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Why The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Just Doesn’t Work

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December 2019 marked not only the end of a decade but also the conclusion of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The latest and final film of the saga released December 22nd to mixed reviews, with many claiming that the film was enjoyable but pandered too much to fans and recycled elements from the original and prequel trilogies. But how does the entire film trilogy hold up?

The sequel trilogy films released every two years between 2015 and 2019 and while the first film The Force Awakens (2015) was praised for bringing the franchise back to the big screen, it was criticised over its fan service and unimaginative and derivative storytelling.

The second film in the series The Last Jedi (2017) polarised fans with many criticising the film for subverting expectations but praising the film for its stunning visuals and unique storytelling. The final film in the series The Rise Of Skywalker was praised by fans for being an enjoyable film but was once again criticised for being too derivative of the original trilogy.

Many fans and critics have expressed disappointment at the trilogy for its inconsistent storytelling, particularly with the middle film The Last Jedi (directed by Rian Johnson) which ignored plot elements laid out by J.J. Abrams in the first film The Force Awakens. The inconsistency led J.J. Abrams to return for the final film in the trilogy and retcon much of the previous film. Abrams’ final film saw him ignore many of the plot elements set up in The Last Jedi and create his own while continuing plots from The Force Awakens.

Johnson’s and Abrams’ conflicting visions for their films sparked accusations that the trilogy hadn’t been planned and that Johnson had been given complete creative control for the first sequel in the trilogy with no guidelines to follow for the overarching story for the trilogy. The inconsistent storytelling makes viewing the sequel trilogy difficult, particularly compared to the original trilogy.

Watching the three films successively will result in a frustrating experience as plots are dropped, characters act differently with each film, and essential story elements are ignored. The unnecessary plot twists and retcons featured in the films will also leave you feeling exhausted and betrayed, particularly when you’re led to believe that a character had been killed only to be told 30 minutes later that they had miraculously survived.

Despite the frustrations, the series does have its charm. Star Wars has never been more visually appealing, and the sequel trilogy has allowed fans to travel to new planets (Including The Last Jedi’s controversial casino planet) and encounter new alien species. It also sparked a newfound interest in Star Wars from a younger generation, spurring several new video games, comic books, television shows and anthology films such as the critically acclaimed Rogue One.

The original Star Wars trilogy, along with other sci-fi shows such as Star Trek, helped popularise science fiction to newfound heights. You still feel its inspiration today as more sci-fi inspired media and products are made, from comic book superhero films to critically acclaimed space-themed television shows. There are countless sci-fi-themed video games now and even a space-themed online casino by the name of Genesis Casino, a sister site of Genesis Global Limited.

The Star Wars trilogy helped inspire all of that, and many fans have expressed disappointment and worry that the Star Wars brand and reputation has been muddied due to Disney’s sequel trilogy. So it’s been no surprise that Disney announced last year that it will be taking a hiatus from Star Wars films now that the sequel trilogy has concluded. However, we all know it’ll only be a matter of time before Disney announce a brand new trilogy, let’s just hope they plan it this time.

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