The star wars the sequel trilogy was a controversial return to the galaxy far, far away. Although it has delivered so much promise with the success of the force awakenssubsequent films became the butt of hatred and ridicule from fans and critics to the point that everyone’s hopes for the franchise seemed to have been dashed (at least until The Mandalorian came around).

The sad truth is that this trilogy was never going to live up to everyone’s expectations, especially not with the astronomically high pedestal they had all placed the franchise on. Despite that, Disney could have done some things differently, which would have made it a more worthy sequel to the original Star Wars films.

7. Space out the movies more

Split image of Rogue One and Solo promotional posters.

While each film in the first two Star Wars trilogies was released three years apart, Disney released its sequels two years apart. And since Disney had released A thug and Solo between the main episodes, the audience’s hype waned as they knew another Star Wars movie was just around the corner.

Make audiences wait longer for each movie after Episode VII would have made them even more excited to see them and possibly get more people to see them in theaters. It also could have given the filmmakers more time to consider audience feedback and make any necessary changes to their story plans. After the fallout from The Last JediCertainly Disney could have used an extra year to figure things out.

6. Not having so many new characters

Although this is the last film in his trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker introduced many characters like Zorri Bliss, General Pryde, Jannah, and DO who proved too much for the story to juggle in just 142 minutes. At this point in the story, the filmmakers should have focused on characters introduced in previous films, such as Finn, Rose, and Poe.

This would have prevented them from being ostracized in Episode IX and given the writers the ability to provide these characters with the endings they deserve.

5. Keeping Palpatine Dead

Emperor Palpatine in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

While audiences were eager to see Palpatine’s return in The Rise of Skywalker, his resurrection ended up being a rush job that ruined the movie for many as soon as it started. There was virtually no explanation for how Palpatine survived his death in Return of the Jediwith only vague references to cloning and the Sith’s secret powers spoken of in the film.

Episode IX Could have benefited from a more detailed explanation, but it probably would have been better if Palpatine hadn’t returned at all. Even though this was based on a story from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, that doesn’t mean that using this plot element was a good idea. This somewhat undermines Darth Vader’s sacrifice to kill Palpatine and save the galaxy. Also, since there hadn’t been a build-up of the Emperor’s return in previous films, he seemed to have been incorporated into the film to entice viewers.

4. Make Kylo Ren the Last Villain

Star Wars The Last Jedi review

Although Kylo Ren was truly the new Darth Vader, The Last Jedi ended with him overthrowing Snoke and becoming the supreme leader of the First Order. It all seemed to lead to him becoming the general villain of the entire trilogy, setting up a unique and thrilling climax in The Rise of Skywalker. But once Palpatine became his new master, the story somewhat undid what his character was building and distracted from him as a villain.

Thus, it would have been more effective to portray Kylo Ren as the highest force of oppression in the galaxy and explore how he would lead the First Order against the Resistance in Episode IX. It would also have brought more attention to his relationship with Rey, as they would have served as the ultimate symbols of good and evil in the galaxy.

3. Rey’s parents remain “people”

The Last Jedi made a bold move with the revelation that Rey’s parents weren’t as special as she had hoped, and they probably should have stayed that way. Rey’s character shouldn’t have been defined by who her parents were, and the fact that she ended up being Palpatine’s granddaughter seemed like a forced rehash of Vader’s “I’m your father” twist.

If the filmmakers wanted to support The Last Jedi message about how anyone can be special no matter where they come from, they could have taken a more unique path by letting Rey come from ordinary people.

2. Have a more singular vision

JJ Abrams
Gage Skidmore/Flickr

While the first six Star Wars installments were determined by George Lucas’ plan for the franchise, the sequels felt more like a clash of opposing ideas. Three different directors were originally hired to make a movie in the new trilogy: JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, and Colin Trevorrow. While the original trilogy had multiple directors, its story was written by Lucas, and Episodes VII to IX had plots worked out by their respective directors.

But after Trevorrow left his post as director of Episode IXJJ Abrams took over and changed much of what was put in place by Trevorrow and Johnson, ostensibly to win over fans after the backlash over The Last Jedi. If the directors had done a little more planning and agreed on a story, the sequel trilogy might have felt more cohesive and less like it was written on the fly.

1. Provide less fan service

Whatever the world says about Rian Johnson, he was brave enough to do something different with the franchise when he did The Last Jediwhat many fans asked after the force awakens. This latest film revamped several elements of the original trilogy to satisfy fans to the point that people thought the film was unoriginal and played it too safe.

When The Last Jedi went the other way against people’s expectations, The Rise of Skywalker only seemed to double down on fan service to win back a disgruntled audience. This all took the form of Palpatine being resurrected, Rey being his granddaughter, her kissing Kylo Ren, and Chewbacca suddenly getting that medal. Disney should have relied less on promoting fan service and nostalgia with this trilogy because they got in the way of presenting a sensible and cohesive narrative. While Hollywood has always been about giving audiences what they want, sometimes that means giving them what they didn’t think they wanted.

You can broadcast all star wars movies and shows on Disney+.

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