You could go on for days about the multitude of ways that Star Wars fans have disagreed with Disney’s handling of the franchise, and following the conclusion of the Sequel Trilogy that saw both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker become arguably the two most divisive entries in the series for wildly different reasons, Lucasfilm will be keen to get things back on track.
Even the prequels, which no diehard Star Wars fan seems to hold in the highest regard, seemed to generate less backlash than the works of both J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson, although you could make the argument that it might have been a different story had the internet been as all-encompassing back then as it is now.
However, there’s no denying that there are certain sections of the fanbase that have been following Star Wars for decades who have become more disenfranchised than ever since George Lucas first sold the rights, matters that haven’t been helped by virtually every project being hit by some kind of production delay, behind-the-scenes issues or a fired director.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has taken the brunt of the blame, leaving Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni to ride to the rescue as Star Wars‘ white knights with The Mandalorian, which received almost universal acclaim from fans and critics alike, and now looks set to become the building block for the next decade of adventures set in a galaxy far, far away.
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There’s a fine line between giving the people what they want and full-blown fan service, especially when it comes to a franchise like Star Wars, and in a recent interview, Favreau admitted that his comedy background gives him a better idea of how to listen to his audience.
“You put something out in the world, and then it echoes back at you. You have to listen. It’s not a one-way street. It’s a two-way street. You have to feel the energy of the audience. But when you come from comedy, and when I was doing improv back in Chicago, that’s it. You have to read the room, you have to feel the room. You have to be in community with the audience. You have to be part of it. The fact of the matter is, as much as we love working on Star Wars, we love even more making Star Wars for other people. And when other people are excited by it, dig what we’re doing and are appreciative, that’s as good as it gets for us.”
Favreau has done a solid job so far with The Mandalorian, managing to tell a great story that balances the introduction of new characters with plenty of nods to the storied history of Star Wars that don’t detract from the action, and there’s no reason to doubt that the upcoming second season isn’t going to follow suit.