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The issue with Disney Plus’ “Star Wars”

Gigi Richardson Seifert
With the acclaimed “Star Wars” franchise under Disney’s own empire now, it seems there is more new content than ever for fans. But due the new additions to “Star Wars,” such as shows like “The Mandalorian” live up to the standards of “Star Wars;” or are they just Disney’s pandering to fans of the franchise?

The last “Star Wars” movie was released in 2019 and since then, Disney has kept the franchise going through shows on their streaming service, “Disney Plus.” This has led to many of their shows feeling formulaic. Alongside this, it feels like these shows are less about storytelling and more about wanting to insert as many recognizable characters and locations as possible.

The first show created for the platform was “The Mandalorian.” While there is a lot of criticism to be made about later shows, the first season of “The Mandalorian” will always be one of the most important pieces of “Star Wars” media to be released. It came out around the same time as the poorly received ninth “Star Wars” movie, “The Rise of Skywalker” and kept people from losing all faith in the “Star Wars” brand.

Then season two came out and while still decent, it relied far more on cameos and familiar places. This was a bit jarring since the first season of “The Mandalorian” had been very isolated from the broader “Star Wars” story. Again, while passable, this was a call for the direction Star Wars was headed to.

The next show to be released was “The Book of Boba Fett.” This show was disappointing as Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) was an underutilized character in the franchise that many fans were excited to see in his own show. But then halfway through, the show just has two episodes that have nothing to do with Boba Fett and instead focus on The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal). Even looking past those episodes, “The Book of Boba Fett” feels like it’s about anyone but Boba Fett, especially with many characters getting more screen time than they should.

Next was “Kenobi.” While it is a step up from “The Book of Boba Fett,” it had some glaring issues. The highlight of the show was certainly the acting for Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), but besides that, it’s painfully obvious that this show was originally supposed to be a movie. There is one episode that feels entirely like filler, which for a six episode show is not a good look. Again it feels more focused on trying to deliver on fan service rather than creating a meaningful experience.

That being said, there is one outlier amongst these shows: “Andor.” “Andor” masterfully builds tension through talented writing and brilliant acting instead of just going for cheap reveals. This demonstrates what a “Star Wars” show can do if there is more creativity and originality.

Unfortunately “Star Wars” went back to the same dreadful issues with the third season of “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka,” again thinking that fan service and references will make up for lazy storytelling. With Ahsoka seemingly setting up for more spin offs, the concern of more “Star Wars” content being like this is valid.

However, not all hope is lost. Andor is getting a second season along with upcoming shows like “The Acolytes” and “Skeleton Crew” taking “Star Wars” into unfamiliar territory. But if this franchise wants to be taken seriously, it must take risks like it did with “Andor” to ensure it keeps the interest of the general public.

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About the Contributors
Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn, Writer
Hello. My name is Kelly and I enjoy writing about movies and video games. Oh, and I have beaten Elden Ring five times.
Gigi Richardson Seifert
"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well." - Sylvia Plath

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