It’s sad when one grows up loving and adoring Disney and all its characters to being an adult and cheering when Disney does something incredibly stupid. But Disney has repeatedly insulted a large portion of their fan base, and it’s just too much to ignore. Buckle up because I have a lot to say. In order to fully explain my breakup, we must start at the very beginning, where everything was rosy.
I grew up watching Star Wars Episode I to VI. My top three Star Wars films are Episode II, V, and VI (not in any order). As a child, my favorite Star Wars film was Episode II – Attack of the Clones, and my sister and I would play the LEGO Star Wars video games for hours at a time.
I can feel your judgement about Episode II, but I don’t care. There was something extraordinary about the last quarter of the film in Geonosis. Anakin riding on the speeder with John Williams’ score in the background was just “wizard.” The Geonosian factory, arena, battle (with the clones), and fight with Count Dooku are some of my favorite Star Wars moments.
When the sequel trilogy was announced, I was excited yet skeptical. Disney was known for… well, for lack of a better term, “Disneyfying” characters. I was not aware of all the criticism for the casting of characters as I was in college and was far too much of a normie to care. I came out of the theater for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in awe and thought it was amazing! I didn’t even realize we didn’t get a scene with the original trio, Luke, Han, and Leia!
I watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters with my friends. I thought it was a hit, especially that ending with Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi came out in 2017, and their marketing for it was remarkable, and a vast majority of the fans were excited for it! I saw the film in theaters, and… I loved it! Please lower your pitchforks and let me finish!
Solo: A Star Wars Story came out, and I had no desire to see this film, as I can’t picture anyone other than Harrison Ford portraying Han Solo. I watched it on disc release and could hardly see a thing. I thought maybe my TV was acting up. It was an “okay” movie; nothing special. I felt as though it was unnecessary.
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker was next, and I enjoyed it a lot more than The Last Jedi. By the time Episode IX came out, I was thoroughly enjoying The Mandalorian. I thought it was a great show and had a vibe that fit the original trilogy. The characters were all original and unique, there was great acting, music, and cinematography, and the technology used to film the show was incredible!
Then, something happened. I was slowly losing my “normie” title. My friend had convinced me to start watching the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars after he informed me about the Dark Saber that we had seen at the end of season 1 of The Mandalorian. My friend had also told me season 7 of The Clone Wars would be coming out too. I watched the Clone Wars film first and wasn’t impressed. I began to watch the show, and with every episode (or almost every episode – that droid arc took dedication), I fell in love with the characters and stories in the Star Wars universe. The show fleshed out the characterization of Anakin Skywalker and all of the other characters we see in the prequels. We met new characters like Ventress, and Ahsoka Tano quickly became a favorite of mine. Her protective sibling relationship with Anakin was pure. The show also showed how dark Anakin could be. In my opinion, Anakin’s downfall felt a bit rushed in the prequel trilogy. This show just added more layers to the characters and world.
At this point, I wasn’t even thinking about the sequel trilogy. I finished season 6 and was officially caught up with The Clone Wars, as season 7 was not out yet. I decided to jump into Star Wars: Rebels even though my friend hadn’t watched it (the animation style was a turnoff for him). The showdown between Vader and Ahsoka was mesmerizing, and I was left distraught at the end of season 2. What had happened to Ahsoka?! I finished Rebels with neither excitement nor disappointment. The “world between worlds” was just not my cup of tea, and I think Ahsoka might have cheated death. I then started to play EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II and Jedi: Fallen Order. They were great!
Then I started to think about Episode VIII.
The more I thought about The Last Jedi, the more I started to dislike it. The way Luke had changed completely and became a hermit was awful. He could still see the good in his father, who murdered millions of people, but he had a bad dream about his nephew and decided it was time to kill him? What? Rey and Finn had such great chemistry in the seventh film, with Finn even asking if she had a boyfriend; they were definitely interested in each other. And then, in The Last Jedi, Rey and Fin were split up for a majority of the film!
Rey, a Force user with hardly any training, was somehow better than Luke Skywalker. She didn’t rely on her friends in any of the three films. The fight scene with Rey and Ben against the guards in The Last Jedi was just laughable when you re-watched the choreography in slow-mo. Finn was degraded to a side character running around a casino that, in the end, did not impact the plot in any way. We got Rose Tico – nothing more needs to be said about that character. It honestly became such an abomination to the original characters, to Star Wars. Then, I started to rethink the other sequel and Disney films.
