade and beyond. When they eventually get to their equivalent of Guardians of the Galaxy (i.e. the weird one that goes out there), many will be curious to see the fan response. After 40 years of being at the forefront of popular culture, several moviegoers have such a concrete idea of what the brand is, anything that moves the needle in one way or the other could be extremely risky. Die-hard fans enriched in the lore are clamoring for Knights of the Old Republic, but would general audiences go for something so far removed from the main storyline? The history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe suggests they would, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

If the response to the new movies is anything to go by, it’s safe to say Star Wars fans don’t know what they want – since they have a reaction whether something is too similar or too new. The best thing for the community to do right now is to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s an unprecedented time for the far away galaxy, with a new movie each year and a treasure trove of other content to help the time pass away. After Revenge of the Sith concluded the prequel trilogy, few could have predicted the franchise would come back with such a vengeance and once again rule supreme at the box office, so having fun with it all sounds smart. Critiquing the films for weak characterizations or other technical filmmaking flaws is fine and part of the process. But all movie series have a formula, and it’s up to each new installment to offer their take on it to keep things feeling fresh. The Force Awakens and Rogue One rejuvenated Star Wars, and The Last Jedi looks to follow suit. Complaining about surface level details (in some cases months away from the premiere) doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Read the full article at Screen Rant.

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3 thoughts on “Screen Rant encourages Star Wars fans to be less critical, except when it comes to the Prequels

  1. They didn’t rejuvenate they murdered it. They were a rehash where what Lucas did was original. The Expanded Universe was constantly introducing new ideas and concepts. It didn’t die until THEY came along. – and given that they undid all the progress and heroism of the Original Trilogy heroes, there is no way under the sun they get another chance with me. They COULD have done something new without destroying the victory in Return of the Jedi.

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