View Poll Results: How much did the audience/creators care?

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  • No effect

    3 33.33%
  • Some embittered but minimal effect

    3 33.33%
  • Significant and persistent impact

    1 11.11%
  • It made all the difference (and always would)

    2 22.22%
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  1. #1
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    Default Effect on audience/creator interest of no new Skywalker hero in the ST?

    How much, if at all, should the decisions to not have the main hero of the ST be a Skywalker or Solo effect audiences? (Or if you want to think of it this way, how much it led to Ben Solo’s heroic turn and Rey getting a posthumous adoption.)

    This is less about whether or not Rey “should have/shouldn’t have” been a Skywalker, as much as it’s trying to gauge how everybody here thinks it effected the ST performance with fans, mainstream audience members, and even creators to not have any Skywalker grandkid as *the* hero of the ST.

    “No Effect” means that you think that there was literally no impact on audience/creator interest/investment on the ST - that even the vocal criticism of the idea is statistically ignorable in actuality, and that it weird that people thought the hero would be a Skywalker or that it was an inherently *good* thing because the Skywalkers were “holding the story back.”

    “Some embittered but minimal effect” means that you figure it was ultimately a significant but tolerable impact on everyone; that the later attempts to finagle Rey and Ben as twin “Skywalker” heroes were misreads of the situation. This might qualify as the “butthurt” section.

    “Significant and persistent Impact” means that you believe that while the decision didn’t *have* to impact things, it still clearly did, and in a negative way - this is the one I’m choosing in part because I believe there’s a straight line between not just TLJ’s divisive reception from the audience, but also even in the film itself; to me, the demotion of Finn from male lead for Kylo/Ben and Rey being written badly are directly related to Rian Johnson and LFL choosing to focus on Ben Solo at their expense because they wanted a Skywalker at central started, whether they knew it or not.

    “It made all the difference” means you figure that the films were always going to need a Skywalker or two making the key victory-decision at the end of the day - that a Skywalker grandkid was going to save the day no matter what because it was a sequel to the OT. I’d say that if you like the Duel of the Fates script that Trevorrow wrote… you might still find yourself voting for this one, since Kylo is the functional Villainous Protoagonist determine that film’s outcome.

    Again, this is less about what *you* would do, but more how you think the audience and creators reacted as a whole.

    And yes, there will be debate.
    Last edited by godisawesome; 10-17-2021 at 09:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Astonishing Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    I think the Mandalorian's popularity shows that people just want a good story and don't care about...whatever the issue seems to be here.
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  3. #3
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I think the Mandalorian's popularity shows that people just want a good story and don't care about...whatever the issue seems to be here.
    Co-signed, this is my view as well. The New Trilogy had a messy convoluted story including marginalizing Finn and trying to low-key push a toxic faux romance thus it sucked, IMHO.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    I think the Mandalorian's popularity shows that people just want a good story and don't care about...whatever the issue seems to be here.
    Exactly. If the content is good, most of the audience won't say "but why isn't he/she a Skywalker?"

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I think it played a role, but was merely one factor among many that threw the sequels into their downward spiral.

    I don't believe Rey was ever meant to be a Skywalker; her journey in TFA mirrors Luke's far too closely. I think we were meant to leave the theater thinking Rey was probably a Skywalker (she has Luke's same origin, TFA was raw nostalgia, how could she not be!?), and later films would subvert that assumption by revealing she was from some other family (which TLJ did...just poorly).

    We had a Skywalker in the sequels from the start with Kylo, and I think most of us left TFA assuming he'd be saved, same as Vader. I myself assumed he'd return to the light side in the second film, putting a twist on both the sad "we've lost people" ending of ESB as well as Anakin's last minute fall to the dark side and his last minute rise to the light.

