THE SAGA ABANDONED BY THE FORCE?
To say that posology – the name given to the Star Wars trilogy formed by Episodes VII, VIII, and IX – has been a disappointment is no longer a subjective stance, but indeed the objective assessment of an artistic disappointment and commercial. With five films released in just four years, the new trilogy simply hasn’t lived up to expectations, to the point that many of its spin-off projects, which center on iconic characters from the license, were put on stand-by indefinitely following the flop of the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story ($ 392 million for a budget of 275 million!).
Everything had started well with The Awakening of the Force in 2015, episode quite well received although criticized for its history modeled on that of the original trilogy signed by George Lucas. With just over $ 2 billion in box office gross, JJ Abrams’ film was also a critical success, still scoring 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and 85% for ratings today. Internet users.
Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) was much more divisive with Star Wars fans: the film is adored as much by some of the fans as it is hated by the rest of the spectators. Even the actors of the film did not hesitate to express their opinion, starting with a Mark Hamill disappointed by the turn of his character in this eighth part. Less successful at the box office with “only” $ 1.3 billion raised, the film posted ratings on Rotten Tomatoes which illustrate the differing opinions raised on its release: an excellent critical score of 90%, but a poor 42% for the public. Conversely, L’Ascension de Skywalker, the final post in posology, was a critical failure (51% on Rotten Tomatoes), but a public success (86%).
THE AWAKENING OF THE SAGA
Despite a colossal investment, the new Star Wars trilogy was therefore not an event that lived up to expectations, an unfortunate observation that marks a halt in the strategy implemented by Disney, namely to reproduce the model of Marvel productions (several spin-offs, prequel or prequel films each year, in which more ambitious films are inserted every two or three years). For want of having been able to create heroes as unifying as those of the previous trilogies, the company, therefore, had to revise its ambitions downwards, to limit the damage done to the prestige of one of the most popular sagas around the world.
Artistic and commercial disappointment, the Star Wars saga was not, therefore, left for dead, and it was finally for the SVOD Disney + platform that a new project was announced: The Mandalorian, the very first live-action series. Star Wars to see the light of day. A project of rupture, since taking place after the plot of Return of the Jedi and before that of posology, the development of The Mandalorian has been entrusted to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, two creators recognized and appreciated by fans.
Recognized director, the first is considered the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to the first two Iron Man opuses he directed, but also as one of the engines of the cycle of adaptations in the live action of the classics. Disney (the excellent remakes of The Jungle Book and The Lion King, both big box office hits in recent years). The second, known for his work on the animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels, is a true legend in the Star Wars galaxy, to the point of being considered the rightful heir of George Lucas with whom he worked closely. in the past.
SUCCESS FROM LAUNCH
Offered in the fall of 2019 at the US launch of Disney Plus, The Mandalorian was an immediate hit. To sum up the success of the series to the mere presence of “Baby Yoda” is reductive, but there is also an element of truth in this observation. By discarding the option of a character in computer graphics to return to an animatronic model, the series turned to the past by re-employing the technology of the first films. Especially since the identity of “the Child” will immediately intrigue the spectators, although the first season opts for an episodic story with almost independent plots of each other.
Not basing the plot of the series on characters already known or in a season already explored by the films was a good idea, as was not including a Jedi or Sith in this story which borrows heavily from the soap operas. western from the 50s but also to chanbara (the Baby Cart films in mind) which inspired George Lucas to design Star Wars. After the first season of exposure, and a success already there, the series was able to undertake in its second season to hang up the plot to the wagons of the official canon of the saga, with the appearance of several emblematic protagonists.