The Sequel Trilogy Was Great
Let’s get one thing straight: I enjoyed the Sequel Trilogy for what it was. Now, it was nowhere close to the amount of care and Ring Theory associated with George Lucas, but that was ok to me. I knew that these films were different. Sure, they brought back some of the original cast from the Original Trilogy, so there was connective tissue. And yes, there really wasn’t a “plan” for how these sequels were going, but that’s classic Star Wars.
If you remember, Lucas changed his plans for The Empire Strikes Back, so I won’t give the Sequel Trilogy too much grief over that. But when it comes to The Last Jedi, I loved what Johnson did with Luke. Out of the three films, it’s the most interesting and beautifully shot one of the bunch. I just despise the forced comedy and side story for Canto Bight. Plus Luke was like The Dark Knight Returns in that he was a changed man after so many years of being a Jedi. And I say all of that so you know I don’t hate the Sequel Trilogy, but I think it may get overshadowed and replaced with the shows from the Star Wars Universe.
***SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 OF THE MANDALORIAN FOLLOW***
What The Mandalorian Proved
Since it’s debut in 2019, The Mandalorian has captured the spirit of Star Wars. And that’s without needing any theatrical release or recognizable character from any film to do so. And that was just season one. But it was because of that long-form narrative, Mando was able to sequence in known characters and make it feel organic. With Moff Gideon wielding the Dark Saber, we should’ve known that somehow, Bo-Katan would appear. It makes logical sense. But we weren’t thinking that because to bring in characters we were familiar with meant MORE characters could appear.
And so, once Bo-Katan appeared, that should’ve been our first major clue that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau meant business. They proved in the same year that a Star Wars film was ending the Skywalker Legacy, that Star Wars could begin a new. From my point of view, fans were more interested in ‘Baby Yoda’ than anything involving The Rise Of Skywalker. But in season two, when Bo-Katan dropped Ahsoka’s name and told Mando where to find her, that was our second major clue. One that had me anticipating what exactly Filoni would give us fans who’ve been waiting for a Live-Action version of her would be.
How Ahsoka Could Change Everything
The moment Ahsoka showed up, anything was possible and should’ve been our third clue. And when we found out she would have her own show, ideas crept into my head because that was the fourth clue. If you’re familiar with Star Wars Rebels, then the title card of Ahsoka should look very familiar. It highlights explicitly, the World Between Worlds that the Force resides in, giving us our fifth clue. And in that realm, time and space are perceived as simultaneous. That’s why Ezra was able to save Ahsoka from her duel with Vader even though his ‘present’ was looking at her ‘past’. We even hear voice-overs from every film made up to that point. Which makes them all canon.
But it’s that little piece of mystery that can change everything. In this world, anything can happen. And it’s why I believe Filoni and Favreau might be utilizing Ahsoka to shift the balance, sorta-speak. By that, I mean changing the outcome of where Mando’s timeline goes. Sure, a lot of people were mixed on the Sequel Trilogy, but you can’t ignore them, can you? Well, what if they weren’t ignored but just moved to the side in a different ‘timeline’? Because our sixth clue should be the most obvious and yet I was thinking there was NO WAY it would happen.
Why Luke Is Important
The moment Luke Skywalker showed up, I knew things were moving to another level. With Luke, this solidifies how confident Disney is with Filoni and Favreau. I feel like they’ve been given a blank check. Sure, it made logical sense for Luke to show up for Grogu. But it seemed impossible given how separate the shows and films were. So even though my Frontal Lobe kept saying “Luke”, my Temporal Lobe was saying “They have never mixed shows and films in live-action”. And because of this thought process, the moment I realized we were given Luke in all his Prime Glory, everything changed.
If they can bring Luke Skywalker and give fans what people have waited to see since 1983, they can surely allow two worlds to exist simultaneously. What do I mean? I mean this Luke doesn’t seem like he’s already training his (at this time) 5-year-old nephew, Ben Solo. Or even aware of his Force Abilities for that matter. But at the same time, it could also be his confidence that gets shattered to create the Luke we see in The Last Jedi. Because the film has already taken place, we know that’s a possible outcome. And if Ahsoka is going to be changing fates, perhaps she can change realities at the same time.
Dave Filoni Should Lead The Charge
Now I’m not going to say JJ Abrams or Rian Johnson don’t understand Star Wars because they most certainly do. But imagine being mentored by George Lucas and spending almost a decade with him creating The Clone Wars. Being able to create new characters and storylines that didn’t interfere with any of the films. That’s Dave Filoni. And in a way, he could do that with the live-action shows. Ahsoka, Rangers Of The New Republic, The Book Of Boba Fett, and The Mandalorian are happening in the same timeline. It’s said all of these shows will have an over-arching plot that will tie them all together in a Grand Fashion. The culmination of several years of stories coming together to change an outcome that wouldn’t replace the Sequel Trilogy, but just makes room for other stories.
Imagine seeing a Game Of Thrones-level story about Mandalore. Or the rise of new Jedi the likes of which we know nothing about. There’s so much storytelling that doesn’t involve the Skywalker Saga but can still incorporate it if it wants. That’s the beauty of Filoni and his almost legendary status of knowing all-things Star Wars. His knowledge of the lore with things I most assuredly don’t know is what gives me the confidence to let him run things. He’s proven he can create new characters and handle legacy characters. And because streaming is the new way of things, it’s the perfect opportunity for him.
What’s Next For Star Wars
There won’t be a film released for Star Wars until 2023. That film will be Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, directed by Patty Jenkins. That’s great and I’m excited about it, but it probably won’t feature many Jedi and that’s ok. Then there’s the Taika Waititi untitled film with zero details still, which could be the 2025 film Disney has slated. But if you’ll notice, their approach seems to lean HEAVILY into their Disney+ shows, and really they should be. They already have 4 primary shows that will be coming out within the 2021 and 2022 year. That’s a lot of content compared to their films.
So what if Disney was allowing their shows to be their next ‘Phase’ of Star Wars? The content is absolutely high quality. The Storylines are interesting enough to get people (myself included) emotional over a person who never shows his face and a puppet. If done right, this New Era of Star Wars could help get people excited for films tieing BACK to everything happening in the shows. Typically that’s the other way around. But in order to compete with other studios, Disney might use Star Wars to judge how they handle their other franchises like Marvel and their shows.
How Disney+ Can Compete In The Streaming Wars
We all know about what HBOMax is doing in 2021: Releasing Zack Snyder’s Justice League. But even with that major film having Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, they’re now releasing 17 other films as well. When it comes to content, HBOMax looks like the clear winner here, at least for 2021. But I’ve always said that if Disney+ were to have the audacity to bring in anyone from the Skywalker Saga on their streaming service, that would indicate a shift. And so, with Luke Skywalker showing up, they’ve done just that. Anything is possible, as Kevin Garnett once said. To which Adam Sandler replied: “This is how I win”. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I imagine that’s how it went.
If HBOMax has Batman and Superman, Disney+ needs Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. With HBOMax now having Godzilla, The Suicide Squad, Mortal Kombat, and The Matrix 4, Disney+ can’t match that. They could, however, have their Alien show compete and work on using main Avengers Characters to be featured. But again, no one could see COVID-19 happening and changing the game forever. With so much IP in just these two streaming services alone, retconning previous films to better line up with future shows might not sound so crazy anymore.
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