Discussions · Guest Blogger

The Dark Side of the Franchise | Guest Blog Post by Beard and a Book

Hey friends,

Today’s theory post is still in the works, but I did want to post something Star Wars related in honor of The Last Jedi. I asked fellow blogger (though he hasn’t posted in a while) and Star Wars fan Christian from Beard and a Book to share some thoughts on the franchise after Disney has taken over. Unfortunately, he feels like the franchise has gone to the Dark Side and has prepared this post with some examples.

I’m sure I don’t need to have this, but these are just his views/opinions meant to start a discussion. You can agree or disagree and we’d love to know your thoughts.


Christian:

I love Star Wars, it has been a staple of my life since I was little. I’ve watched Episodes 1 through 6 hundreds of times, each, I can practically recite the script of each movie from memory. Like a lot of people, I was really excited to hear there was a new Star Wars movie coming out, however that excitement died pretty fast when I heard that Disney had declared the Expanded Universe noncanon. I didn’t outright say the movie was going to be horrible because of that, but I was willing to give it a shot. Personally, I’m not a fan of Force Awakens or Rouge One, I like the actors in them I just don’t like the movies. They are forgettable, Force Awakens looks like a rehash of A New Hope and Rouge One’s story has already been done arguably better in the Han Solo trilogy (Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit and Rebel Dawn). Compared to the original 6 movies I’ve watched the newest 2 a total of 5 times combined, every time I was left bored and disappointed, granted there were a small number of things I enjoyed or laughed at. I haven’t even paid that much attention to anything about Last Jedi, but it seems like a rehash of Empire Strikes Back. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still watch it, but I’m starting to think Disney is just trying to make money and that’s all they really care about. To be completely honest I’m not excited about Star Wars movies anymore, at least any from Disney, they don’t have the same magic they once had. There’s a number of reasons I don’t like Disney owning Star Wars; declaring the EU noncanon, shutting down LucasArts, changing the lore, blah, blah, blah you get the idea.

When the Expanded Universe was declared “Legends” that got me pretty angry, scratch that I was actually furious and I’m pretty sure my friends were/are tired of hearing me complain about it. Sure people say they never happened because they weren’t in the movies, well those people aren’t firing on all thrusters. The books were amazing, and they had to fit into Lucas’ vision of Star Wars. Take the Republic Commando novels by Karen Traviss, that series never was finished because the final book didn’t fit with what Lucas wanted, or something similar. The books gave us a lot that the movies didn’t they introduced new planets, new species, and more lore than you can fit into a sarlacc. Even though the books were written by different authors they all fit together and made sense. Take the Legacy of the Force and the Fate of the Jedi series, avoiding spoilers a notable Jedi goes to the dark side and starts another galactic civil war in the former and the latter starts off with Luke Skywalker being arrested and exiled because of not being able to control a rogue Jedi. That’s a huge change from how they were normally treated and it was a nice change of pace rather than seeing Jedi put on a pedestal to see them being held accountable for their actions. Now I don’t know how any of the new books are, I know I will not be reading them.

The one change that gets me angrier than the EU burning is changing lightsaber crystals and lightsaber colors. All lightsaber crystals are Kyber crystals and your personality determines your blade color… are you F*****NG kidding me?!? Unfortunately, I have read the article about Kyber crystals on Wookieepedia and I feel like I lost multiple brain cells reading it. There are tons of crystals that could be a lightsaber crystal, the most common were Illum crystals that produced a blue or green blade; there are also Dantari, Damind, Opila, Dragite, Stygium, Lambant, Solari, Quixoni, Frikann, etc. Each crystal produced a different color, they didn’t change color like a frakking mood ring. Most Jedi had a green or blue blade because Illum crystals were the EASIEST to get. Hell, Mace Windu went out of his way to acquire a hurrikaine crystal in the Dark Horse Comics, Star Wars Tales 13. As for Sith having red blades, the Jedi protected a good portion of the places you could acquire lightsaber crystals so they made their own, synthetic crystals which normally come out red but that color could be changed by changing the materials you put in it. Synthetic crystals weren’t exclusively a Sith thing, some Jedi used synthetic crystals; best example, Luke Skywalker. Some of the others were Jax Pavan, Adi Gallia, Jaina Solo-Fel and the Imperial Knights.

Now the crystals were the biggest lore change that irritated me, there are several others. The first one that comes to my mind would be Dathomir and the Witches of Dathomir. First, let’s start with the “Canon” description of Dathomir; the planet, lit red by its central star, had numerous continents that were overrun with vegetation, forests, and swamplands. The dark side of the Force had an immensely strong presence on Dathomir, which allowed for the nurturing of many malevolent Force wielders native to the planet. The Nightsisters, also known as the Dathomir witches, made their home in the swamps and wielded magicks fueled by Dathomir’s own power. In the Clone Wars, its shows to be an ugly planet and the only lifeforms are the Nightsisters and the Nightbrothers.

Now the “Legends” description, which is actual canon in my opinion; Dathomir was considered a temperate and beautiful planet by Human standards, with a varied terrain that included coastal lakes and tar-pits, thick forests and snow-capped mountain peaks, powerful rivers and broad savannas, small icecaps and dramatic rift valleys. Even under the New Republic, however, nine-tenths of the planet remained unexplored and uninhabited, with the population limited to a relatively small area along the edge of one of the three main continents, a zone of uplands and river plains bordered on one side by the unsailed ocean and on the other by vast expanses of desert. That sounds miles better than the “Canon” description, did I mention that “Legends” Dathomir had Semi-sentient Rancors? No? Well, they do. Dathomir was also strong in the Force, which brings me to my second point.

The Witches of Dathomir, or in “Canon” speak, the Nightsisters since the light side half of the witches doesn’t exist in this timeline. I guess if you’re a force user who isn’t a Jedi you’re automatically evil, but I digress. The “Legends” Witches of Dathomir were formed 600 years before the Battle of Yavin by a Jedi Knight named Allya. Events were set in motion that led to a unique Human culture, founded on the enslavement of the male population to force-sensitive females, the transformation of Rancors from predators to allies and the authorship of the Book of Law. The Book of Law is essentially the Jedi Code for the Witches of Dathomir, their use of the force gradually to the form of “spells” since they chanted a set of words and the desired effect happened. Use of the dark side, or night spells, resulted in exile which leads to the founding the Nightsisters. I don’t have a problem with the Nightsisters, I just wish Disney had made them as interesting as they were in the books. How cool would it have been to see Witches of Dathomir riding Rancors into battle during the Clone Wars? Yes, they did that, both the Witches and the Nightsisters.

I could go on, but I think you guys get my point. Star Wars went from being a creative world to another Hollywood reboot and cash grab. I wanted the Force to Awaken but unfortunately, I think this will be the Last (of the) Jedi. Here’s to hoping that we can get the creativity to return, but I’m not holding my breath.


What do you guys think?

Do you like the direction Disney is taking Star Wars in?

Are you excited for the Last Jedi?

Let us know in the comments below!

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