Did Disney ruin Star Wars? Since first purchasing LucasFilm and the entire Star Wars franchise, Disney has released four Star Wars films with mixed results. While they’ve all been critical and box office successes in their own right, there’s a disturbance in the force. Many Star Wars fans aren’t happy with the direction Disney has taken Star Wars. In response, Disney adjusted their strategy several times, firing directors, cancelling scheduled spin-offs (like a Boba Fett standalone movie), and focusing their attention on putting out Star Wars TV shows to their new streaming service, Disney+. With so much confusion on what fans want, Disney seems determined to get it right, no matter what.
Every week, List25 has been debating these hotly contested topics in a segment we call “Deathmatch.” Two of our writers take a side to the debate and fight for their side. This time, Jason and Hunter, are facing off to answer this difficult and divisive question—Did Disney ruin Star Wars?
Yes: There was no reason for a new trilogy
When it comes down to it, the new trilogy has no reason to exist other than Disney cashing in on the success of the original movies. The “Return of the Jedi” ended with the main characters victorious, the empire leaderless and on the run, and the story all wrapped up. There was no need for a follow-up trilogy. You’d think Disney would have learned by now the dangers of unnecessary sequels? Then again, “Frozen 2” is coming out this year, so maybe not. – HH
No: We get to see the old gang again
When it was announced in the late ’90s that Lucasfilm would release new “Star Wars” films, fans were elated. Then, they found out the old gang wasn’t coming back. Instead, they were releasing prequels of a toddler Anakin Skywalker. No one asked for that. Everyone wanted the old gang back together. So, we waited for years to finally see it happen.
For a while, I lost hope it would ever happen. Then, Disney bought Lucasfilm and gave it to us. Don’t lie, you know you loved it when the old gang reunited. From Han and Leia reuniting to Chewy taking out Stormtroopers to seeing Luke again, it was a great feeling to see them fighting evil once more. – JI
Yes: Too many underdeveloped side characters
Let’s be honest, Star Wars doesn’t have a great track record of fleshing out its secondary characters, and that tradition doesn’t seem to be going away with Disney’s acquisition of the franchise. New characters are thrown in left and right with no real explanation to how they got there, and few have any chance to grow once they are there.
Yeah, I know there’s only so much you can fit into a feature-length movie, but that’s no excuse for characters like Supreme Leader Snoke or Captain Phasma, who were hyped to be amazing villains, only to eventually end up dying off before we could learn anything more about them. And no, the extended canon doesn’t count, fleshing out your side characters in a book is a total cop-out and isn’t an excuse for pointless characters. – HH
No: Star Wars isn't Game of Thrones
“Star Wars” movies have a rich history of underdeveloped characters. From Boba Fett to IG-88, most of the characters in Star Wars are underdeveloped. Honestly, what do we even know about Luke, Leia, and Han? Very little. Star Wars isn’t Game of Thrones. It’s not meant to be full of insanely developed characters. It’s about swashbuckling adventure and the heroes journey. Don’t make it something it’s not or you’ll always be disappointed. – JI
Yes: They feel like they're pushing an agenda
When it boils down to it, every Star Wars movie since the beginning has been about a group of rebels fighting off the evil, controlling empire. So, why is it that the new movies get so much more attention for being political than the originals? Well, part of the reason is Disney tries so hard to get their point across that it takes people out of the experience. Perhaps Disney is making up for their long history of contrived stories about princesses being rescued by a prince, but you can have strong female leads and good representation without it feeling forced. – HH