I couldn’t remember a single name from Rogue One besides Jyn and Andor. The best part of the film had Darth Vader in it. I remember laughing at the droid’s humorous lines in the cinema, but then I couldn’t remember what he had said hours after watching the film!
I realized in Episode VII that Han was reduced to the smuggler we first met in A New Hope. His entire arc in the original trilogy was erased. He had left his wife, and his child had turned to the Dark Side. Then, Han Solo dies at the end, and upon learning of his death, Leia walks right past and ignores a grieving Chewie. She walks to Rey, a girl she doesn’t even know, instead of her very own friend? Furthermore, Leia was demoted from Princess to General, all for the sake of taking on some masculine title. What kind of writing is this?
Then I thought more about Episode IX. I decided the title better suited for this film should have been “Rise of Identity Theft Skywalker.” The writing was atrocious. “Somehow Palpatine returned.” We never find out how Maz has Anakin’s saber, even though the entire sequel trilogy insists it is Luke’s. Is Disney not going to bother explaining anything? It just ends with Rey on her own in Tatooine, burying Luke and Leia’s lightsabers on a planet that enslaved the twins’ father and grandmother. “How fitting,” said no one. Even “Reylo” fans were upset, as Ben Solo dies and Rey ends up with no one because she “can take care of herself.” Why would you do that, Disney?
In three films, we did not get a single scene of the original trio together. Talk about a missed and wasted opportunity. I was just so blind and excited for new Star Wars films! The quote, “Wait a minute, how did we get here? We’re smarter than this!” comes to mind.
Disney canceled The Clone Wars when it acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012. Sure, there were unreleased and unfinished episodes on YouTube you could watch, but it wasn’t enough. There was a trending hashtag of “Save Clone Wars,” and Disney finally decided to give the show a seventh and final season, announcing it in 2018. Fans were able to view it exclusively on Disney+ when it premiered in 2020.
But Disney had to change the Ahsoka arc after she leaves the Jedi Temple because feminism. Originally, Ahsoka would meet a male at a mechanic shop. Instead, we got Trace and Rafa Martez because Ahsoka “doesn’t need a man.” Ashley Eckstein, the voice actress of Ahsoka, even said, “We’re beating around the bush here. Ahsoka had a boyfriend for a hot minute.” Trace and Rafa were unanimously decried as the “annoying sisters” in the show and were deeply loathed. It was about feminism: girls sticking together, not needing any men to take care of them. Yeah, girl power! You can watch the interview from 2016 below. For reference, start around the 21-minute mark.
Other than that arc, season 7 was incredible! But let’s be real here. Disney only brought back the show for a final season and didn’t even finish all of the other unaired episodes to simply tell where Bo-Katan Kryze, Rex, and Ahsoka ended up. Rex was needed for The Bad Batch, and Ahsoka was needed for her live-action debut and to fill in the gap between the original ending of The Clone Wars and her introduction in Rebels. It also was needed to explain more about Mandalore in general.
Ahsoka and Bo-Katan were brought to live-action in season 2 of The Mandalorian, and I was extremely disappointed in Disney for Ahsoka’s portrayal. Her lekku was too short, and I understand why, but you could have just CGIed the rest in, especially since we have seen Shaak-Ti in the prequel trilogy. She was extremely stiff, and she lacked soul. When her new live-action show was announced, I felt skepticism. I never thought Ahsoka should have been brought to live-action. She had a great, fleshed-out arc, beginning as an annoying, “snippy” little padawan and transitioning into a wise woman. If anything, a continuation of Rebels in animation would have been great. Where do Ahsoka and Sabine go? Does that scene take place after we see Ahsoka’s debut in live-action? For such a beloved character, I personally feel Ahsoka was done dirty in live-action.
Of course, Disney takes one step forward with The Mandalorian and two steps back. Luke showed up in the season 2 finale, and everyone was cheering and crying with joy. It was amazing to see the hero we desperately wanted, the real Luke, not “Jake Skywalker.” And then they fired The Mandalorian’s Cara Dune actress, Gina Carano.
