The Star Wars sequel trilogy is disliked by some fans for replacing the old Expanded Universe. However, this was not the actors’ fault neither was it the new characters’ fault. Surely bad writing was the issue as well as the directors fundamentally misunderstanding what Star Wars is and why it works. To be clear Star Wars is a hero’s journey tale set against the backdrop of a space western. That encompasses themes of redemption and good vs evil. The best Star Wars content (the original trilogy and The Mandalorian) understands this. So what 5 things would I change about the sequel trilogy to improve it. Let’s see.
A strong, clear characterisation of and character arc for Rey
Rey (portrayed by Daisy Ridley) gets a lot of flak from parts of the fandom the main criticisms are that she is overpowered, has no real purpose or place in the story and does not undergo a journey that requires her to learn, change or grow. Here is my suggestion. Keep Rey’s powers and abilities the same. But commit to a romance storyline between her and Finn (John Boyega). Have Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) win their initial duel by using Force Horror on Rey to invade her mind, playing on her fears. Only for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to make the save. Thus taking Rey on as his Padawan. In The Last Jedi Kylo Ren should have turned Rey to the dark side after manipulating her. Only for her love for Finn to bring her back to the light in The Rise of Skywalker.
Show Luke Skywalker’s full array of Force powers
I’m aware that Luke is able to fly, walk on lava and telekinetically reconstruct a building in the old expanded universe. How cool would it have been to see him drag Kylo Ren’s flagship from orbit to Crait’s surface in The Last Jedi? Not to mention eradicating the First Order’s AT-AT walkers with a wave of his hand. Hamill himself has expressed his concerns with Luke Skywalker’s character’s direction in The Last Jedi. All that would have needed to happen was for Skywalker to have displayed an awesome arsenal of Force abilities. Thus paying tribute to his Legends characterisation. Perhaps Luke’s initial reluctance to train Rey could have been explained by her reminding him of Mara Jade? Who we could have seen in flashbacks.
Pay homage to the past
It would have been so cool to see Luke Skywalker talk to Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen)‘s Force ghost in The Last Jedi. Equally awesome would have been for Anakin’s spirit to visit Ben Solo, warning him of the path he was taking. It really must be said that the scene where Rey killed the Emperor in ‘Rise of Skywalker’ would have been so much better if we had seen the prequel era Jedi Masters’ Force ghosts standing with her. Same with Palpatine and Exar Kun’s spirit. Who can deny that it would have been touching to see Luke Skywalker, Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) all together on the Millennium Falcon for one last adventure? Or even to see Rey and Ben Solo take on a saberstaff wielding Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in ‘Rise of Skywalker’s’ final act.
Give Finn, Poe and Rose actual character arcs
The sequel trilogy treated Finn very badly. I’m talking here about how The Force Awakens seemed to be setting up a Finn/Rey romance only for ‘The Last Jedi’ to push this aside in favour of Reylo. Indeed, Boyega himself has rightly spoken out about this. To both Disney and the world. I feel it would have been better if Finn had also been revealed to be Force-sensitive. And for Luke to train him after Rey is seduced to the dark side. Thereby echoing the Luke/Leia “there is another” arc from the original trilogy. Finn could bring Rey back to the light through their love for each other. Poe (Oscar Isaac) could be the one to kill Kylo Ren with a blaster shot. Referencing Han Solo killing Palpatine in Dark Empire. Also showing Poe’s everyman heroism at being the one to kill the big bad. For Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) her arc could be about moving past hating the First Order and finding a reason to live other than revenge. Perhaps she and Poe fall in love?
Use another villain Instead of Palpatine
For me personally Palpatine’s return in ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Seemed to come somewhat from left field. Although my friend and colleague Benjamin Cassidy has pointed out Palpatine’s mention of death being conquerable here . I feel that the Emperor’s story ended when Luke rejected him. So breaking the Sith Lord’s chain of manipulation causing Vader to see the light and end Palpatine forever. But I digress. What if Exar Kun had been behind Kylo Ren’s fall to the dark side? This would reference his role in the EU in the best way. Maybe the Yuuzhan Vong could have invaded? Making the Resistance and the First Order ally to fight them off. Could Rey have become drunk on the dark side, turning her into an Abeloth-like antagonist? There are many great baddies in the EU who deserve their moment on the big screen.
Did you enjoy the sequel trilogy? How would you change it if were up to you? Please leave a comment and remember, what I told you was true. From a certain point of view.
Check out our 5 things we want from Kenobi article here
Check out our Bastila Shan article here