Star Wars is something almost everyone loves, so of course, I have to ruin everyone's fun by criticizing every aspect of it. (I originally wrote this years ago when I was more interested in venting than being fair and covering everything worth covering. Sometime it'll be interesting to expand this or maybe make a separate article exploring what's good about Star Wars.) Here are the biggest problems with the franchise in general:

  1. Star Wars morality is perverse in several ways. The badguys are all strawman chaotic evil, and the designated heroes are hardly good themselves (I argue that point in a separate article). Flawed goodguys are cool, but only when their flaws are portrayed as such. The Jedi are portrayed to be essentially perfect in the canon films; every time the story acknowledges a Jedi did something wrong, it's portrayed to be because it was against the Jedi way. Not to mention it's statist, but that's to be expected. The intense black-and-white framing of good and evil with no grey is also unfortunate.

  2. The force is a fluffy magic system. This problem shows itself in many ways, so I'll just give one example: why can't Jedi fly? We know they have self-telekinesis.

  3. Fake sci-fi.

  4. The droid rights problem (more on this in the Solo section). The droids in Star Wars are pretty clearly supposed to be sentient, but aren't treated as such by the "goodguys"; none of the heroes - or even the droids themselves - ever object to them being sold as property by the Jawas in the beginning of A New Hope, never having a say in anything, or the practice of wiping their memories.

    The same thing applies to clones: no rights, they're bred to be soldiers and either don't have a choice in the matter or there are magically never any who don't want to do this. What's that? They explore this in the Clone Wars show? Yeah, but they don't address the obvious implication that um, the Republic is evil even by statist standards.

  5. All three trilogues have a gender balance issue. The original and prequel trilogies have a single female character each, neither are Jedi, and Padme exists only to support Anakin's arc. As for Leia, honestly I feel like you could just take her out of the original trilogy and the story would be much the same. I can't think of a scene where she does something that couldn't have been done by another character. In the sequels, male characters are constantly sidelined or deglorified while every female character is a Mary Sue; Rey is the most overpowered hero Star Wars has ever seen and Kylo is a total wuss.

  6. The gross incompetence of enemy mooks in every Star Wars movie. I don't think I need to explain why this is a bad thing.

Now I'll do some movie-specific criticisms. I'll list them in release order.

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Now, in the case of this movie it is necessary for me to say that Revenge of the Sith has some positives. I've been only counting the flaws of these movies and that's kind of unfair except that it's true. None of them really have any outstanding points to praise. But the prequels are the only trilogy with a strong hero's arc, and Revenge of the Sith is not only a decent resolution to it but also a tragedy, which is super rare in our fiction. I have to give it some credit for that.

Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Rogue One

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Solo

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

I honestly don't feel like writing a whole thing on this one. MauLer's critique covers it so well. The video's 2 hours, and he says a few things I disagree with, but at least 95% of his criticism is valid. (Content warnings: he swears a lot, and refers to the Force as "the gay", if that offends you.)



This page was last modified 2020 May 23, Saturday, 03:32 (UTC)