Star Wars Is Giving Its Fans a Reason to Give It Another Chance, but This Is the Franchise’s Last Shot – Opinion

“Brandon, why do you keep talking about Star Wars?”

It’s because I want it back.

Star Wars is arguably one of the most important franchises in modern history, and it’s one that has seen its ups and downs. Most interestingly it’s one of the few brands that have experienced both a peak and a valley simultaneously. J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and Jon Favreau were destroying the franchise on silver screens while Dave Filoni fought to preserve it on their TV sets. The fact is, if it wasn’t for Filoni and Favreau, many would have given up the galaxy far, far away as wholly lost.

Disney+ didn’t always release the Star Wars-branded merchandise that made a big splash. Disney did its best to dissuade you with its politically motivated nonsense. But Filoni and Favreau pushed for Star Wars to be a universe fans could truly enjoy.

(READ: How “The Mandalorian” Saved Star Wars)

This doesn’t mean that the fans have fully put their trust back in the franchise. Kathleen Kennedy is still the one responsible for Star Wars’ fall due to her insistent that modern politics should be integrated into the franchise. The Book of Boba Fett (or Mandalorian 2.5) was disappointing in many regards, most in the fact that Boba Fett was hardly Boba Fett, and if the other half of the series wasn’t about the Mandalorian and Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) then it likely would have been another D+ flop.

Fans are now offered something equally as dangerous and enticing by the franchise. It is guaranteed to bring people in to watch if they haven’t already canceled their D+ subscriptions, but if these shows fail, Star Wars will likely be done for at least the next decade.

This Vanity Fair cover summarizes the excitement about Star Wars’ future.

My colleague Scott Hounsell pointed out in March that Disney+ has brought in big guns. And, honestly, the trailers look great. Ewen McGreggor is reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the franchise’s most beloved (and quoted) characters. More than that, it’s bringing back Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, giving the short-changed actor a second shot at an iconic role. Millennial-aged Star Wars fans suddenly felt something they haven’t felt for some time, and even those who swore off Star Wars began questioning their resolve.

Joining them will be fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano from Filoni’s Star Wars: The Close Wars, a character who has recently reappeared in The Mandalorian’s 2nd season and again The Book of Boba Fett, played by Rosario Dawson. A show will be made for her.

All other characters aside, it’s these three figures that will drive fans back to the franchise. Star Wars will be more popular than it has been in some time…unless they Kathleen Kennedy/Disney it.

Attraction is not a guarantee of success. They will fail to handle Kenobi well by making him an antagonist in their own series, making him appear and act differently from who we already know, and thus destroying the fan base. If the show leans into social justice, injects feminism, or gets political in any way, it will drive fans from Star Wars and they won’t come back until it changes hands.

It will also destroy the well-deserved credibility of Filoni et Favreau which will be tragic.

We know Disney is very capable of this because this is exactly what they did to Luke Skywalker’s character in The Last Jedi. Luke wasn’t Luke and fans rejected this new version of him. This rejection of the character included Mark Hamill, who was very vocal about the fact that this wasn’t the Luke Skywalker he knew.

In short, if they don’t show respect for the characters and inject modern politics, it’s over for Star Wars for a very long time. Fans will not return no matter how much they’re baited. It will destroy their trust.

Mightier angels make greater demons when they fall and betting big means losing big when the cards don’t play your way.

Disney is playing a dangerous game, and given the state of the company and its drive to play leftist politics, many aren’t sure it has the ability to do right by beloved characters anymore. Personally, I’m not entirely sure it learned its lesson either. To be sure, I’m optimistic (an unrelenting and annoying part of my personality) but at the height of caution.

All the House of Mouse has to do is continue to go down the path we told it not too many times before and myself and many others will be out, and won’t come back until it’s clear that Disney understands that what they’re doing is wrong and the brand is put under new management.

We’ll see here at the end of the month when Kenobi finally hits the streaming service whether Disney will bring Star Wars back or bury it.

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