Gina was fired for sharing this on social media:
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
Disney didn’t like her being so truthful and, in fact, were trying to fire her for months because she didn’t align with their political agenda. She was constantly being targeted and harassed on social media as well as being bullied by other employees at Lucasfilm. A strong female thinking for herself was Disney’s message, except when these women disagreed with them.
Ironically, Pedro Pascal, who plays the titular character in The Mandalorian, made several comparisons of certain people that were arguably worse than anything Gina Carano had ever said. He even glorified a child rapist.
So why fire one but not the other? Simply because of political ideologies? Not to mention, Disney had previously fired Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for his inappropriate tweets on Twitter. They then rehired him, and he even made fun of Gina Carano being fired!
The firing of Gina was an awakening heard around the world. Thousands of people immediately canceled their Disney+ accounts. I did, but as I had a yearly subscription, I was still able to watch Disney+ until December 2021.
As previously mentioned, Lucasfilm employees are bullies. When Gina Carano was fired, Rebels’ voice actor Freddie Prinz Jr. voiced his opinion about Gina on Twitter. He tweeted below a great example of his self-importance attitude.
— Freddie Prinze Jr (@RealFPJr) February 11, 2021
Another prime example is Pablo Hidalgo, who famously bullied YouTuber Star Wars Theory for crying over the appearance of Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian. Hidalgo, a veteran employee at Lucasfilm who is now the “Creative Executive in Story Development,” stated, “Emotions are not for sharing.” This statement is just idiotic and tasteless. Films are made for entertainment. Are we not allowed to discuss entertainment anymore? Star Wars Theory is a massive fan and brings a lot of attention to Lucasfilm. Snarky remarks towards the largest YouTube Star Wars channel reflect poorly on the professionalism of Lucasfilm.
These are the type of people who work for Disney. Until there is a thorough cleansing from top to bottom, this type of behavior will exist. I just cannot support a company that was built on creativity and passion and has become such a negative and condescending business.
In 2018, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy wore a t-shirt that said, “The Force is Female.” Obviously, this created some controversy. I find it ironic that she wore this t-shirt and then promptly fired Gina for having a different opinion. The following year, she said that Star Wars doesn’t have source material. I guess none of the “expanded universe” books, comics, and original six films count as “source material.”
Furthermore, “Slave Leia” is now politically incorrect and oppressive to say. Back in 2015, “Slave Leia” started to turn into “Hutt Slayer.” In fact, the feminist movement had grown so much that Star Wars comic artist J. Scott Campbell stated that Disney was bending the knee and forbidding Leia to be featured in her “slave” outfit or even be depicted in a “sexy pose.” People on all sides of the political spectrum didn’t want Leia to be a slave or viewed as a sex symbol. Disney went full PC on Leia.
As I still had my subscription when The Bad Batch premiered, I was able to watch the show in 2021. I thought that the first episode was epic. Showing Order 66, the characteristics and specialties of each member of the squad, and seeing Kamino were a treat! Then, it slowed down a bit. We finally see Captain Rex again, even just for a few minutes. The season finale was a letdown, but overall, the show was enjoyable to watch. I don’t see myself re-watching it in the future, especially since I don’t have a subscription anymore.
Disney seems to be going the Marvel route (see below for more on that) and bringing all the characters together in live-action to defeat Thanos… I mean, Thrawn. We even saw Ahsoka and Luke talking in The Book of Boba Fett, a show that had many issues.
One small issue was eliminating the name of Boba Fett’s ship, Slave I, and just calling it his “Firespray gunship.” I haven’t watched a single episode of Boba Fett, but from what I heard, Boba tells Fennec that he’s looking for his “Firespray gunship,” which makes sense to say because unless she was familiar with Bobba and his ship, I doubt she would know the name of a ship what to look for. I hope that is the only time the ship is called “Firespray.”
To me, it’s simply, “Give them an inch, and they will take a mile.” If this is okay, what will they do next? And that’s the bigger issue. I’ve also seen people saying it’s a marketing decision because “parents won’t buy a ship named Slave I.” I’m not joking; that is their excuse! I guess LEGO must not have sold a single Slave I ship in the last 20 years, then, because people were so triggered by it. Please note the sarcasm! When you point these facts out, you get insulted and harassed on social media.
