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Is there a plan at Disney/Lucasfilm to write the latest Star Wars trilogy out of continuity?

July 7th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Ooooooooooooh, boy.

So, I think it’s fair to say that the last couple of Star Wars movies – well, the main Skywalker saga ones, anyway – have been divisive among the fans.

The Disney take on the Star Wars franchise started strong with Star Wars: The Force Awakens; a derivative story for sure, it flat out stole ideas from previous movies in the saga but it was a necessary evil… it felt like Star Wars, it looked like Star Wars and the familiarity of scenes and themes were, to me at least, necessary to make the old fans feel right at home and to bring the new fans straight in to what Star Wars is all about –  so it was forgiven because, well, it did so much right and felt like a nice familiar sofa in front of the fire after a cold day’s work.

And, it was such exciting times for Star Wars fans… new characters were added to the roster and fans loved Rey, Finn and Poe and were excited to see where they went next.

Sadly, where they went next was The Last Jedi.

Rian Johnson’s movie was not just a bad Star Wars movie (we’ve had those before), it was a bad movie. Period.

It seemed to take delight in derailing not just the events of The Force Awakens, but of the previous seven movies as a whole, with the line “forget the past, destroy it if you have to,” becoming symbolic of the whole movie.

And that’s not to say many didn’t like the movie; they did. But more still didn’t.

And I’ve heard it argued ‘well the critics loved it’ or ‘well it made lots of money’ but sadly, between some reviewers admitting they gave it positive reviews because they felt they had to (here), to the fact that no-one I’ve met face-to-face have liked it and then to the fact that the movie that came next – Solo: A Star Wars Story (which wasn’t bad at all) – tanked at the box office and then The Rise of Skywalker, a movie forty years in the making that should have made Endgame-esque money barely limped past the $1bn, it’s pretty clear the movie – and Johnson’s subsequent rants and name calling online afterwards (here) – had done damage to Star Wars in a way that just a couple of years before was unimaginable.

Johnson’s movie – to me, personally – did the impossible and made me not excited for Star Wars anymore.

I’ve been there since A New Hope (Just Star Wars then) in 1977 and all my anticipation had finally died off or, more accurately, was killed off (The Rise of Skywalker is the first Star Wars movie or series I didn’t buy on day of release – I even bought The Last Jedi in the certainty that I was wrong about it and it would improve with more watches – not only did it not but I’ve only been able to make it about 40 mins in a few times before I turned it off. I also only saw Rise of Skywalker once in the cinema… another first for me).

My excitement didn’t return until Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau brought us The Mandalorian last year and then The Clone Wars final season this year for those who are interested.

And I’m not alone. A large proportion of Star Wars fans, the ones that have been around for a long time, felt alienated by what Star Wars had become. All their idols were killed off or disgraced, the franchise focused on Rey who showed so much promise in The Force Awakens but had become an over-powered, one note, poorly written character. Daisy Ridley deserved more.

So did John Boyega who was clearly being set up for greatness in that first movie in the new trilogy, but once he shuffled down the hall in The Last Jedi leaking all over the floor all hope – and dignity – was gone. He became an afterthought in the new trilogy. A wrong that JJ Abrams tried to to put right in The Rise of Skywalker, but alas, it was too little too late – and Boyega has made no secret of his anger over it all.

So yes, I kind of hate the new trilogy because of how it wasted those new characters I really liked when I first met them; because of how it destroyed my childhood idols and because instead of owning the fact that they made a bad movie (it happens, fans forgive that), certain high-ups at Lucasfilm/Disney believed it would be smarter to lash out and insult the fans that disliked the movie. Never a good idea.

You may argue the fans felt like they were owed something, like it was an entitlement. And maybe that’s right.

But the fans are open to new things… look at The Mandalorian – it’s so very different to the Star Wars we know but so embraced by the fans because it respects what has gone before, doesn’t treat it as an inconvenience and something to be mocked, dismantled and destroyed but something to build on. As I said to someone on Twitter a few days ago, if I go to see a Freddy Kruger movie I want to see Freddy mauling teenagers and laughing about it, I don’t want to see High School Musical… you give the fans what they want, be inventive by all means but never give them the impression they’re something that needs to be shook off. That’s exactly what Rian Johnson – and Kathleen Kennedy – did.

And it’s caused devision. Not just in the fanbase but, it seems, at Lucasfilm too.

Which is – ‘finally!’, I hear you say – the point of this article.

