A new hope for fans of the Star Wars cinematic universe?

After some interestingly made sequels, does the Star Wars franchise have what it takes to keep making good content?

Pauline Trotry
9th May 2022
Image credit: IMDB
The wildly disappointing Star Wars sequels finally signed the end of the Skywalker saga, which started in 1978 with the original and enchanting trilogy, followed by the tediously chatty prequels and the messy sequels. Although both prequels and sequels were mostly powered on nostalgia for the originals, some of them still managed to entertain despite their lack of imaginative prowess – here’s looking at you The Rise of Skywalker.

On top of the adventures of the Skywalkers, audiences were treated to a few stand-alone anthology films which presented the best Star Wars film in recent years with Rogue One (2016) as well as one of the most unnecessary ones, Solo (2018). With such a mixed bag, every new Star Wars release fills us with both hope and dread.

It suggests that the next phase is indeed all about taking risks, which is what the sequels desperately lacked.

The upcoming Star Wars films will focus on new characters and new adventures in new parts of the galaxy. The only exception being A Droid Story (TBA), an animated film which will follow the galaxy’s most iconic dysfunctional duo, R2-D2 and C-3PO, as they embark on a secret mission. For this next phase, Disney lined up some of the most sought-after directors and producers in Hollywood, most of them borrowed directly from Marvel and DC. Award-winning director Taika Waititi as well as Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, are both set to enrich the Star Wars universe.

Even more exciting, the Wonder Woman franchise director, Patty Jenkins, will be the first woman to direct a Star Wars film with Rogue Squadron (2023). Rian Johnson is also set to direct an all-new trilogy. After derailing J.J. Abrams’ (already wonky) plan for the sequel trilogy with The Last Jedi, one might wonder why Disney would give him not one, but three more chances. It suggests that the next phase is indeed all about taking risks, which is what the sequels desperately lacked.

These intriguing new releases should be able to free themselves and the audience from the grip of one of the most beloved trilogies of all times. In turn, they should open up new opportunities to revive this cinematic universe by going beyond utilising fan nostalgia. Given the fantastic work that has been done with TV shows expanding the universe, especially The Mandalorian, the expectation for theatrical releases is high. For the first time in a long time, I have a good feeling about this.

Video credit: Star Wars Malaysia
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