No matter what that guy with the 15,000-strong action figure collection tells you, “Star Wars” isn’t perfect. The franchise has succeeded in becoming one of the most enduring pop-culture institutions out there, but it wasn’t without making some mistakes along the way.
With the arrival of the ninth episode, “The Rise of Skywalker,” we take a look back at the biggest missteps.
The romance between Anakin and Padmé
It’s the centerpiece of the prequel trilogy, the linchpin for why Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side, and yet Anakin and Padmé’s love has all the heat of a January day on Hoth. “I don’t like sand,” Anakin tells the princess in one infamously excruciating scene. Both of you, move on to a pleasure droid already.
Having no plan for new trilogy
“The Rise of Skywalker” is being billed as the conclusion to the story begun way back in the original, eponymous film from 1977 (that’s now called, supposedly to limit confusion, “A New Hope”). This would have been more believable had the filmmakers not abandoned George Lucas’ master plan and adopted a make-it-up-as-we-go-along approach, having no idea how they would finish the saga even as recently as when making the previous film, 2017’s “The Last Jedi.” Details such as who Rey’s parents are would have felt a lot more impactful had they been carefully explored over three films.
The entirety of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’
This 2018 spinoff was so unnecessary, so mediocre, that it forced Disney management to admit, “Uh, sorry about that. We got greedy.” The studio has since announced it will pull back on the number of “Star Wars” projects.
Jar Jar Binks
Lucas has always claimed that “Star Wars” is for kids, and that while every adult in this galaxy not so far, far away despises the slapstick Gungan, little ones love him. Maybe. But simply removing him would have made “The Phantom Menace” borderline watchable.
Casting Hayden Christensen
He’s absolutely laugh-out-loud awful as Anakin in the “Star Wars” prequels, squandering what could have been a generational star turn. Granted, some of the dialogue he’s tasked with saying would sound wooden coming out of De Niro’s mouth, but Christensen’s performance helped sink the already awful trilogy.
It was the franchise’s first foray into cutesy, and some fans still haven’t forgiven George Lucas. Yuck nub.
Luke and Leia’s, er, special relationship
In “A New Hope,” the two are clearly being positioned as romantic partners, and in a 1979 issue of the “Star Wars” comic book published by Marvel, the pair are shown smooching. Leia later plants one on Luke in “The Empire Strikes Back.” And then the pair are revealed to be siblings in “Return of the Jedi,” leaving viewers feeling a bit unsettled. The movie’s producer admitted at the time that Luke and Leia’s familial relationship was a late addition.
Endlessly monkeying with Greedo vs. Han Solo
Of all the tweaks Lucas has made to the original trilogy, none is more rankling than his constant re-editing of the canteen confrontation between alien Greedo and Han. 1977’s “A New Hope” sees Harrison Ford blast the threatening alien. Later, it was crudely changed to appear as if Greedo shoots first, and then changed again so Han does, on and on. The latest iteration, available on Disney+ — marking at least the fifth edit — finds Greedo yelling something that sounds like “Maclunkey” before trying to blast Han.
“The Last Jedi” opens with the once-formidable Gen. Hux falling prey to a prank phone call. Couldn’t a fake snake have popped out of a droid’s head instead? Add that to the mysterious über-villain Snoke’s unexpectedly easy demise, and the new trilogy has so thoroughly neutered its villains that it was forced to resurrect the emperor from the first trilogy in “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Princess Leia’s disappearing British accent
Carrie Fisher weirdly adopted a UK lilt in some scenes in “A New Hope” before ditching it altogether. The actress later admitted the accent was a mistake, saying in 2014 that she looked forward to being in the new trilogy so she could do Leia right — that is, “less British.”
Author: Reed Tucker