It’s no secret that the Star Wars community hasn’t been in the greatest spot recently. Ever since The Last Jedi‘s controversial release, the fandom has been split. One side stopping at nothing to tear the film down while the other continuously sings its praises. This is a debate almost two years later rages on with the same intensity.
Six months later, the disastrous release of Solo only added fuel to the fire. The dismal box office earnings (and presumed production value) strengthened the argument against The Last Jedi. It also provided a megaphone to the haters that Disney has no idea what they’re doing. This perception seems to gain supporters every day.
The Star Wars fandom is now the most fractured it has ever been, but Disney and Lucasfilm are not giving up. This holiday season, they will be putting out not one, not two, but three major releases that could either make or break the perception of the franchise moving forward.
Do these releases have what it takes to reunite the galaxy? Let’s find out…
Its First Live-Action Show
Kicking off the launch of Disney+ on November 12, The Mandalorian will go down as Star Wars’ first-ever live-action television series. With Jon Favreau at the helm, a cast that ranges from Pedro Pascal to Taika Waititi, and a focus on the Mandalorian, there is a lot of promise here.
However, there’s a considerable amount of pressure.
As the first major release since Solo, and the first of the three big 2019 releases, fans can’t be lukewarm on this. Lucasfilm has to bring their A-game to prove both The Last Jedi and Solo were flukes. If this series leaves a sour taste any fan’s mouth again, The Mandalorian could really hurt the entire Star Wars franchise as a whole considering its current state.
While everything Disney and Lucasfilm have released looks great so far, there is always a chance it will be divisive. Here’s hoping that they will come out of the gates swinging.
Star Wars Gaming
The games released under EA’s exclusive reign have been majorly disappointing. Not only have the Star Wars gaming releases been lackluster, but its predatory and sinister monetization tactics have been the center of much debate over the past couple years.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with “Fallen Order.”
After the backlash that followed Battlefront II and its loot boxes, EA has seemingly learned their lesson as this game includes no micro-transactions. It’s also EA’s first outing at a single-player Star Wars game since Disney took over–something fans have been clamoring for for years.
Taking place after the events of Order 66, the game follows a young Jedi in hiding whose force powers were recently discovered by the Empire. The story is interesting but the most exciting part is the gameplay. The force and lightsaber combat looks so fluid and natural; it’s unlike anything done before.
On top of that game, Star Wars: Battlefront II has regularly received superb updates that has fixed the game almost entirely. Later this year, it will be adding all new The Rise of Skywalker content into the mix, including new planets, heroes, and most likely skins.
So far, this year looks bright for EA Star Wars, but they’ve disappointed in the past.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
As the final film in the Skywalker saga following the very divisive The Last Jedi, this film’s fate could very well be the most important in the entire saga.
If it’s good, then all of their recent faults may be forgiven and the fandom will be reunited. However, if it ends up being as divisive as The Last Jedi, it will leave a permanent scar on the franchise as a whole–one that won’t be forgiven as easily as the prequels.
Everything seen so far in the trailers has been promising, but there’s hope even beyond that. For one, JJ Abrams is back at the helm, and he’s finally able to tell his own, original story to give proper closure to the story set in motion in The Force Awakens. On top of that, after The Last Jedi and Solo, the studio is in desperate need for a win, so it’s safe to assume that extra love and care was put into this film.
All of these questions will be answered when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker releases in theaters December 20, 2019.
This is the year that could bring balance to the Star Wars community or completely divide it for years to come.
As of now, everything seems to be falling right into place for a huge success, and that’s all the the Star Wars community wants right now: hope that at least one of these releases will reunite the fandom… even just a little.