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3 Things Star Wars Fans Want From Disney Right Now

Are Star Wars nerds simply impossible to please? Or can Disney learn to adapt to its fanbase?

By Emma CPublished about a year ago 10 min read
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Image from PixelsTalk.Net

The Star Wars fandom has gained a reputation of pickiness over the last few years.

This isn't entirely without reason. After enduring the trauma of movie mishaps such as the divisive The Last Jedi, the bland Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the absolute train-wreck of The Rise of Skywalker, fans have been more than a little doubtful of the direction the iconic franchise is taking. Fears were somewhat assuaged by the arrival of the Disney+ tv shows such as The Mandalorian and Clone Wars' final season, but then returned with questionable entries like The Book of Boba Fett and the Kenobi show.

Truth to be told, it's been difficult for a fan to feel like Star Wars has been handled with the respect and care it deserves.

Star Wars has been around for nearly half a century and with it, decades-worth of fan devotion. Fans range from Star Wars junkies who have played every video game, read every comic, graphic novel, every book, and watched every show and movie under the sun, to fans who maybe just watched and loved the original trilogy. However, despite the vast differences of immersion, we Star Wars fans all have one thing in common: at some point, we fell in love with the universe and the characters that populate it.

So what do Star Wars fans want? The answers are not as far-fetched or unbelievable as one may think.

1. Star Wars Fans Want Established Characters to be Faithful to their Original Versions

OR if these older, established characters have a major personality shift, there should be a understandable reason for it.

My mind immediately goes to the portrayal of Luke in The Last Jedi. Fans were split nearly in half between those who liked his treatment as "reluctant mentor" to those who entirely despised it. There honestly could be space for both arguments, as we don't really see what happens to him after he exiles himself in shame. But while Luke as a reluctant mentor may be more divisive for most fans, there is a certain other scene with Luke that nearly all fans believe is wildly out of his character. I would, of course, be referring to the flashback where Luke attempts to kill his apprentice and his own nephew. I mean, this is Luke Skywalker we're talking about. This is the Jedi who had so much faith in the goodness of Lord Vader the child murderer that he was willing to turn himself in to the Emperor. Any fan would think it ludicrous that this same Jedi would attempt to kill a teenager just because that teenager appeared to be turning towards the Dark Side.

Iconic hero or terrifying villain? It's hard to tell the difference in this photo.

All of this could actually be fixed simply too. All the writers would need to do is give Luke an understandable reason for doing what he did. Maybe before he started his Jedi academy Luke put his trust in someone and was betrayed. Maybe someone close to him died or was hurt by that betrayal. Maybe Luke was slowly losing his trust in the intrinsic goodness of others due to the pain from that betrayal. Then it would make a lot more sense why he acted so differently with Ben than he did with Vader.

Even better, Luke could have trusted Ben, even when the signs of the Dark Side were growing more and more evident in him. So that when Ben finally did snap, Luke would have felt personally responsible for trusting Ben and ultimately allowing him to hurt so many people. That would have been an understandable reason for Luke's self-exile and bitterness towards the Jedi way of life.

In short, fans notice when the characters they grow up loving aren't behaving the way they should. We may get excited when we see the face of Han or Leia or Luke, but that won't last very long if we don't feel like their personalities match the people we see. Unfortunately, Disney seems to be getting worse rather than better when it comes this. The most recent example being Boba Fett in The Book of Boba Fett, who went from being a cold-blooded, murdering bounty hunter to a soft-hearted, torture-adverse old man, with not much explaining done to account for the change. Hopefully Disney will learn from its mistakes and create renditions of established characters that are consistent with the original material. Otherwise, fans will keep feeling like they are watching imposters rather than the actual characters they know and adore.

2. Star Wars Fans Want New Characters that are Real Human Beings - Not just Pawns in a Story

Let's be honest: inserting a brand-new character into a familiar franchise is risky for writers to do.

A screenwriter can't just rely on the personality of an already tried-and-true character to create a connection between character and viewer. Nor can a screenwriter use nostalgia to sway a film-goer's opinion. No, a screenwriter who creates a brand-new character must start from scratch. They must create a three-dimensional person with an interesting personality, believable flaws and strengths, and compelling goals and motivations.

Basically, a brand-new character must be a good character.

