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As a huge Star Wars fan (as mentioned in several other of my blogs), I have to admit that I don’t really get the adoration for The Mandalorean. It’s fun and attractive (at least the first 6 episodes I have gotten around to watching so far), but my youngest son–whose opinion I often trust on many things, including Reformed Theology–thinks it’s either the best Star Wars so far, or 2nd best behind Rogue One.
I loved RO, and I enjoy the Mando, but it’s just not that spectacular to me. It’s better than The Last Jedi, but then so were the other ten theater movies, the Clone Wars movie (which came to the theater, too, remember that?) and TV show, Rebels and the Ewok movies, which were made for TV on a budget equal to ALF‘s. The only Star Wars that TLJ is better than is The Star Wars Holiday Special and that’s only because TLJ was lucky enough to not have Bea Arthur.
But anyway, about the Mando, it’s a good show, and it looks good (not necessarily the same thing), but I’m just not blown away by it. Someone who does love it, tell me what I’m missing.
As for The Last Jedi, I’m going to say something here in the next paragraph that will surprise both of you who have read this far. First off, I have loved Star Wars since 1977 and seen all but one of them in the theater on opening day. I’ve read probably more than 60% of the novels, have played a lot of the table top games (and still own some of the toys and many T-shirts). So I don’t hate any SW so far. I just thought this most recent trilogy was the weakest of the three trilogies. With that being said, I really enjoyed Rise of Skywalker. I went in expecting very little but feeling almost obligated after all the time I have invested/wasted on SW over the years. Imagine my surprise!! It was just fun, which was what I was going for. Sure, there were some eyebrow raising elements (like the time within the story it took the events to unfold, which was too short even with the conceit of hyperspace) but I enjoyed it all three times I saw it in the theater and cheered every time when Lando showed up with the fleet.
Now, back to my big reveal: I think the 7-9 trilogy would have better if the whole thing had been done by Rian Johnson. I think it would have been a lot better if the whole thing had been done by JJ Abrams. It would have been way, way, way better if Disney had listened to Lucas and gotten Brad Bird to do the trilogy. Gareth Edwards, Ron Howard, Taika Waititi and, as long as we’re dreaming, the late Orson Wells, would have been better than what we got: a trilogy written by different people who didn’t have an overarching theme or idea. It was like that game we used to play in school where one person would write a paragraph or two, then someone else had to write the next section. Mainly, we were trying to stick it to the next guy, so whoever came up last had the sad duty to tie it all together.
Supposedly, Rian Johnson is still slated to write and direct a future SW trilogy that will be unrelated to the Skywalker family. I actually think that might be good because one of the things I love most about Lucas’s movies–and yes, I still enjoy the prequels–is that they were one man’s vision. [Shameless plug here] Kind of like all 32 of my novels are woven together–some more overtly than others. That aside, I think RJ’s solo project has a better chance of being good than the recent trilogy.
Speaking of solo projects, I want to find and sign that petition for Lucasfilm to continue the story set in motion with the movie Solo. My thought is, if they don’t want to do a whole, big-budget movie, they do a 6-8 episode miniseries for Disney+ (like the Mando) and get Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard to direct. I enjoyed Solo and no, it didn’t have Harrison Ford, but I thought the actors all did a good job–especially Donald Glover who I had no problem seeing as a young Lando. Not that he looked like Billy Dee Williams, but he did a great job of playing a young and brash showman before he’s made somewhat cynical by the cares of maturity.
Lastly, if I were ranking the Star Wars movies (and I am, it’s my blog): I would rank them thusly:
1. A New Hope
2. Empire Strikes Back
3. Rogue One
4. Revenge of the Sith
5. Solo
6. Attack of the Clones
7. Return of the Jedi
8. The Phantom Menace
9. Rise of Skywalker
10. Force Awakens

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttlecom.com and doctortuttle,com) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.”. He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as a chaplain with hospice. Contact him at garisonfitch@gmail.com In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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