Upon buying out Lucasfilm and its lucrative property Star Wars back for $4.05 billion back on October 30th, 2012, many thought that the entertainment goliath had just brought their way to yet another guaranteed franchise success. What the company did not bank on, however, was the fact that the army of loyal Star Wars fans were far less redeeming than the Marvel comic-book followers that have long fueled interest in their frenetic superhero series.
As a result, despite ten years having passed since the influential acquisition, all that Disney has conjured is five unimpressive films that have failed to considerably rouse fans and two TV series that have only worked to run their dull formula into the ground.
Creating a nostalgia trap of their own making, Disney has made Star Wars into a transparent financial exercise that tries to do nothing new in its pursuit of box office supremacy. From pointless cameos from the likes of Lando Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker to Darth Maul in Solo, it’s clear that Disney has little idea about how they should handle the world that they spent over $4 billion acquiring, resorting to constant lazy flashes of Star Wars iconography.
Meanwhile, whilst a strong dislike for Disney’s Star Wars festers, a strange fondness for the prequel trilogy that was once criticised, now flourishes. Disney realises this too, crawling back to the prequel era in a desperate plea to retain fan interest in the Star Wars shlock they’re dishing out on Disney+.
There’s no coincidence that the most viral moments from the Disney era of the franchise each originate from the prequel trilogy, from the appearance of Darth Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story to the upcoming popularity of the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series that Disney hopes will save its dying sci-fi property.
Gaining considerable internet hype upon the release of the new TV series, Obi-Wan Kenobi feeds not off the nostalgia for the original Star Wars films but the nostalgia for the prequels, demonstrating their dominance over the uninspired sequel films. With an epic soundtrack, quality characters and brand new original concepts, Disney are going back to the groundwork laid by the prequels with Obi-Wan Kenobi led by fan-favourite Ewan McGregor.
Whilst some criticise the prequel trilogy, many also praise its multiple strides forward, with a majority of the community agreeing that it is Ewan McGregor in the lead performance of Obi-Wan Kenobi who makes the movies so endearing. Positively discussing the future of the series, the actor has become the ambassador for the potential of Star Wars, showing his love and optimism for the franchise where the likes of Kathleen Kennedy, the president of LucasFilm, have not.
As well as being the star of the show, it is the persona of Ewan McGregor that will help transport the Star Wars name into a promising future, pedalling behind the scenes to spread enthusiasm about the new franchise.
Having tried and failed to create their own memorable characters, from Daisy Ridley’s Rey to John Boyega’s Finn, Disney has finally realised that their greatest, most pertinent asset is Ewan McGregor. Demonstrating his obvious capabilities to put together a compelling character in the prequel series, McGregor has shown himself to be the lifeblood of the modern franchise, with Disney hoping that his midi-chlorian count will be high enough to bring balance to the troubled series.