Ahh, Star Wars. It’s so good to have you back in my life.
It’s not a stretch to say that the sequel trilogy didn’t exactly turn out the way most people would have liked. They had no overall plan for the story, and that caused it to betray itself from time to time. I absolutely adore those movies myself, because for all their faults they got it right where it counts, and they have the soul of good Star Wars movies. But because they didn’t give a large sect of Star Wars fans exactly what they wanted exactly how they wanted it, their criticism was inescapable.
No matter what was posted anywhere on social media, Star Wars fans were waiting, positively salivating at the chance to jump in and shout about how the new movies were awful, the prequels were actually good, Disney had ruined everything (except for the Disney Star Wars stuff they liked), and anyone who liked new Star Wars stuff weren’t REAL fans. As a plenty real Star Wars fan myself, that period in time was exhausting. But amidst it all, a shining beacon of hope descended from Mt. Disney in the form of The Mandalorian.
This lovely little show seemed to unite the Star Wars fandom in a positive manner. Not everyone loved it, but the vast majority at least liked it, and the discourse surrounding the show was a lot of fun. Granted, massive chunks of said discourse were those toxic fans jumping in the comment sections to scream about how bad Rise of Skywalker was, but it was much easier to drown that out and get to the fun Star Wars conversations.
Now, a new season of The Mandalorian has begun, and it’s… fun! There aren’t people out there shouting about he sequels and prequels nearly as much as there were before, and Star Wars feels fun again. Why, just the other morning I sat down and watched the first half hour of The Last Jedi and good gravy do I love the majority of that movie. And as I sat there watching it, I wasn’t distracted by all the hate out there. It was really quite nice.
I even read a 5-Minute Star Wars story to my kids the other night from Revenge of the Sith. It was a retelling of that movie’s opening sequence and it reminded me of just how much fun that part of the movie was. It all goes TERRIBLY downhill after that, but enjoying that bit for what it is was remarkably refreshing.
The new episodes of The Mandalorian have been a freaking treasure so far, which is no less that I’d expect from the creative team behind it. And having new Star Wars to look forward to on the regular is a feeling I haven’t had since the cartoons were airing. But having high quality live action Star Wars on a weekly basis is truly something we’ve never had before, and that rules.
Building a better Holiday Special
But that’s not all! Disney + will have a brand new LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special in just a few weeks, and I’m shockingly excited about it! I haven’t seen most of the LEGO Star Wars stuff because I don’t want to show it to my kids and spoil all the surprises for them. (The LEGO stuff plays with Star Wars fandom in a relatively brilliant way, but it doesn’t exactly keep secrets very well, and I’d rather my kids find out those things in the actual movies instead of having to have me explain the jokes to them while we watch.) This new Star Wars special though, I will watch on my own first to make sure it’s safe and then hopefully watch with my kids. I’ve suffered through original Star Wars Holiday Special in its entirety before, and seeing the franchise so willing to look back on that and happily make fun of itself (much like Nintendo with the Virtual Boy) is lovely.
So yeah, Star Wars is back, and it seems to have found some perfectly lovely level ground after the planet-shattering hype of the sequel trilogy. It’s just a thing that’s happening, and it’s fun. Lots of fun. Which is really something we could all use more of right now.