This week, the wildly successful, self-published thriller author Robert Bidinotto had some thoughts on the state of Star Wars movies today:

SOME TIME BACK, I watched “The Force Awakens” and was bored to tears. The plot was a worn retread of many elements of the original “Star Wars: A New Hope,” without the chemistry and light-hearted fun of that cast, or the sense of menace of a truly “big” villain. As Yogi said, deja-vu all over again. And the second “Star Wars” prequel trilogy was just plain dull. Now I’m hearing negative things about “The Last Jedi,” which I haven’t seen and probably won’t. Is it safe to say Mr. Lucas’s franchise has jumped the shark?

I responded, linking to a post I’d written in 2012 explaining the root of my anti-Lucas and anti-Star Wars animus today that leaves me with a feeling of sad indifference to new titles’ release:

Robert Bidinotto – the franchise jumped the shark when Lucas remade the original trilogy and changed it so Greedo shoots at Han first. The franchise was officially dead to me personally when 15 years later George Lucas doubled-down on his decision to do this, ultimately deeply insulting all of his fans who disagree with him.…/george-lucas-confirms-it-the…/

In the original trilogy when Han kills Greedo he is engaging in an entirely moral (and badass) act of self-defense. Lucas — who is an arch baby boomer liberal — claimed in the 2012 interview that that wasn’t the case — that Han was akin to a “cold-blooded killer”:

“Lucas: Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.”

This is really, truly, deeply devastating. It reveals that Lucas’s sense of morality is upside down, and therefore by extension, so too is the franchise that he created. At this point, the franchise is dead to me.

What do you think? Does the Star Wars franchise still pack the punch that it once did? Or is it time to admit that Star Trek is the superior sci-fi/fantasy franchise? Has the series “jumped the shark”? If so, when and how?

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