A toxic fringe of fans has an unrelenting hatred of Kathleen Kennedy-era productions. We don’t have the same values, bailiff.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, the flagship series on Disney+, is one episode away from ending. Even if the final next Wednesday will be a surprise, it will be difficult to change our mind: we are a little disappointed. Not so much for the flaws in the implementation as for the weakness of its crippled narrative arc with possibilities.
To be clear, we consider ourselves admirers but not “fans” of “Star Wars,” the saga directed by George Lucas before it was sold to Disney in 2012. We follow with joy and with a certain fascination the development of feature films, and now series that want to plug the holes.
The Hero’s Journey
For us, the first trilogy is the hero’s journey in all its glory. Luke dreams of becoming a pilot, he finds an opportunity, a goal, endures difficulties, fails, discovers who his father is and returns from his journey transformed. A journey that even the Ewoks-Care Bears cannot tarnish.
To our applause
The second trilogy, known as Prelogy, is framed around a strong political context, despite some obvious flaws: how a decadent democratic system rocks toward despotism ‘to applause’. We are very close to qualifying Lucas as a visionary. This prelogy certainly needs to be reconsidered, and not just because of that outlook.
The Great Liberation
The third trilogy in the Disney era is… We’re not sure what exactly, but it sure is a mess. First a machine to try and win back the favor of early fans with carbon paper. Then an interesting but failed attempt to change turnout with some provocative ideas (and it worked, radical fans are still raging). Then finally a pathetic attempt to get the new trilogy going again with some more carbon paper, all in “general panic” mode. The narrative impasse is total, the failure… monumental.
Here lies our problem. We don’t appreciate what Disney has done with Star Wars so far. We certainly found some grounds for hope with The Mandalorian, although we always wonder what this series brings in the grand scheme of things, but most of all we feel like howling with rare wolves.
What the pack howls
The pack is mostly spotted in the US, mostly on social networks. She never fails to nail Kathleen Kennedy (veteran producer who still oversees the franchise within Disney). The pack, at the first opportunity and to poke fun at it, snaps a photo of her and her team proudly wearing “The Force is female” t-shirts. She calls for the “deletion” of the final trilogy from “canon”. She groans when she sees Luke Skywalker transformed into a soft cloth in The Last Jedi, just like Obi Wan Kenobi in the first part of the series of the same name. While defending conservative values, she also tends to proclaim herself the spokesperson for all fans.
The pack also questions viewer ratings, calls for boycotts, predicts the fall of the Empire, and conjures up “insiders” who describe a factional war within Disney. She denounces the “scandalous” dismissal of Gina Carano, a famous wrestler-turned-actress, from distribution of The Mandalorian after speaking out publicly on various sensitive issues (elections, Trump, the Holocaust and Covid-19 -Pandemic …). . She giggles to see highlighted characters from diversity (racial or sexual). Basically, this pack bemoans Hollywood in general, and Disney in particular, for being a den of the left, which speaks volumes about the fine line drawn between “conservatives” and “progressives.”
what the viewer needs
We refuse to be hostage to this reading frame. If the Disney “Star Wars” are at best mediocre, at worst completely loose, then it is due to a lack of foresight, short-sighted management and above all to the entanglement in a structure of collegial note-taking and is subject to course changes as soon as a progressive cough or a conservative burp.
In short: “Star Wars” needs a direction that knows how to give the viewers not what they want, but what they need, to paraphrase the BBC founder’s quip. This risk-taking takes a courage that the Hollywood industry has long lacked. Micky is ill-prepared, overly sensitive to pressure (both resisting and complying) and has yet to prove his ability to lead this boat.
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