My Issues With Disney’s “Star Wars” Sequel Trilogy

Lucas Pari, Sports Editor

On October 30, 2012, Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney, a deal that cost $4.05 billion. This is known as the day that Disney bought Star Wars and for hardcore fans of the series, it is known as one of the darkest in its history. After the deal, George Lucas, creator of Star Wars stepped down as president of Lucasfilm, and Kathleen Kennedy was appointed soon after.

In my opinion, Kathleen Kennedy is quite possibly the worst person they could’ve chosen to run Lucasfilm. She is a liar, she has no respect for the integrity of the series. When fans were upset by the absolute dumpster fires that Disney refers to as “movies” that were released on her watch and disagreed with the direction of the franchise, she had the audacity to blame the fans for the decrease in the quality and claims that the fans are the ones who ruined Star Wars. The fans had nothing to do with the direction of the series. Every single one of the problems with the Star Wars sequel series can be traced back to her ignorance, terrible leadership, and her personal agendas that she tried to jam down all of our throats and forcing her own specific narrative. As soon as the fans voiced their disagreements with her, she complained and blamed her own failure and incompetence on the fans because she could not accept the fact that she should’ve never been in charge of the direction of Star Wars. She wanted to detach from the original fans of the series and try to only appeal to new fans. She knowingly and willingly ignored original fans and prequel fans as well in an attempt to “evolve” the series. Regardless, Kathleen Kennedy will never admit that she was wrong, and will always find a way to blame everyone but herself for her own failures.

One of the biggest and most obvious things that were forced down everyone’s throat was the feminist ideals that instilled within Rey’s character. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a feminist character in a movie, it is the way that Rey was handled and how she was written and presented that irked the fans and me. Since the beginning of Episode VII “The Force Awakens”, Rey was shown to be a very resourceful and powerful character. Throughout the movie, it is shown that Rey is very strong with the Force, despite never using it before and she is seen piloting the Millenium Falcon by herself and fighting off enemy ships despite never piloting a ship of that size before, which she excitedly tells Finn. Towards the end of the movie, she is seen performing advanced Force techniques despite receiving no training or proper instruction on how to perform them correctly. Soon after, Rey is able to defeat Kylo Ren, a former pupil of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. She does all of this in a single movie that takes play over only a few days.

It is for reasons such as those that, since day one, Rey has come to be defined as a “Mary Sue”. “A Mary Sue is a generic name for any fictional character (usually female) who is so competent or perfect that this appears unrealistic for the world’s settings, even in the context of the fictional setting. Mary Sues are often an author’s idealized or flawless self-insertion.” The fact that Rey is so powerful despite having no training whatsoever easily makes her a Mary Sue, especially since we don’t get an explanation for why she is more in-tuned with the force until the third movie in this trilogy. Rey’s “Mary Sue-ness” is further explored in Episode VIII “The Last Jedi”. “The Last Jedi” begins righter where “The Force Awakens” left off. Most people will remember that at the end of “The Force Awakens”, Rey tracks down Luke Skywalker, and the movie ends with the shot of Rey handing Luke his lightsaber. This is an indication that no time has passed in between the two movies, which therefore means that Rey did not spend any time training, which should discredit everything she does in this movie, since she’s had ZERO training thus far and doesn’t really train in this movie either.

This movie has perhaps the most egregious example of Rey’s “Mary Sue-ness”. In this movie, she pilots the Millenium Falcon expertly once again despite only piloting a ship of that size in combat situations once in “The Force Awakens”, where we already stated that she had no experience flying those kinds of ships, she lifts pretty much an entire mountain of rocks using the force to help out her friends despite earlier in the movie struggling with her connection to the force unless she’s having a Force-Skype call with Kylo Ren, she battles a large group of armed guards with Kylo and she never once looks like she in any real peril, and then, and this is the worst of all she somehow manages to best a Jedi hero; luke skywalker, in combat. It is extremely confusing that Rey, a person who didn’t even believe that Luke Skywalker was real only the day before is now besting him in combat with no proper training. There is no explanation for that. It doesn’t matter if you take into account Rey’s lineage. An undertrained individual like Rey should never be able to beat a Jedi Master like Luke in combat. That is absolutely ridiculous and shows clear favoritism towards Rey and disrespect to Luke Skywalker and the OG trilogy and old fans as a whole.