    Rey's assumed Skywalker bloodline was, I figure, just one subversion among many (like heroic stormtrooper Finn). And I think it would have worked fine, if the trilogy hadn't been so disjointed and derailed. Honestly, Rey's parentage isn't a huge issue in and of itself, it's only when you add it to every other problem in the sequels that the burden pulls the entire thing down. On its own, Rey being a Skywalker might have resulted in a cleaner, more satisfying story than what we got....but if the rest of the movies were still the poorly mapped out mess they were, then Rey's parents could have been Yoda and Assaj Ventress and it wouldn't have made any real difference in the overall quality.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    Co-signed, this is my view as well. The New Trilogy had a messy convoluted story including marginalizing Finn and trying to low-key push a toxic faux romance thus it sucked, IMHO.
    My thing is that I think both the marginalization of Finn, the push for the toxic romance, and even just writing Rey badly… all comes from people in LFL, Hollywood, and in the larger fandom not being able to actually treat Rey as the main character or Finn as the male lead when that would require Kylo, the only new Skywalker, being relegated to villainous tritagonist, in a situation that would almost require him to die.

    Basically…

    …A major, even determinative, reason that the ST became a poorly mapped out mess that slowly abandoned its ostensible progressive and creative goals, was because someone, whether during TFA’s production or afterwards, chose to keep Rey from being a Skywalker.

    Now, that’s not the same as it being *the* reason, or even anything like an inevitable one.

    But I would argue that the people at LFL, and Rian Johnson himself, showed that there was an immediate bias towards Kylo that cropped up the second he became the only Skywalker… and the bulk of the ST’s problems spring from that.

    Johnson wasn’t going to write Rey or Finn well when Kylo was the only new Skywalker, unless someone got a hold of him and forced him to face his bias. And the same thing with LFL and the overall critical reception of the film - I basically every single person who tried OT argue that Rey being “Random” was a good thing of hypocrisy, as TLJ only seemed plausible if someone already favored Kylo and Luke more than Rey and Finn… or commons sense or narrative structure.

    I believe that it isn’t an issue if LFL made sure everyone was conscious of what Rey being a Random would mean for the story… but the second you don’t have that, you’ve got people willing to prostitute Rey out for Kylo and throw Finn in the gutter, on reflex.
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  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    What really kills me is that, when you step back, there's only a few flaws in the sequels that ruin everything. Adjust just a few things and the film narrative is vastly improved.

    Finn being marginalized is one of the biggest mistakes. We spent TFA getting to know him and he was interesting, fun, and compelling. He had his own rival in the form of Phasma, a unique background as a stormtrooper who broke the brainwashing, and the tease of being Force sensitive. He had "franchise star" written all over him. His romantic tension with Rey is a "take it or leave it" thing for me, but Finn getting shoved into the background so Kylo Ren could step into the main romantic subplot leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

    The treatment of the original cast is likewise problematic because it turns out that after their big ROTJ victory and happy ending, all their lives sucked and they accomplished nothing; everything they built was ruined. A little respect given to their life's work, showing that the war against the Empire wasn't for nothing, would have done a lot. You don't have to change the entire structure of the story, but put a little good news in the mix for these guys yknow? Establish that some of Luke's students survived and are doing fine (and Luke went into exile for reasons other than self pity), establish that the New Republic government wasn't completely wiped out, something!

    Rey, I think, would have been fine if the toxic, gross, twisted romance with Kylo hadn't been a thing. Otherwise her arc is relatively solid; really just rehashing the same hero's journey Luke (and countless other fictional characters) have gone through. Her parentage isn't a big deal, despite the thematic dissonance of a Palpatine living while the Skywalker bloodline was exterminated (balance in the Force my ass). You could even retain the weird, out-of-nowhere Force dyad nonsense as long as Rey isn't making goo-goo eyes at some greasy, disgusting asshole.

    Really, the crux of the problems lie with Kylo Ren. His arc just isn't satisfying and he ends up tarnishing everything he touches. Hell, he really sets the entire franchise back to its original factory setting in a bad way, since all this dark side Skywalker crap was supposed to end with Vader. But if you remove his romantic subplot with Rey, and smooth out his redemption so it flows better....it wouldn't have been so bad. Hell, subvert expectations by having him come back to the light side....and *not* die.

    A lot of the problems with the sequels can be fixed by adding stuff in around the story the films told. We can discover that the New Republic wasn't as useless as it seemed, that the government wasn't completely wiped out, and that some of Luke's students did survive and Luke's legacy is intact. We can explore Rey and Finn and Poe in positive ways that reinforce the good qualities and ideas they were originally introduced with, while building them towards a new direction that isn't as reliant on nostalgia as TFA was.

