Saturday 28 January 2017

The Last Jedi, The Star Wars revival story so far

As I am sure the rest of the Internet will have told you, Disney have revealed the name of the new "main saga" film, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Right now EVERYONE is speculating about what this implies or who the last Jedi is (Luke or Rey). Frankly, I imagine that neither of them will be the last Jedi because I doubt Disney will stop making Star Wars films after episode 9.

This seemed like the ideal time to take my mind off the future of Star Wars and start thinking about how we got to where we are.

Star Wars started out as the perfect underdog story, nobody wanted to help George Lucas make it because the idea seemed daft. If you think about it, it sounds pretty daft.
However, Star Wars exploded and made much money causing a chain of events throughout cinematic history.

The Sequels went from strength to strength and we were left with almost the perfect trilogy, in my mind only rivalled by Lord of the Rings.

Like Lord of the Rings years after, a prequel trilogy was announced and it got everyone's Star Wars juices flowing.

Unlike the original trilogy, the prequels started out on a bad (but not un-salvageable) note with "The Phantom Menace".

While this was not a great film it did have some strengths so I don't think it deserves all of the stick it gets today. Jar-Jar and Anakin were poor, but the rest of it really was OK and had the trilogy got better I don't think it would have been thought of in the same way.

It was Attack of the Clones that sealed the fate of this trilogy because it was bloody rubbish. A trilogy needs to be strong in the middle or its done, and this was done.

By the time Revenge of the Sith came out there was little hope and this was arguably worse than the previous film.

At this point Star Wars was in trouble, we all knew there was supposed to be 9 but most of us hoped they would just give up and let us enjoy the originals in peace.

But wait, a new Director, new owners, could it be that we might get what we deserved and have Star Wars born again into the 21st Century?

The Force Awakens didn't hold back in getting our hopes up and for a lot of people it gave them what they needed, nostalgia. But was it 'a new hope' for Star Wars? 

I personally didn't think it was a great film, I liked it and it got me in the Star Wars zone but it didn't have an original thought in it. 

What really bugged me about this film wasn't anything typical like the rehashed story, it was that it undid the ending to the original trilogy.

Good had won, the Sith were defeated and the Empire destroyed. But less than a generation later everything is just as buggered as before, Sith are back and a new Empire is taking control.

I'm not sure how it could have gone another way, but it left me feeling like the original trilogy didn't matter to this film.

Next we were given Rogue One, now this is what I had been waiting for. It was completely reliant on the original trilogy as far as the story goes but it gave us a whole new idea, characters and theme.

The fact that the characters weren't Jedi was probably it's strongest point because Star Wars has a rich and fantastic universe that doesn't need to revolve around the mystical Knights. I love the Jedi idea, but it's not enough to keep a whole franchise alive.

So, in my mind Star Wars has been revived but not in the way everyone seems to think. It's been a tough Road for avid fans like me but let's hope that the new film rewards our devotion with a new story and the real Star Wars feel.

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