This is not a bash the sequel trilogy free- for- all article. After all, Star Wars fans know all to well the disappointment since Disney first released “The Force Awakens.” No bashing, that is because Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said Disney, is taking a step back to review what George Lucas created.
Kathleen Kennedy said she and her team were taking a “step back and really absorb what George [Lucas] created” Star Wars to be in the first place. I know I for one am happy that these steps are being taken. No more rushing through just to produce films that fans rail against.
It is known that Disney/Lucasfilm do have many Star Wars films in the works. The film company and it’s owner had a rude awakening to audience reception when “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was released in 2019.
Die-hard Star Wars fans demanded that the sequel trilogy be decanonise and wanted George Lucas to take over and right the wrong. Social media users used #notmystarwars to let others know exactly what they thought. Many including myself believed Disney was making a total mess out of the beloved movie franchise.
Previously, Kathleen Kennedy hinted the next wave of films very well could center around The Knights of the Old Republic. That was satisfying for many fans. What should be even better received is that Disney/Lucasfilm and the people who run it are now willing to take the humble road.
They have listened to the fans, they had no choice Star Wars fans are very vocal. For any new Star Wars film going forward, a look back is a good step. The sequels did not work. Disney +’s The Mandalorian did work. It worked because the shows creator and slew of directors grew up with Star Wars and had a firm understanding of just how it worked.
Now it seems, steps are being taken to bring the franchise back to life instead of fans seeing a Force ghost.
OEmbed from Getty Images *This comes from very good sources,* Early screen tests for “Star Wars the Rise of Skywalker” were disastrous. So disastrous in fact that Lucasfilm brought back the one person who could right the ship. Star Wars creator, George Lucas.
With Disney CEO Bob Iger, in attendance director J.J. Abrams tested the final story in the Skywalker saga. The audience was made up of hard-core Star Wars fans, casual Star Wars fans as well as general movie fans who were simply only aware of Star Wars.
The audience was asked to rank/grade the film. The J.J. Abrams/ Kathleen Kennedy ‘Rise of Skywalker” cut had the lowest score 29. The audience sighted a “very lackluster” third act that hurt the film. In other words a flop.
It is said the biggest issue with that version was Rey destroyed Emperor Palpatine in “OP fashion,” causing the film viewers to bust out into laughter. That is said to have enraged Iger, who demanded reshoots.
Iger went to Abrams and specifically told him him to bring Anakin and Luke Skywalker ‘in the flesh.” Following the modifications Iger asked for the film was re-tested. The results were better not great. The audience ranked/graded Iger’s “Rise of Skywalker” 65. In other words good not great, which would have irritated and already on edge fan base.
It was right after the screening Iger made the call to bring in the one person who’s vision is being presented, George Lucas himself! This is where it get’s interesting. Lucas watched both versions. He then went to the editing room. He used both Abrams and Iger’s films and crafted them together.
George Lucas also asked for “certain reshoots.” Abrams agreed. “The Rise of Skywalker” was then tested for a third time to the same audience demographic. This time the J.J. Abrams/ Kathleen Kennedy/ Bob Iger/ George Lucas Star Wars film scored and 88.
In movies anything over 82 is considered a hit movie. There is a bit of irony in all of this. George Lucas who created one of the most successful movie franchises of all-time. Who directed some of the films, was brought in to fix the last one. Well in terms of the Skywalker portion of Star Wars anyways.