The Rise of Skywalker marked the end of the first era of Disney’s Star Wars universe as the conclusion of the sequel trilogy and the finale of the Skywalker saga. For a lot of people, it has been a mixed bag and for everyone, it has been a rollercoaster of emotion and serious speculation.
No matter anyone’s opinion on the trilogy though, there is no denying that it has severely impacted the Star Wars universe and changed a lot of things, both giving and taking away from what fans already had, loved, and adored within it. Here are 10 ways that the new Star Wars trilogy changed the franchise forever, for better or worse.
10 Closed The Door On The Return Of Some Legends Characters
The loss of the Expanded Universe—now known as Legends—as canon hurt a portion of the Star Wars fanbase and since then said portion has had some trouble getting on board with Disney’s plans and ideas.
Unfortunately for those fans, a lot of Legends characters will now never be a part of the films or the canon. While characters like Thrawn and Bane have made returns, characters like Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin Solo will never return due to Kylo, it looks unlikely we will ever see Mara Jade, and a host of others will also be left out due to the movies.
9 Divided The Fanbase
The sequel trilogy as a whole has divided a lot of fans. Some for the loss of the EU, a small section for what are unfortunately bigoted reasons, and mostly due to their feelings on the movies themselves and what they did, and how they impacted the franchise.
The Last Jedi, in particular, did this, with a lot of people up in arms about Luke’s treatment and the direction the movie took Star Wars. Both that and The Rise of Skywalker also massively highlighted the divide in critics and fans (just take a look at Rotten Tomatoes). Some people love the sequels, some hate them and it has shown a toxic side of the fan base that will likely remain for the coming years.
8 Concluded The Skywalker Saga
No matter what happens now, no matter how much canon material is released to fill in the gaps or how many movies there are to explain certain things, the sequel trilogy was the finale of the story of the Skywalker family, we know how it ends.
We now know Leia’s children, we know the fate of Leia and Luke, we know the fate of the Skywalker heir (Ben Solo), we know the closing chapter to their story no matter what. The sequel trilogy gave us a summary of what went on with them after the original trilogy and added to their stories before those in the family that remained all die, Luke, Leia, and Ben.
7 More Inclusive Cast
As brilliant as Star Wars is and as iconic as the original and prequel trilogies are, they did not have lots of diversity within them. The majority of people were white males with little representation for many other people.
It is good that the sequel trilogy under the Disney banner leaped forward in this regard, introducing fantastic characters of all races, gender, and even sexuality with a brief moment in The Rise of Skywalker. While there is still further to go, and while previous aspects of Star Wars still have some amazing, diverse characters (e.g Leia, Lando, Ahsoka, etc.), the sequel trilogy took a big step forward.
6 Continued The Theme Of Moral Ambiguity
The original trilogy within its brilliance has a simple view of morals. While Vader turns good and Han Solo joins a cause bigger than himself, these are still black and white turns with no dive into morality. The prequels offer a foundation for this, but they ultimately fail to dive into it all properly.
Finn is a stormtrooper who becomes confused about his place, leaves the First Order, wants to run, unconvincingly fights for the Resistance until he finds his place. Luke grows up after being through a lot into an older man who questions his morality. Despite good parents, Kylo turns bad, despite awful lineage Rey is good with the pair having internal battles within themselves about what good and bad truly mean. This theme of morality is hopefully explored more in Star Wars and if it is, the sequel trilogy is to thank.
5 Amazing New Characters And Performances
Moreso than any other trilogy, the sequel trilogy undoubtedly has the best ensemble cast of acting and performances in Star Wars. The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker all have outstanding performances throughout.
On top of the phenomenal ensemble cast, the Star Wars brought in an insane amount of brilliant characters and so opens the door to a slew of various canon material potential. While great acting and characters are not a change, they are indeed an addition to the franchise that cannot be understated and impacts the future of Star Wars forever.
4 Expanded On The Force
The sequel trilogy took a lot of time throughout all three movies taking a look into the inner workings of the Force and adding various powers to the universe and canon that had not been seen before.
From exploring Rey’s large connection to the Force to diving into Luke severing his connection to it, the movies’ look at the Force is fascinating. There are also various new Force powers such as projection, stasis, healing, etc. Throw into that the Force dyad in Kylo and Rey and the trilogy adds so much to the lore of the energy that binds the universe together.
3 The Return Of Palpatine
The Rise of Skywalker seen the return of the famous Emperor Sheev Palpatine in a way that was about as shoehorned as it was unexplained. It changed stuff in the timeline, the history of the Sith lord and the ending of Return of the Jedi.
Not only did it undo the fact that Palpatine died in Return of the Jedi, but it also brings into question Anakin’s status as the chosen one, and, if so, completely takes away from his arc and the story of the original trilogy. On top of that, it gives Palpatine children and gives way for a host of questions such as when? Who is the mother? Is there a mother? How did nobody know?
2 Gives A Cinematic Swan Song To Some Beloved Characters
The sequel trilogy may have been home to some new characters and actors, but it also included perhaps cinema’s most iconic trio in Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker and a host of other original characters and actors.
What it gives said individuals is an end. We will never see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, or Harrison Ford portray their characters on the big screen again. The sequel trilogy says goodbye to these characters as well as their amazing actors and changes the franchise in that, from here on in, it is new stories and characters on the big screen who did not come from the original saga.
1 A Trilogy With No Vision
Star Wars has always had a vision and a voice at its core. While there are so many various people involved in its production etc, the vision was always clear and singular with the various voices all going through George Lucas to produce it.
Disney produced a trilogy where there were various voices and no plan. The trilogy will forever remain a huge part of the universe and unfortunately will always be hurt by the lack of vision, no matter how good it is. It made the trilogy seem unnecessary and changed the franchise by both adding to it a set of movies and taking away a vision and a concise story and timeline for it all.
NEXT: Star Wars: 10 Ways How A Lack Of Clear Plan Was The Biggest Problem Of The Sequel Trilogy