ObiWanKenobi2016 wrote:TLJ made a lot of money. I hated it, and it's significantly reduced my interest and enthusiasm for this franchise but I have to concede it made Disney a lot of money.
But back to the original question. Why have the Marvel movies done well, and the Star Wars sequels (and prequels) disappointed so much?
The answer is in the quality of the writing. With few exceptions, the Marvel movies tell great stories, have understandable developments of their characters and take the viewer on a journey. The Original Trilogy did this too.
The prequels struggled with bad writing of the parts of the main protagonists - Anakin, Obi-Wan and the others. Much of the dialogue comes across better than it should because of the talents of he actors cast in the lead roles (Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiamid, Liam Neeson, etc). The fault for that lies with Lucas himself. He created a great universe when he created Star Wars, but he never could write dialogue.
The Star Wars sequels suffer from completely different failings. They don't tell original stories. TFA is a re-write of ANH. A great deal of TLJ was a re-hash of scenes from the OT (eg Hoth mk 2, the throne room scene) or well known other movies (the chase plot point copied from Battlestar Galactica).
What is worse about the sequels is their treatment of the heroes of the OT. Han Solo's story arc in ANH was one of scoundrel redeemed - a positive story arc maintained for the OT sequels. In TFA his character was tarnished unnecessarily into him becoming Bad Dad Han in an effort to explain why the lead villain of that movie Ben Solo/Kylo Ren was a baddie not a goodie. Not a good plot development, not one consistent with the OT, and not even a good story development either.
When it came to TLJ, this destruction of the OT heroes magnified exponentially with the treatment of Luke Skywalker. The heroes in the MCU don't get trashed from one movie to the next, even when the films are several years apart.
On top of that you have the unsatisfactory replacement heroes - Rey who is inexplicable good at everything and needs no training to do anything. Finn who was interesting in TFA, but was given a pointless subplot in TLJ and was largely forgettable. Poe was not properly developed in TFA, and bizarrely trashed in TLJ as the Rebel hero/leader that couldn't be trusted with the simple escape plan.
Last (and least, in my view) is the excessive social justice warrior theme. I'm mostly in favour of the ideas behind that, but it's astonishingly heavy-handed in the sequels, and the result is often antithetical, as the many complaints about it here, and elsewhere demonstrates.
In summary, the difference is the lack of originality in the sequels, the weakness of the new characters, the tarnishing / destruction of the old heroes. All of these things undermine the success and future of the Star Wars franchise.
The point I wish to finish on is this. In the MCU the heroes are all flawed and thus end up seeming more real: Tony Stark is self-destructive, Peter Parker struggles to have friends or a girlfriend, Captain America is stuck outside of his place in time and thus disjointed from the world he lives in. Their very flaws make them seem more realistic and easier to identify with. What's Rey's flaw? How has she developed over the movies? What personal struggles / changes has she overcome? I ask this rhetorically, but the answer is none. From the first moment we meet her in TFA she makes a few new friends, doesn't have to change herself in any way, and simply discovers she has more and more powers as the movies progress. What hardships has she over come? Where has she failed and had to work harder to succeed (like Luke in the cave on Dagobah)? Nowhere.
Those in control of the Star Wars franchise don't seem to understand this.
That is why their movies fail.
This is really good. You should post it as a movie review somewhere.