Worst Grade of the Disney Star Wars Era: Cancelling Star Wars Rebels in favor of Resistance

We move from one of the best decisions of the Disney Star Wars era to one of the worst. Disney cancelled Rebels after four seasons to make way for Star Wars: Resistance. What a mistake that turned out to be. So far Resistance has failed to resonate with fans. The show epitomizes the so-called “Disnification” of Star Wars by clearly catering to a young, less mature audience. Its central character, Kaz, is barely likeable, and the stories haven’t been particularly stimulating. Hopefully it picks up in the second half of its inaugural season, but it needs to pick up a lot if it’s to hold many fans’ interest.

Grade: D

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Marvel
An awkward moment on the set of The Last Jedi. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Yes, the film was a commercial success, but at what cost? From its director Rian Johnson to the direction in which he took the franchise, The Last Jedi drove a wedge down the middle of the fan base. Regardless of its success, when a film’s director has to “explain” or “address” things with the film as much, as often, and as emphatically as Johnson did, there’s a problem with the film. Like it or hate it (there doesn’t seem to be much in between), The Last Jedi damaged the franchise.

Grade: C-

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Starting off with a story no one particularly asked for was only the first of a series of missteps with the second, stand-alone film of the Disney Star Wars era. The Lord & Miller director debacle, marketing mismanagement, and incomprehensible timing of release (against Avengers: Infinity War!) all doomed Solo. That’s too bad; the film was enjoyable and gave a good set-up for sequels. Plus, of course… Maul. Disney’s mishandling, however, basically killed any momentum the film could have had.

Grade: D+

Incomplete Grades for the Disney Star Wars Era

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian debuts on Disney+ this November.

J.J. Abrams is back to tie together the entirety of the Skywalker saga with Star Wars: Episode IX. Can he do it, especially in the wake of The Last Jedi? So far all we’ve gotten is one teaser trailer and a lot of speculation. I for one am confident in Abrams and his ability to right the proverbial ship. Notwithstanding, grading The Rise of Skywalker is obviously premature. Likewise for The Mandalorian, which won’t premier until November. (However The Mandalorian, based on what we know, does earn a hard “A for effort” thus far.)

Final Grade: C+

Based on the average, Disney has only earned a C+ at best thus far during the Disney Star Wars Era.  But…. there’s more on the horizon, including:

  • The aforementioned Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian;
  • A Cassian Andor, Rogue One spy thriller spin-off series;
  • Books Two and Three of the Alphabet Squadron series;
  • The remainder of the TIE Fighter comic book series (and other titles) from Marvel; and
  • Beinoff & Weiss producing a new Star Wars Trilogy, to name a few things. (We’ve also not included Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. We’ll provide a first-hand account of the theme park in another story.)

Thus, Disney has plenty of time and opportunity to improve its grades. What about you? How would you grade Disney’s Star Wars performance thus far?