These movies somehow have an obsession with spitting on the original trilogy and alienating the fans. A character like Rey should never be able to be anywhere near Luke’s caliber in combat, much less be able to best him. While we do learn in Episode IX “The Rise of Skywalker” that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine and is why she is so in-tuned with the force and so powerful, it still does not excuse the fact that Rey is a Mary Sue and is performing all these spectacular and complicated things despite never being exposed to it before. Some try to come out and say “Well if Rey is a Mary Sue, then Luke and Anakin Skywalker are Gary Stues (male versions of Mary sue).” This rhetoric is simply false and incorrect, and here is why. While Luke and Anakin are inherently powerful, they are still seen training, or their training is at least brought up. People who think “Well Rey is so powerful because she’s Palpatine’s granddaughter and therefore she doesn’t need the training to do that,” often seem to forget that Anakin was born from the force itself, so he is, therefore, the most inherently powerful person in the universe. Despite that fact, Anakin still had to spend years training as Obi-Wan Kenobi’s padawan and training under other Jedi masters. Even with all his training and inherent power, Anakin still couldn’t best his master Obi-Wan in combat in their battle on Mustafar in Episode III “Revenge of the Sith”. With Luke Skywalker, however, we see him training in the FIRST movie that he is in when he trains with Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Millenium Falcon. In the second movie Luke is in, we see him training again and more intensely with Master Yoda on Dagobah. Luke attempts to fight his father, Darth Vader, and he gets absolutely destroyed by Darth Vader, and he barely escapes with his life. Rey however goes through no training whatsoever in the first two movies, and yet she is able to best Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker in combat in the span of about three days? This simply doesn’t line up with the pre-established rules of the universe.

When it comes to the Disney “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, there was a very distinct lack of planning. Kathleen Kennedy, Bob Iger, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney did not put in much care into this new trilogy, and that is evident in the last two films of the trilogy. In “The Force Awakens”, even with its many problems, JJ Abrams did set up plenty of plot lines and arcs, such as the mystery of who Snoke is and who Rey’s parents are. Disney however, decided to make the idiotic decision to hand the reigns of the second movie “The Last Jedi” to Rian Johnson, and they decided to give him complete creative freedom. So Rian Johnson decided to completely discredit everything JJ set up in “The Force Awakens.” Who is Snoke? Is he powerful sith the audience is yet to be familiar with? No! He’s no one! And he’s dead now! Who are Rey’s parents? Is she Luke’s child or maybe Kylo’s long-lost sister? Nope! Her parents are no one, they’re filthy junk traders! He also added an irrelevant factor to the plot that damaged the character of Finn. He also introduced the worst character in the history of Star Wars, Rose. Now I’m not trying to knock the actress at all because she seems like a very nice lady who’s trying her best with what she was given, but man is Rose a terrible character. She puts everyone’s life at risk and then cries about rich people and everything else in her life. Rian Johnson also wasted the character of Captain Phasma, killing her off for no apparent reason. Since “The Last Jedi” was an absolute mess. Disney handed the reigns for the last movie, “The Rise of Skywalker” back to JJ Abrams. Jj decided to use his new creative control to overturn and replace everything that was done in the last movie. So what happened to Snoke? Turns out he’s a clone made by Emperor Palpatine, who is back for reasons that are never explained or mentioned! Rey’s parents were just junk traders and no-names, right? Nope! Turns out her dad was Emperor Palpatine’s son who ran away and got killed by Palpatine’s assassin! The biggest problem with bringing back Palpatine is that is completely ruined Anakin’s character arc. The moment that he decides to kill the Emperor rather than let his son die is the moment he is redeemed. Bringing the Emperor back makes the whole arc pointless and discredits Anakin’s redemption and kills the weight of that moment in Episode VI “Return of the Jedi”. Bringing back the Emperor is yet another middle finger directed at the original trilogy and another example of how there was no planning for this trilogy, and everyone just had to scramble and try to fill in every hole with stupidy and bad storytelling.

There are countless amounts of problems with Disney’s “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, way too many to mention in this article. These are just some of mine and I know that there are many people who share the same thought. Hopefully, Disney and Lucasfilm will learn from these mistakes and attempt to make good (or at least watchable) “Star Wars” movies in the future.