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Is The Mandalorian the Best Star Wars since the Original Trilogy?

Can traditional storytelling save the Star Wars franchise from the epic failures of the sequel trilogy?

Futurism made the argument last week: “Now while many believe that Disney’s takeover of the franchise wasn’t the best decision, there are also many that believe that it has turned the otherwise tired franchise to new direction. Perhaps the greatest thing in live action Star Wars since the original trilogy is The Mandalorian.”

The Hero With a Thousand Options: The Anti-Mythology of the Star Wars Sequels

The original Star Wars trilogy stands as one of the greatest cinematic trilogies ever made. It spawned a franchise that consists of additional movies, novels, comic books, video games, and even radio dramas. The genius of the Star Wars franchise is in how it created something that feels entirely original, but is deeply indebted to millenia of stories that came before it. Star Wars contains influences from not only space adventure serials and Westerns, but also Arthurian tales, Greek Myth, and even religion.

That being said, the Star Wars movies have not always lived up to their original standard. For years, George Lucas’s prequel films detailing the transformation of Jedi Anakin Skywalker into the evil Darth Vader were reviled as some of the worst films ever made. When Disney announced its acquisition of the franchise and subsequent plans to make new movies in 2012, fans went wild. It couldn’t possibly get any worse than the prequels.

Or could it…?

Did Star Wars Jump the Shark Or Was It Devoured by Parasites?

And what about Star Trek’s recent turns? The pop culture discussion continues…

I like both Star Wars and Star Trek. I’ve seen all of the Star Wars and Star Trek movies, and while watching the kids, even saw a number of Clone Wars cartoon episodes. I’ve seen most episodes of Star Trek, every series, though I’ve barely been able to watch Star Trek Discovery except the Mirror Universe episodes. I say this so that my criticism is not mistaken for “you just don’t like the franchises”.

And I think modern politics and shifts in storytelling are hurting both science fiction universes.

 

How the Star Wars Sequels Could Have Succeeded

Use the Force, Disney

When did Star Wars “jump the shark?” Compared to Star Trek, right out of the gate….  Star Trek was from the very beginning back in the mid-sixties a reasonable and optimistic extrapolation into the future of the historical course of American well-ordered liberty.

When Did Star Wars Jump the Shark?

And can we finally agree that Star Trek has triumphed in the franchise contest?

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