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

Star Wars Is Giving Its Fans a Reason to Give It Another Chance, but This Is the Franchise's Last Shot
(AP Photo/ Lucasfilm Ltd., Warner Bros. Pictures)

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

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. While Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams were absolutely destroying the franchise on the silver screen, Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau were fighting to keep it alive on the living room television screen. The fact is, if it wasn’t for Filoni and Favreau, many would have given up the galaxy far, far away as wholly lost.

Not everything that was released with the Star Wars name slapped on it that appeared on Disney+ was a knockout hit, and Disney was doing its best to turn you away through its politically driven nonsense, but Filoni and Favreau continued to push for a Star Wars universe that fans could really sink their teeth into.

(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, the person ultimately responsible for the fall of Star Wars due to her insistence that modern politics be injected into it, is still in charge and it shows. 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.

But the franchise is now offering fans something that is just as enticing to the fans as it is dangerous to the brand. 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.

The excitement for the future of Star Wars is summed up in this Vanity Fair cover.

As my colleague Scott Hounsell wrote in March, Disney+ is bringing in the big guns and, frankly, it looks good from the trailers. 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. She will also be given her own show.

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.

Fans might be attracted but attraction is no guarantee of success. If they mishandle Kenobi by making him a side character in his own show, consistently defeated by lesser characters, and making him say and do things outside of who we know him to be, then this show will flop and the goodwill from fans will dry up faster than a drop of water in a desert. 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.

Moreover, it will ruin the deserved credibility of Filoni and Favreau, which will be tragic in and of itself.

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. Their trust will have been wholly destroyed.

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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