It's been nearly two years since Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy limped its way across the finish line with The Rise of Skywalker, but the films continue to be a topic of frequent discussion among the fans.
Now that the initial shock of Episode IX's final outcome has subsided, discourse has reached the finger-pointing phase. Much has been made over who's ultimately responsible for the messy trilogy, if one sees things as such, and opinions vary drastically on the subject.
There are many who consider The Force Awakens to be a great set-up film, but find that The Last Jedi derailed the sequels and The Rise of Skywalker put the final nail in the coffin. Others believe Rian Johnson's film was the best of the bunch and accuse JJ Abrams of botching the story's ending.
There are some who think they're all great, and even more who believe all three suck.
The infamous lack of a plan for the trilogy is something that continues to baffle many of the Star Wars faithful. While Abrams ingeniously discovered that winging it may not have been the best approach in hindsight, there's no World Between Worlds on Earth to alter his, Disney, and Kathleen Kennedy's decision.
Many of the people involved in bringing George Lucas' original vision to life have shared their thoughts on the direction the new films took the franchise, most of which wouldn't exactly be classified as positive reviews. One person in particular who was once very close to The Maker has spoken her mind on how things turned out and...the quotes speak for themselves.
Marcia Lucas Pans The Sequel Trilogy Braintrust
The new biography Howard Kazanjian: A Producer's Life, has been released, documenting the career of the legendary producer. Marcia Lucas, the ex-wife of George Lucas, provided the foreword and her own comments throughout the novel, which was authored by J.W. Rinzler.
Lucas served as an editor for Episode IV: A New Hope and was a sounding board for husband as he crafted the original trilogy.
In the biography, Lucas made her thoughts known on the direction of Star Wars in the Disney era, though she was complimentary of now-Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy overall:
“I like Kathleen. I always liked her. She was full of beans. She was really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I liked her husband, Frank. I liked them a lot."
Lucas proceeded to leave a scathing review of Kennedy and director JJ Abrams' work on The Force Awakens and their understanding of Star Wars as a whole:
"Now that she’s running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have a clue about Star Wars. They don’t get it. And J.J. Abrams is writing these stories—when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo. Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of Star Wars."
Criticism wasn't spared for The Last Jedi or the handling of the other original heroes, either:
"You’re getting rid of Han Solo? And then at the end of this last one, The Last Jedi, they have Luke disintegrate. They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year."
Rey's inexplicable skills were also addressed:
"And they think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is."
Lucas wrapped her review by bluntly destroying the entire trilogy and offered to have a word with Kennedy and Abrams:
"It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me—‘J.J. Abrams, Kathy Kennedy—talk to me.’”
Destroyed Like A Death Star
Marcia Lucas tore the sequel trilogy a new one in epic fashion.
The talented editor's words encapsulate many of the issues frustrated Star Wars fans have with the new films, though she simultaneously just scratches the surface of those issues. Ultimately, the biggest problem many have is that the new films fail to understand Star Wars at a fundamental level - and there are many who will disagree, which is fair.
Given the verbiage of the quotes, it can be assumed that Lucas was interviewed before The Rise of Skywalker was released... but if she wasn't happy with how Han and Luke went out, it stands to reason that Leia's even more confusing fate wasn't met with a round of applause either.
For those upset by Lucas' comments, it's important to keep in mind that she was as involved as any in the creation of the beloved original heroes, which would naturally lead to such a strong reaction when they were each killed off.
Lucas makes an interesting point about Rey, echoing another criticism that fans have had of the heroine since Episode VII hit silver screens. The official explanation is that Rey gains her knowledge and abilities when she gets inside Kylo Ren's mind, though it really doesn't make any sense and isn't faithful to what it truly means to be a Jedi, as Lucas herself notes.
The candid comments about the trilogy being "terrible" and "awful" are funny while also serving as a big name giving a voice to the disgruntled fans. If the interview wasn't intended for publication, the words coming out likely would've been harsher - and Force only knows what George Lucas really has to say after going silent when he initially criticized the new work.
One has to imagine that this will only add fuel to the fire that is the heated discourse regarding the sequels. Those pleased with what Lucasfilm pumped out will be incensed by what Lucas had to say, and the bitter fans have scored another point. Regardless, it's a good bet that neither side of the aisle had "Marcia Lucas Destroys The Sequel Trilogy" on their bingo cards for the week.
At the end of the day, does it matter?
Opinions won't be changed, one way or the other. It's doubtful that any fan who enjoyed the new trilogy will be rethinking their preferences. Those who find the process and product to be an unmitigated disaster weren't going to be changing their stances either, though Lucas' comments certainly support that position.
The sequel trilogy is done. It's come and gone, for better or worse. It's fundamentally changed everything about George Lucas' saga. It's left its mark on the franchise.
But there are still plenty of things that can be enjoyed unanimously. It's fun to beat the dead fathier, but it's also unproductive. Perhaps Lucasfilm has heard the fans and will be altering their approach to both development and story going forward. This already appears to be the case, if word of The Mandalorian's narrative running through 2027 is true.
Marcia Lucas has had as much an impact on the success of Star Wars as anybody not named George, and she raises valid, and entertaining points. However, it's time for the fractured fandom to move on.
Or maybe not. It depends on the day.
May the Force be with you, always.