    Hell, a director's cut or a new edit of the films could accomplish a lot and make the whole thing less janky. And for this reason I hope we get something that can explore the universe immediately after the films. A cartoon like Clone Wars or something, that can do some damage control while building on the good stuff in the films. And there was plenty of good stuff in there worth keeping and building on.
    Last edited by Ascended; 10-23-2021 at 12:10 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post

    Finn being marginalized is one of the biggest mistakes. We spent TFA getting to know him and he was interesting, fun, and compelling. He had his own rival in the form of Phasma, a unique background as a stormtrooper who broke the brainwashing, and the tease of being Force sensitive. He had "franchise star" written all over him. His romantic tension with Rey is a "take it or leave it" thing for me, but Finn getting shoved into the background so Kylo Ren could step into the main romantic subplot leaves a really bad taste in the mouth.

    The treatment of the original cast is likewise problematic because it turns out that after their big ROTJ victory and happy ending, all their lives sucked and they accomplished nothing; everything they built was ruined. A little respect given to their life's work, showing that the war against the Empire wasn't for nothing, would have done a lot. You don't have to change the entire structure of the story, but put a little good news in the mix for these guys yknow? Establish that some of Luke's students survived and are doing fine (and Luke went into exile for reasons other than self pity), establish that the New Republic government wasn't completely wiped out, something!

    Rey, I think, would have been fine if the toxic, gross, twisted romance with Kylo hadn't been a thing. Otherwise her arc is relatively solid; really just rehashing the same hero's journey Luke (and countless other fictional characters) have gone through. Her parentage isn't a big deal, despite the thematic dissonance of a Palpatine living while the Skywalker bloodline was exterminated (balance in the Force my ass). You could even retain the weird, out-of-nowhere Force dyad nonsense as long as Rey isn't making goo-goo eyes at some greasy, disgusting asshole.

    Really, the crux of the problems lie with Kylo Ren. His arc just isn't satisfying and he ends up tarnishing everything he touches. Hell, he really sets the entire franchise back to its original factory setting in a bad way, since all this dark side Skywalker crap was supposed to end with Vader. But if you remove his romantic subplot with Rey, and smooth out his redemption so it flows better....it wouldn't have been so bad. Hell, subvert expectations by having him come back to the light side....and *not* die.
    And again, I think all four problems are tightly centered and caused by LFL simultaneously trying to have the new main character not be a Skywalker… but still wanting a Skywalker hero… and simply subconsciously forfeiting the former idea in favor of shoving the villain into that role instead, shackling the main character to him, banishing his rival to a side-story, sacrificing the reputations of the old cast for him and neglecting to tie their legacy to the new heroes until it was too late.

    TFA worked, because Abrams and Kasdan either and/or both 1) wrote a story intending for Rey to be a Skywalker and 2) consciously sought to try and make sure Rey and Finn were the main characters regardless.

    TLJ sucks ass and nailed the story into a corner TROS would die in because because Rian Johnson and LFL either and/or both 1) subconsciously wanted to still tell a Skywalker-focused story and 2) allowed racism, ageism, and sexism to flow into that desire as well.

    The big issue is that once you decide Rey should just be another character on a Hero’s Journey in the same story with the iconic modern hero for that (Luke) and the iconic modern subversions of that (Anakin), with those two characters also tied into a family story as Kylo Ren… well, it’s a bit like offering someone a Dr. Thunder when they think that a Dr. Pepper drink is right next to it.

    Rey got screwed because Johnson and LFL thought she should focus more on the last Skywalker. Finn got screwed because Johnson and LFL worried he was occupying time and focus that should be spent on the last Skywalker. Luke, Han and Leia got screwed because Rian Johnson and LFL thought that them screwing up would make the last Skywalker sympathetic, and they also ignored having Luke train Rey because they thought it would take time away from having Luke focus on failing Ben. Hell, Kylo got screwed because LFL didn’t think that the last Skywalker should die evil, but had juuuuust enough self-awareness to think he would still have to die.

    I’m serious about that last bit - even though LFL clearly tweaked over Kylo because he was a Skywalker, they knew they’d have to kill him off to cut themselves off from just making the entire franchise about him after the ST was over.

    TFA worked in part because people thought Rey might be a Skywalker, and the rest of the ST sucked because once people didn’t think that, too many professionals turned out to suck at ignoring that.
    Last edited by godisawesome; 10-23-2021 at 02:02 PM.
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