Irony is generally defined as “incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters.” I recently came across an especially comical bit of irony. In this case, one author lambasted another for stating that the Star Wars sequel trilogy is worse than prequels…. While using the same reasoning to state that the sequels are better than the originals.

Star Wars Franchise; The Rise of Skywalker;
The original trilogy portion of this year’s Celebration mural, by artist Jason Palmer.

An author at The Mary Sue recently made the bold claim that the Star Wars sequel trilogy is in some ways better than the Star Wars OT. Here’s where the irony kicks in: She says of the other author’s comparison of the sequels and the prequels:

[w]e have no idea how the new saga will end, so it’s incredibly silly to compare the three-movie arcs of the prequels or the originals to two movies and a trailer.”

And then… she immediately in turn uses two movies and a trailer to claim that the sequels are better George Lucas’s original three films.

Star Wars sequel trilogy better than the original?

JJ Abrams
Director JJ Abrams on the set of The Force Awakens. (Image: Lucasfilm LTd.)

First, we’ve already seen two-thirds of the new trilogy. I think we have enough material on which to base a comparison with the original or prequel trilogy. She must think so too, despite stating otherwise, and makes a particularly ridiculous comparison. She uses, as a basis for her claim that the Star Wars sequel trilogy may be better than the original, her opinion that:

[T]he characters in these new films are far more complex and interesting. Even the old character have grown up and advanced in complexity. Everyone in the new films is more morally ambiguous and rebellious.”

Wait, what? The Star Wars sequel trilogy characters are more complex? More rebellious? Such comments make one think that the Mary Sue author has never actually seen the original trilogy. Leia stood up to Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin; she’s as rebellious as they come. Rey is unfaltering in her determination to defeat evil and is as morally steadfast as anyone. Finn? He had a crisis of conscience and switched sides. That’s it. There’s nothing particularly complex there. Poe is no more rebellious than was a young Luke Skywalker. And Han Solo really hadn’t changed at all. He was still a scoundrel, still the reluctant hero, just older.

John Boyega; Finn; Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Finn and Rose contemplate morality in The Last Jedi. Image: Lucasfilm ltd.

No, there was something poetic about the original films that the Star Wars sequel trilogy has barely even come close to matching. From the chemistry among the OT’s three stars, to Darth Vader’s redemption arc, to Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to Jedi, what Lucas created between 1977 and 1983 remains unmatched.

It’s hard to beat the original

“But it was JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson and perhaps most importantly, Kathleen Kennedy that got what worked in Star Wars and improved it,” the author says. That’s not only a stretch, it’s a big one. First, it’s undeniable that The Force Awakens was a rehashing of A New Hope, using the same plot devices to introduce Star Wars to a new generation. Personally I had no problem with that. JJ Abrams did exactly what he needed to do with Episode VII. It didn’t make the film bad. But… it certainly doesn’t indicate that the Star Wars sequel trilogy is better than the original. And ask many original trilogy fans what they think of Rian Johnson. “Improvement” isn’t a word you’ll find they use frequently to describe The Last Jedi.   

The Rise of Skywalker; Original trilogy; Star Wars; Star Wars sequel trilogy
Sorry, there’s no beating these three. Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

No, the Star Wars sequel trilogy is not better than the original. Very few sequels are, with notable exceptions like The Empire Strikes Back…. And that just happens to be part of the original trilogy. Ironic, isn’t it?

How do you feel about the sequels as compared to the originals or prequels? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Mary Sue