Star Wars: I Need Some Hope

Star Wars Episode 9 is a bigger deal than some people outside of the fanbase might not realize. If you haven’t been keeping up, Episode 8 “The Last Jedi” was a major disaster and tore the fanbase apart. When I first saw it in theaters a week after it had initially been released, I thought it was a fantastic movie. First and foremost the cinematography was beautiful. Simply put, it was stunning to watch, the film score was magnificent and besides very minor complaints about the plot, I thought the pacing and storytelling was well done. The entire car ride home was spent with my friend trying to convince me and my not-so Star Wars lore savvy brain that the plot was horrific and it didn’t follow the canon that the original 6 films set forth. I decided to stick to my opinion that the movie was great and we dropped the conversation. Weeks after its release, numerous articles, posts and videos were put out that talked about how The Last Jedi’s story was riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies to the point where people were going to boycott seeing Solo in theaters later that year. 

That summer, I decided to binge watch YouTube videos that explained why The Last Jedi did so horribly. After watching numerous YouTubers discuss the film and an in depth 4 hour analysis of the movie and what exactly was inconsistent, I can proudly say that The Last Jedi was a mess of issues while simultaneously being a beautiful film to watch. Rian Johnson’s choices in plot, script and overall tone destroyed the middle movie in this trilogy, and has fans questioning the continuity of the original 6 films along with Episode 7 The Force Awakens and the spin off movies. If we want to get very technical, we can go on to talk about Disney’s role in the Star Wars series and how their decisions are impacting the franchise and the fans combined, but that’s not the purpose of this article. I’m looking for hope. While others have completely given up on what they’ve coined as ‘Disney’s Star Wars’, some of us are praying that one man can save us. No, not Obi-Wan Kenobi, but rather JJ Abrams, the director for both The Force Awakens and the unreleased Episode 9.

JJ Abrams is a fantastic director, having produced one of my favorite shows, Lost and the first two Star Trek reboot films. He’s had his hands in numerous successful films so I’m not necessarily worried about his ability to direct a film. I am however, concerned about how well he can clean up the mess Rian Johnson left behind with The Last Jedi. Originally, Abrams was supposed to direct all three films in this sequel trilogy; however, Johnson got asked to direct Episode 8, which most likely threw Abrams for a loop. He’s known to plant seeds for ideas and concepts way early on in movies and then flesh them out at a later point, having them be ‘mystery boxes’. Johnson disrupting the flow of Abrams’s trilogy was, in my opinion, a big reason The Last Jedi didn’t have a big satisfaction with fans. I also believe it is why people are being more critical of The Force Awakens even though it has been out for over three years at this point. 

The Rise of Skywalker, the released name for Episode 9, is now back in the hands of Abrams, along with his original ideas for the sequel trilogy. He has a chance to redeem what happened in The Last Jedi and bring in his concepts for what he wanted this trilogy to be. I’m not one to over analyze the trailers, but I know the fans are already concerned for what’s to come based on what was seen. Abrams is known to put out false trailers and film fake scenes to throw people off the scent of what will actually happen, the example being Star Trek: Into Darkness. Everyone thought Benedict Cumberbatch was playing a new heroine character but ended up being a reprise of the well known character, Khan, from the original series. 

Going back to my original statement at the top of the article, Episode 9 is a huge deal. If Abrams is able to bring back all of what was good in Star Wars and fix the plot inconsistencies left behind by Johnson, then he will have successfully saved the trilogy from being a fire in Disney’s face. If he doesn’t, we can safely say that the next round of movies won’t go over so well, and Disney’s Star Wars might have to rethink their long term game plan in order to win fans back if they can at all. So to my fellow Star Wars fans: Don’t fret so soon!! Wait until the movie releases and then go ham with critiques and rants. Don’t base your thinking off this trailer because for all we know it could be a facade. Give the movie a shot, see what Abrams does, and let him be our only hope.