A new, oddly persistent rumour has appeared online that Disney/Lucasfilm may have as large a divide in-house as it does in the fandom with rumour being that there are two sides in the Star Wars creative family: those who are loyal to George Lucas and are only interested in keeping his universe alive by staying true to what he created; this is fronted by The Mandalorian’s Jon Favreau – who is tipped to be the new overseer of Star Wars once Kathleen Kennedy steps down (something rumoured coming for a long time) – and Dave Filoni (who is also responsible for Clone Wars and Rebels).

On the other ‘side’ is Kathleen Kennedy and those loyal to her; it is her who gave Rian Johnson the go-ahead to, to paraphrase The Last Jedi, destroy the past… casting off Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in favour of Rey. This was a move, as said above, that divided fans. And staff and creatives too, it seems.

According to the new rumour a full reset may be in the works that will effectively derail The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, rendering the events of those movies null and void and having the Skywalker saga ending in 1983 with Return of the Jedi.

And, it seems, there is an in-canon way to do this and it’s already been firmly established and may even have been set up in The Rise of Skywalker too.

Now, the new rumour comes from youtube Star Wars commentator Doomcock who has previously been on the money with Star Wars rumours about The Last  Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, so his record is pretty well established so, yes, I do believe there’s something to this all.

And it all ties back to Rebels.

“In the Season 4 episode 13 instalment [of Rebels] titled A World Between Worlds, the concept of the Veil of The Force was introduced, a mystical dimension of The Force that connects all time and space,” says Doomcock.

“I have received confirmation from two additional sources claiming that this is spot on [and] that indeed LucasFilm realises they have a massive problem on their hands, that the Star Wars franchise is all but dead, and despite Kathleen Kennedy’s hatred of this idea, Lucasfilm is preparing to render the Sequel Trilogy null and void.”

This is the Veil of the Force for those who don’t remember or haven’t seen it:

So, just how big a reset are we looking at here?

Well, again, Doomcock says the events from The Force Awakens, Last Jedi, and Rise of Skywalker “will be removed from canon, isolated in their own alternate timeline and regarded as an Elseworlds-like instalment under the label of Star Wars Legends.”

This is what happened to all the books, games and more that existed outside the movies, Clone Wars and Rebels when Disney took over and I’d imagine that, should it happen, those who like the new movies will be told what the fans of those books, games etc are told now: ‘Well, they’re still there if you want them… they’ve not been taken away’.

It’s odd because, should this happen, then we will officially have a Star Wars multiverse, just as we have a DC multiverse (here) and soon a Marvel one (here) and potentially a Ghostbusters one (here), Star Wars too will enter the realm of alternative timelines and realities wherein the new trilogy will not cease to exist but rather would just be moved to an alternate timeline that no longer effects the core one.

Huh.

Doomcock continues that if “the plan comes to pass, everything that Kathleen Kennedy did with the sequel trilogy will be destroyed, tossed out and declared obsolete”.

“A massive reset is going to hit the Star Wars universe,” he says.

But, as if that’s not enough, it seems that unbeknownst to JJ Abrams or Kathleen Kennedy, the set up for this may have already have been set in motion by those at Lucasfilm/Disney who are loyal to Lucas’ original vision.

Remember the dark Rey scene in Rise of Skywalker?:

Well, in that scene it was revealed that Emperor Palpatine had a hidden room on the second Death Star called The Room of Mirrors. The mirrors it seems, were created using ancient dark Sith magic by Palpatine and linked to the Veil of The Force and can be seen in the background behind dark Rey, with their meaning while being added to the scene something that was lost on Abrams.

These mirrors helped Palpatine manipulate the Force, bending it to his will, allowing him to see things he shouldn’t have been able to and even to cloud the Force so the Jedi couldn’t see the Sith’s return in the prequels.

Remember in the top clip how, using the veil, Ezra was able to pluck Ahsoka from certain death at the hands of Vader? Will, this means that in the Star Wars canon the very fabric of reality can be twisted and manipulated by those who have the guts and the means.

According to the rumour, in Return of the Jedi, when Vader threw Palpatine into the core of the Death Star and – it seemed – certain death, Palpatine was able to open a doorway to the veil, saving him from falling to his death and also from the exploding Death Star moments later.

However, the energy he used to open a door into the Veil without one of the mirrors we glimpsed in Rise of Skywalker left him so battered that he could barely survive  – which is how he was when we first meet him in that movie – he went to the planet Exegol as he had another set of mirror doorways there too so he could come and go during his time of reigning of the universe; little did he think they would be his saving grace someday too.

So how can this be used to render the new movies obsolete?

