So this gets personal quickly and speaking from a personal standpoint and as an author and a fan of Star Wars, I can’t help but stand more to the side of Alan Dean Foster, who recently criticized The Last Jedi rather heavily after admitting to trying to retcon the novelization for the fans to give a better explanation of how things happened. Many people have been arguing back and forth that TLJ was just the way it needed to be, while others have been stating that it really needed to be completely different since we were given characters that we didn’t really care about, and were given such a hard to swallow explanation of other characters that the movie fell apart the moment it came onto the screen. But the movie was moving forward, no matter if it was at a torturous and insane pace that made many people feel as though their feelings and emotions were being dragged over broken glass that had been dipped in excrement and lit on fire. Yeah, it was that bad for some people that really didn’t care for the sequel trilogy. Personally, I thought there were moments that were good and helped to define the path leading forward, but too much of it just wasn’t that great and felt like something that had been slapped together. Alan Dean Foster had this to say about it via MovieWeb:
“Episode VIII was out, it was a done deal. And I went and saw it, and I thought it was a terrible film. I thought it was a terrible Star Wars movie, and there’s no need to go into why because every fan already has. I thought, ‘How can this be retconned? How can we fix as much as possible from Episode VIII in a proposed Episode IX?’ And I wrote a partial treatment for that, attempting in that storyline to explain a lot of the really silly things that happened in Episode VIII.”
His explanation for why Rey was able to wield the Force so easily and with such skill had to do with circuitry that had been implanted into her brain, and while some people might have been willing to accept this, it does still sound like a last-ditch effort, as it was. Obviously, this wasn’t about to make it into the movie, and even if Disney had considered it there’s a good chance that Rian Johnson would have taken it to an extreme that might have continued to divide Star Wars fans. Johnson’s and Disney’s naivete with Star Wars and how the Force works couldn’t have been more obvious since it started back in The Force Awakens before Johnson even got hold of a Star Wars movie when Finn and Rey were both able to hold their own against Kylo Ren. Some might want to say that he was founded, but the fact is that he’s still a skilled and TRAINED Force-user who should have been able to kill both of them. Plus, the natural talent that Rey has with the Force still doesn’t explain her level of skill, since that skill normally took years to hone and refine in the Jedi Temple. But hey, the story needed to move quickly and be something that people could rally behind, so in Disney and Johnson’s estimations this meant that Rey just had to be feeling it and things would be okay.
The problem with this was that the principles of the Force and the training of a Jedi in the prequels made it apparent that years were required to gain the kind of focus that Rey would have needed to pull off more than an instinctual win and the kind of skill that would allow her to beat Kylo and worry Master Skywalker. This is just one among many things that infuriated a lot of fans and created such a divide within the fanbase, and likely ticked off Foster, who is adamant that the movie made by Johnson is one of the worst movies of the bunch. There are still plenty of people who are willing to defend Johnson’s attempt since they believe that this was the natural progression and that the EU was so horribly out of joint with the original trilogy that it wouldn’t have worked in the first place. As of now, it wouldn’t work, or at least most of it wouldn’t, since so much has happened that fitting it all into the timeline wouldn’t be possible. But the funny thing about that is that Disney has been picking elements from the EU even while it’s been stated more than once that the EU isn’t canon. That’s cherry-picking at its most hypocritical, but oh well. Many might echo Foster’s sentiments concerning TLJ, but at this point, it feels wiser to say that the story is going to move forward, which is the main point.
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