Disney Star Wars has created its share of new characters in the last 10 years, some good and some bad. The characters of the sequel trilogy mostly fell flat. Rey was too much of a Mary-Sue because she mastered to many complicated skills incredibly fast without the viewer being shown why or how. Finn was an intriguing concept (a stormtrooper who is a real human instead of a faceless buckethead? Brilliant!), but was under-used throughout the trilogy and ended up being a spectator instead of a character at the end of it all. Poe was a typical hot-shot pilot type with at least one actual flaw (his recklessness) but even that wasn't enough to stop him from doing mostly pointless sidequests for most of the trilogy.

pic from wallpaperaccess.com

However, Disney's track record for new characters isn't horrible either. The Mandalorian managed to be a very compelling and interesting character, without us even seeing his facial expressions! Although parts of his introduction could have been done better, throughout the series we see someone who is ruthless and efficient at his job but also cares deeply about the vulnerable people he comes across and The Child that he brings under his care. His stubborn devotion to a code known as "The Way" is something we viewers can scoff at but also appreciate, since it shows his commitment to his values. In the end, the Mandalorian defines himself through his actions as opposed to his words and we love watching him as he makes choices that reflect his beliefs.

Can Disney continue to accomplish this? Of course! Even a new character that fans initially didn't like can evolve into someone viewers truly care about. I think Ahsoka from the Clone Wars tv show is a great example of this. After the Clone Wars movie, Ahsoka was generally unliked by the majority of viewers. Fans said she was annoying, too whiny, and a poorly written character and they were mostly right. Instead of scrapping her, Dave Filoni gave her development in the series. When she was reckless and got her squadron killed in one of the first episodes, she was forced to deal with the consequences of that action and used that mistake to grow and mature. She also became an excellent foil for Anakin, as she often challenged his desire protect the people he loved. Now, Ahsoka is one of the most beloved Clone Wars characters and even one of the most beloved Star Wars characters. All because Filoni and some writers took the time to flesh her out and create a more 3-dimensional character.

pic from wallha.com

Now, on to the third and final desire of Star Wars fans!

3. Star Wars Fans Want Good Writing

Perhaps this is an unfair one to add.

After all, the term "good writing" can often be very vague and subjective. Writing that is "good" to one person can often be "bad" to another. The obversations and opinions we make are all formed by our very unique and different experiences with the world and in this case, with film. But I think there is at least one factor for Disney Star Wars that can determine"goodness" or "badness" with a lot more accuracy. It all comes down to a little word called care.

You see, as a corporation, Disney doesn't only worry about what makes a good story, or film, or tv show. They also have to worry about efficiency when they make these films. Efficiency, in this case, being Disney's (or honestly any company's) attempt to make the most money out of the least amount of work. It's an admirable model from a business perspective, but unfortunately a terrible one from an artistic perspective. It means that sometimes Disney's goal isn't to make great stories, but instead to make adequate stories that interest people just enough to get them to watch, which is likely how we got shows like The Book of Boba Fett and Kenobi. To put another way, Disney is like the smart kid in math class who is content to earn C's. He will only expend the energy to achieve an average grade - even though he could do better.

Essentially, Disney doesn't care about Star Wars.

I think this is really what fans want when it comes to "good" or "bad" Star Wars writing. M0st fans know that when creative decisions are being made not everyone is going to agree. We are not going to like every new character, every new plotline, or every new idea. But if we see there's some real passion behind what's being created; if we see a real enthusiasm for the world and lore of Star Wars; if we see the material we love being treated with the respect and honor it deserves, that's when we feel like we've been getting good writing. We like to laugh at Revenge of the Sith for its wooden dialogue and memeable quotes, yet most fans still respect it. Why? Because they can see George Lucas and the team behind it was still invested in the story. Because we knew those people cared.

Unfortunately for Disney, caring about Star Wars would mean giving writers and creators the space to care. It would mean deviating from the planned schedule if the director was convinced to reshoot a scene because it didn't have the necessary emotional impact. It would mean spending more money to satsify a writer's ambitious vision for a certain shot. It would mean hiring people who are not just interested in cashing in on cheap nostalgia bait and virtue signaling but also in the story and characters. All of these things are actually basic things for anyone trying to create a great film, but they seem to be lacking in Disney's goals as of late.

So, can Disney do something about it? Can Disney give Star Wars fans what they want? Certainly. They have the money and resources to do almost whatever they want and they most definitely have the ability to slow down and craft meaningful stories and characters. I mean, Disney used to do just that with other stories when they had far more limited funds! The question now is this: do they want to?

As Yoda would say, "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." But perhaps there is hope for us fans yet.

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About the Creator

Emma C

Emma is an aspiring creative who deeply loves art of all kinds. She is a hopeless movie geek and book nerd who spends her free time buried in novels and practicing her violin. She hopes to use her writing to inspire her fellow humans.

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  • Gal Mux9 months ago

    I am a big Star Wars fan and I agree with you! It seems their delving into the franchise has been more to make money than to fill the part of the hearts of fans that really love the universe. But we will admit the Mandalorian is waaaaaay up there. I love that show and cute baby Yoda! 🥰

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