My family usually goes out together to see a movie on Christmas Day. After the presents get opened and some of the mess gets cleaned up, it’s a nice way to spend time together. The other day my wife asked me if I’d purchased tickets to for the new Star Wars movie which opens next week. I told her I hadn’t and that I wasn’t planning on it. That surprised her a bit because I’ve always been a fan of the original films. My house isn’t festooned with Star Wars items, but I do have an original Empire Strikes Back movie poster hanging in the hallway. The movies were a big part of my childhood.
But as I’ve written before, my time as a fan started to wane with the introduction of the special editions in the late 90s. And if the special editions were disappointing then the prequels felt more like a betrayal. So much about them was absolutely stupid. They were like a bad rough draft of a story that might eventually have been worth telling if they’d been rewritten a dozen more times.
By the time we got to the sequels I just didn’t care anymore. The Force Awakens was clearly meant as a reboot of the first Star Wars with a substitute Death Star and a substitute Empire and a substitute Vader, but it was as if the animating ideas of the original film (not the force but the spirit of them) had left the production along with the basic ability to craft a sensible plot. The only saving grace of TFA in my view was that the second film, The Last Jedi, was worse in so many ways. And today we learn that even some of the cast and director JJ Abrams felt that TLJ writer/director Rian Johnson lost the thread: