‘Star Wars’: The Lack of Planning in the Sequel Trilogy Wasn’t the Problem, According to Some Fans

One of many rubs against the Star Wars sequel trilogy is that Disney did not have a plan when they made the movies. Sure, The Force Awakens started well enough, but then The Last Jedi upended the whole story, and then The Rise of Skywalker failed about trying to wrap up an unbalanced narrative. At least, that’s the common complaint. 

Now, as the movies are reevaluated, there is a contingent of fans who think maybe the lack of a plan wasn’t really a problem. Maybe it was just poor storytelling

What fans have said about a plan?

Adam Driver
Adam Driver | Mike Marsland/WireImage

When The Force Awakens came out in 2015, most fans were very pleased with it – so much so that it became the biggest hit of all time at the North American box office. Not even the behemoth Avengers: Endgame ended up toppling it.

There were grumblings that maybe it was a bit too much like A New Hope from 1977, but at the time, the positives far outweighed the negatives. 

Then The Last Jedi came along and toxicity among fans reached a fever pitch. Though the movie had and still has its defenders, the loudest cry from fans was “That wasn’t what we wanted! That’s not my Luke! That’s not real Star Wars! Rian Johnson ruined everything! He messed up the plan JJ Abrams had in Force Awakens!” 

Then Abrams returned for The Rise of Skywalker and was so busy picking up the pieces, so the fans said, that he couldn’t put together a coherent story. Many fans saw Episode IX as a movie that went out of its way to retcon Episode VIII, particularly the matter of Rey’s parentage.

At least that’s what a lot of fans seemed to be saying. Not all of them, though. 

Not so fast – maybe a plan isn’t the problem

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A thread on Reddit talks about the pros and cons of a plan, with one fan writing, “Movie sagas almost never have a plan. The ST (sequel trilogy)  suffered from some poor story decisions. It didn’t really matter at what point in the process those decisions were made (I.e. at the beginning vs the middle), Just that they were made. Point fingers at the people who made those decisions, not the method they used to make them.”

One of the reasons this was brought up was because a fan posted a video of director Christopher Nolan talking about how he didn’t have a plan for his Batman trilogy, and that was for the better, but there was some dissent on that point.

One fan said, “I don’t think a plan is ‘necessary’ but this is a bad comparison. The Nolan trilogy isn’t telling one continuous story like the ST is. The movies in the Nolan trilogy are barely connected and easily work as 3 standalone movies. They aren’t comparable.”

Then again, did George Lucas have a plan when he made the first Star Wars? Not really. He had no idea he was making a pop culture juggernaut that would last for more than 40 years. He had a lot of ideas, some of which he cut and later used in the prequel trilogy, but all the evidence that he didn’t have a plan is in the furtive romance between Luke and Leia, which looks icky now.

But hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. 

What’s the plan for Star Wars now?

It will be interesting to see how Disney handles Star Wars going forward. One could say there doesn’t seem to be much of a plan now. We have season 2 of The Mandalorian coming at the end of October, but other than that, not much definite is on the books. 

We know we’re getting an Obi-Wan series sometime. We know we’re getting a Cassian Andor Rogue One series sometime. We know we’re getting a Kevin Feige-produced movie at some point. We know we’re getting a Taika Waititi movie sometime. But when? Right now a plan seems to be in short supply.