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?
No: They're far better than the prequels
Many people, fans included, don’t fully realize how awful the prequels were. With three horrible movies, George Lucas single handedly decimated his entire legacy. Disney took on the insurmountable task of rebuilding trust in the franchise and scaling an impossible nostalgia wall.
They’re doing a much better job than Lucas. Every single Disney Star Wars movie is far and away better than the prequels. They have richer characters, better action and direction, better plots, better writing, and pretty much better everything. – JI
Yes: Pointless spin-off movies
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” were Disney’s two attempts at expanding the Star Wars universe through spin-off movies and, surprisingly, they weren’t completely terrible. No, the problem with these side movies isn’t that they’re bad, I myself thought Rogue One was great! (Solo… maybe not so much.) The problem with them is that they failed at the one thing they set out to do: Expand the Star Wars universe.
Both Rogue One and Solo are just retelling stories that we already know; we knew how Rogue One would end since “Star Wars: A New Hope” came out in 1977, and Solo was just every little tidbit of exposition Han Solo gave up about himself packed into one movie.
The Star Wars universe is big and packed with opportunity, but with the recent cancelling of what could have been an awesome Boba Fett spin-off, Disney has made it clear to the fans that they’re just not interested in flexing their creative muscles and making new and interesting movies. – HH
No: They're giving exactly what fans wanted
Since the first trilogy released, fans have always wanted movies exploring other parts of the Star Wars universe. Why do you think the video games and books were so popular? Fans wanted more. Disney is merely giving the fans what they’ve always wanted.
It’s true Disney hasn’t expanded the Star Wars universe through new information, but they have expanded it by experience. Fans want to experience the stories regardless if it gives them new information or not. Most Star Wars fans know everything there is to know about the expanded universe. Disney likely knows that and just wants to give them a visual experience. They succeeded. – JI
Yes: The new movies are just one big marketing ploy
Be honest with yourself; did the porgs really have any reason to be in “The Last Jedi” beyond giving Disney an excuse to market a new star wars toy? No, they did not. Ever since they’ve acquired the rights, Disney merchandised the soul out of Star Wars. So you can bet they’ll take any opportunity they can to throw some cute new aliens into the films. Of course, marketing your movie is going to be a necessary evil for any studio, but Disney has, as they usually do, taken it to an extreme. – HH
No: They've given it to new, fresh filmmakers
George Lucas invented the Star Wars franchise, sure, but other filmmakers, like Irvin Kershner, molded it and made it even better. When Lucas decided to direct the entire prequel trilogy himself, he proved he’s a horrible director, crashing and burning his beloved franchise into the ground.
Star Wars is better off when fresh, new voices take control. J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson have done a far better job recapturing the heart of Star Wars than Lucas ever could.