When it comes to fan opinions, Star Wars fans are very vocal about ours, at times this can be good and lead to great conversation but other times it’s terrible, which leads to very opinionated fans barraging people who work on our beloved franchise with hate-tweets and not-so-constructive criticism about the direction they take a film or tv series.
But sometimes, just sometimes the criticism is constructive and on occasion fan opinions can help direct where a franchise will head. Was it pure luck we got a fan-favourite character from the Legends timeline added into canon via Rebels (talking about Thrawn there). Or did the fan base have something to do with it?
We can all predict that sometime after Episode 9 we will get another trilogy featuring our new heroes a bit older facing a new galactic threat, what it will be and when is up in the air and purely speculative but will Lucasfilm listen to some of the criticism that has been given to them from the fan base?
One huge area of criticism has been a lack of direction for the sequel trilogy. George Lucas oversaw both the Original and Prequel trilogies. Granted he wrote and directed the Prequel trilogy in its entirety so he had complete control let’s put that on one side for now and focus on the Original Trilogy.
Lucas says he always had a grand plan for the saga. Whether or not this is strictly true I don’t know. Some believe he did, others believe he had some of the big moments planned and the rest was made up in the writing. Who knows other than Lucas.
But he did come up with the stories for all three films. He wrote A New Hope and had other writers come on board for Empire and Jedi but they followed Lucas’s plan. In effect he oversaw the trilogy, he had some plan and the trilogy followed it. This cannot be said for the Sequel Trilogy. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan wrote The Force Awakens and came up with ideas for where they would like to see the trilogy go. Rian Johnson wrote The Last Jedi, and according to cast members he didn’t exactly follow the plan as laid out by J.J. Now Abrams is back what direction will he take Episode 9?
What I am getting at here is that there is no ‘overseer’ on this trilogy. Now, in my opinion this hasn’t been a problem and doubt it will be, but will Lucasfilm give one person the reigns for the next saga trilogy?
Rian Johnson has got his own trilogy that he is working on. It’s doubtful he will direct all three parts, rather I suspect he will write and direct part one and write treatments or at least working drafts of the second two instalments. Beniof and Weis are overseeing a series of films. Will an overseer be tasked with shepherding the next saga trilogy? I’m not saying that their word is 100% law but more like a guide to keep the overall story on an agreed track.
Maybe they won’t announce the directors too early. J.J. Abrams was a shoe-in in my opinion. Honestly he was the name I always had at the top of my list. The shock came when they announced Rian Johnson. I never thought he would be on Lucasfilm’s list of directors. Now I love Rian Johnson. I have enjoyed all of his movies to date and cant wait to see what he does next. But it wasn’t long after that they announced Colin Trevorrow to be directing Episode IX.
It wasn’t surprising but something didn’t click right for me on that one and I couldn’t put my finger on it. His previous work was good, I enjoyed ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ and I thought ‘Jurassic World’ was a great addition to that franchise (the new one that comes out this year however looks awful). And then he got the sack and replaced with J.J. Abrams. Good choice there I think.
Was Trevorrow’s involvement announced too early? Yes. I honestly think the big problem was that it was announced very early on. Look at what happened between his announcement and his subsequent sacking. He made a film that the world hated, this causing the fans to riot and demand his removal. The passing of Carrie Fisher caused behind the scenes problems, no more Leia, what do we do now? The pressure must have certainly been getting worse by then. He was working on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom quite heavily, taking him away from the writing on Episode IX. And if you want to believe the rumours he was kicking off about wanting Luke to not die in The Last Jedi. Not to mention the rumours that all of his successes were going to his head and making him difficult to work with.
What I think Lucasfilm should have done is keep his involvement quiet and before the big marketing push for The Last Jedi the Episode IX director be announced. Have the issues be dealt with in secret, instead of essentially adding another notch to Kathleen Kennedy’s belt of fired/replaced directors. It doesn’t look good for Lucasfilm really.
The next Trilogy will have to focus on the Sequel Trilogies main characters, whilst adding new characters. A big complaint has been that the legacy characters have been pushed to the sidelines. The next Trilogy really should focus on Rey and Co. facing a brand new enemy, not another Empire inspired group but something new and more dangerous. Sure, kill off one of the leads, give the story some weight but don’t just sideline Rey, Poe, Finn and Kylo and please give Chewie something to do other than try to eat Porgs.
And lastly, don’t just introduce big mysteries that won’t get the pay-off the fans want. I have no problem with the Snoke and Rey mysteries from the Sequel trilogy and how they played out but having too many mysteries that we don’t get closure for would really divide the fan base and we don’t want that now do we?