‘Star Wars’: Behind-the-Scenes Photo Brings Back Old Sequel Trilogy Frustration

Star Wars resonates with different people for different reasons. For many fans of George Lucas’s masterpiece, it’s the spectacle of the entire saga, the war between light and dark, and the lengths that people will go to fight for what is right help guide the saga.

For others, there’s an element of human relationships that allow all of this to unfold compellingly. In the most recent trilogy, however, many saw the three leads as a wasted opportunity to build on this. 

Staying apart

hn Boyega and Daisy Ridley
Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Looking at a set of action figures featuring the newest trilogy’s three protagonists, Reddit user u/poeticnupe wished that the on-screen dynamic between them was as strong as the action figures implied. 

“Wish they were together more like this in the sequels!”

While JJ Abrams set up the relationship in episode XII, it got less critical with every passing scene. Relationships are in Star Wars’ DNA, but almost nowhere to be found past the forced connection between Rey and Ben Solo, Luke, and other men in her life. As such, many see the diversion as a hindrance to the overall plot. 

After all, in George Lucas’s own words, the series’s dramatic aspects are as crucial as anything else. 

Lucas on Star Wars 

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Lucas always saw Star Wars as a perfect place for the type of melodrama that he loved from the films and specials he liked growing up. He never thought he got far enough into the interpersonal dynamic between the castmates in the original movies.

While many didn’t like the prequels, they allowed him to explore the roots that inspired the series, to begin with. In his mind, the series’s magic lay in the melodramatic human relationships that formed in his space soap opera. 

“Most people don’t understand the style of ‘Star Wars.’ They don’t get that there’s an underlying motif that is very much like a 1930s Western or Saturday matinee serial. It’s in the more romantic period of making movies and adventure films.

And this film is even more of a melodrama than the others. There’s a bit more soap opera in this one than there has been in the past,” the filmmaker said (per Deseret News)

That melodrama hinged on the relationships between the leading players of the cast. While they did go their separate ways, they always wound up back together in ways that allowed connections to blossom. From Luke’s romantic love for Leia turned familial by the big reveal to the budding romance between her and Han Solo, all of these relationships were unforced, fleshed out, and vital to production. 

Fast forward over thirty years, and audiences malign the new films for many reasons, from adhering too much to the original trilogy’s formula to not understanding the source material. On the other hand, however, many decried its unwillingness to capture the type of chemistry that helped make the originals the cultural behemoth they are today. 

Dividing the heroes 

The three protagonists, John Boyega’s Finn, Daisy Ridley’s Ray, and Oscar Isaac’s Poe, are set up similarly to the way the original trifecta of Luke, Han Solo, and Leia was in the original. After three movies, however, the trio never truly got the time to shine together. The series focused on Rey, but her relationships with the other two never had the chance to take full form until the third movie. 

Finn and Poe were presented as a close friendship, as well. Still, with every passing sequel, the friendship failed to match such iconic Star Wars pairings as C3P0 and R2-D2, or even Han Solo and Chewbacca had. While the pair communicated as though they grew as close as brothers, the relationship that we saw on screen was little more than two men who occasionally crossed paths and aimed their sights toward a common goal. 

The new trilogy was a mixed bag for many. While some appreciated the return to the roots, others thought it forgot to add the magic. At its core, whether it was John Boyega’s push to the sidelines, which he told GQ was racially motivated, or the series trying to do too much in too little time, it never reached the pantheon that the original helped create. 

Part of this is a criticism of the new series, but it’s also a look back at what made the originals memorable. Yes, there were laser swords, force ghosts, star destroyers, and human-like dog creatures. Still, it was a story of unity and friendship that other films in the franchise failed to meet.