Well, as goes the rumour, at some point in Star Wars’ future – be it in a new movie, animated show or live-action series – someone will be in the Veil, just as Ezra was in Rebels (above) and will stop Palpatine from ever reaching Exegol.

This is actually very clever because, should it happen, this means that it can happen and it can negate the new movies without it ever explicitly being stated… just imagine in a future Star Wars story this happens and the fans who understand the concept realise that this means the events of Awakens, Jedi and Skywalker have been banjaxed while those fans who do like the movies can still continue to believe that their timeline exists. Clever, right?

Which is weird because back in May, Lucasfilm exec and story guy Matt Martin got into a bit of a pickle on Twitter when he seemed to fly in the face of what many of us love about a good universe and said that continuity didn’t matter: “… if there was an opportunity to tell that story now that new creator would not be beholden to that old version of the story.

“So to summarize: there is a reason that we need to internally know what is and isn’t canon so we can keep our line of official storytelling as aligned as possible but that doesn’t mean fans can’t individually pick and choose what they want to accept as true.

“It’s all fake anyway so you can choose to accept whatever you want as part of the story,” he concluded.

Hmmmmm, “that doesn’t mean fans can’t individually pick and choose what they want to accept as true. It’s all fake anyway so you can choose to accept whatever you want as part of the story,” doesn’t that sort of sound like what we’re seeing and hearing now? Just thought as it was an interesting – but relative – throwback or deep-dive as we like to say.

Anyway. If someone were to stop Palpatine reaching Exegol, then this means that new trilogy would be “consign[ed] to its own alternate timeline forever [as] Palpatine enters the Veil and never gets back to Exegol.”

“[The Emperor] is prevented from using the mirrors to return, he dies as he was intended to [in Return of the Jedi], and Bob’s your uncle and all our problems are solved,” Doomcock concludes.

This means that at the end of Jedi when Vader tosses the Emperor over the balcony and into the void, he dies for good and the Skywalker story ends where it did all those years ago and Vader’s sacrifice, which was undermined by the new trilogy, will be reinstated as meaning something and saving the universe and extinguishing the Sith at last.

“No Disney sequel trilogy, Han doesn’t walk stupidly into a lightsaber, Leia doesn’t fly like Mary Poppins through space, Luke has nothing to run away from and consumes no green milk, and I am informed there will be no amazing wonder Rey as she was born after The Emperor’s death,” Doomcock adds.

“Literally anything is possible here as branching alternate realities converge and diverge in that mystical dimension. What is glimpsed in those mirrors is an alternate version of Rey (ed’s note: like the dark vision above), and lurking within the Veil are alternate versions of Palpatine, alternate versions of Luke, alternate versions of Han. Somewhere in the multiverse may even lie a version of the Disney sequels that … didn’t outrage and alienate a huge section of the Star Wars fandom.”

My first reaction on hearing this rumour was 1). it could never  happen and 2). if it did it would unfairly alienate the new fans that the new movies brought it – and as a fan since 1977, I detest the idea of any fan being outcast or feeling that their corner of fandom is inconsequential as I’ve felt it a lot recently in various franchises.

But I feel that, if done correctly – and I would trust Filoni and Favreau to engineer it – this could leave the old fans feeling that their movies are still the main story and that Vader ended Palpatine’s reign, while also allowing the new fans a way to simply disregard that idea (which need not be over stated) and believe their movies are still part of the arc.

This is a kind of retcon that until recently would have felt impossible, but with the upcoming Snyder Cut of Justice League (here) and even Ghostbusters: Afterlife (here), it seems that the studios are actually listening to the fans and taking onboard what they really want, so this could be another case of that happening.

That feels line a win/win to me.

It’s just sad that, no matter what happens, even if the whole trilogy is completely retconned, we will never see Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams sharing screen time together again as those iconic heroes and, as a life-long fan, I will never forgive the new movies for not allowing this to ever happen. Perhaps some day in an animated tale or as CGI creations in a new movie or live-action series… but we’ll never have the real deal back.

Oh, and just for the record, as a fan who has been called sexist for not liking The Last Jedi – yes, that’s a thing – despite loving Rey in The Force Awakens (I took my daughter out the day before we went to see it to a local toy store and she proudly picked up a Rey figure to accompany her to the cinema and I was proud and delighted to be having that moment with her), I would love to see Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega back for a new, well-written adventure and, more than that, I’m confident the vast majority of fans would welcome them with open arms.

But what do I know? I’ve one been a fan for 43 years.

Let me know all your thoughts on this one, folks… I really want to hear them.

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….