A rather large nail in the coffin would be Disney’s horrible planning when it came to the sequel trilogy. Besides all the criticism I mentioned above, George Lucas had given Disney his scripts for the new trilogy, and Disney hard rejected them. Kathleen Kennedy had said that “this has been in the blueprints for a long time.” Except she blatantly lied. Daisy Ridley, who portrayed Rey, stated that, at the very beginning, Rey would be connected to Obi-Wan Kenobi, but by Episode IX, J.J. Abrams would change his ideas weekly and decided she was Rey Palpatine. You would think they would take great care in an I.P. that was purchased for four billion dollars. It’s important to note that John Boyega’s image was minimized from the Chinese poster for The Force Awakens simply because of John’s race. All of Disney’s woke pandering, yet they still advertise for China.
— Ray 鄺羡華 (@raykwong) December 1, 2015
Not to mention, Disney has even thanked China (in their live-action Mulan end credits), a country that currently has slaves and locks up innocent people solely for religious cleansing. To me, it is very hypocritical to remove the name of a ship or Leia’s outfit simply because of the word “slave” but then do business with China. At this point, I shouldn’t care what they do to Star Wars, but I do. “Look how they massacred my boy.”
I feel I should be entirely honest with you, dear reader (since you’ve read this far): I’ve never, ever read a Marvel comic. Once again, I was a normie when I walked into theaters for The Avengers in 2012. It was such a fun, fleshed-out film, where each character had enough screen time! I decided to watch all the other Marvel films that had been released prior. I thought they were pure entertainment: fun, charismatic movies that you could just watch with your friends and family.
Post-2012 and prior to Avengers: Endgame, I had watched almost every MCU film that had been released in cinemas, excluding Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man (1 and 2), Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. The reason for missing these films in theaters was either I didn’t have as much interest or I was too busy in college. I eventually watched all the movies on home release. Avengers: Endgame seemed to tie a majority of the loose ends up, and it felt like a good place to end the MCU.
My absolute favorite MCU film is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was compelling, emotional, and all characters were given an opportunity to shine. We were introduced to Sam Wilson, who quickly became a great friend and ally to Steve and Natasha. It wasn’t quite the “cookie cutter” movie that most MCU films are nowadays, and didn’t have all the jokes and bright colors like Guardians of the Galaxy, even though I thoroughly enjoyed Guardians!
Unfortunately, my favorite MCU film is tainted now because of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The show completely deconstructed the original characterizations of Sam, Bucky, and Sharon Carter. They were all a shell of their former selves. Steve Rogers ends up ditching everyone to go back in time to marry Agent Peggy Carter in Endgame, Sam becomes the new Captain America in the new Disney show, but pulls the victim card and tells people to “do better” but, ironically, doesn’t tell people how they can do better. Not to mention how he doesn’t bother with the “Flag Smashers” and can’t face taking down the leader, Karli. Agent Sharon Carter, who was left stranded on her own, seems to have become almost a villain and kills Karli because a man can’t kill a woman. Bucky was completely underutilized and just apologizes for being white, even though he was a “slave” for over 70 years.
And don’t even get me started on WandaVision! Wanda enslaves an entire town for months on end and then is told by Monica Rambeau that “They’ll never know what you sacrificed for them.”
How is Wanda anything but a villain because of her grief? The latest Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Madness trailer shows Wanda telling Strange: “I break the rules, and I become the enemy.” Another fine example of Wanda not taking any responsibility for her actions, which was very different from how we first met her in Age of Ultron.
Loki in Loki just cries and hides behind Sylvie, his female variation. He was incredibly menacing in The Avengers, only to become a useless demigod who wasn’t even the main character of his own show!
I just do not have any interest after watching the Disney+ shows such as WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. I didn’t bother with Hawkeye, even though my subscription was still active at the time. I have not seen a single new MCU film after Avengers: Endgame.
Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, stated that Doctor Strange was cut from the show WandaVision because he was white. When the MCU decides to make diversity and feminism more important than storytelling and proper characterization, you know Disney is regressing.
Disney used to be a great place to escape to. Like Lucasfilm, the MCU has poor storytelling and is simply virtue signaling. It is all about the message. Rey from Star Wars has no struggle and is instantly the best at whatever she does, and now the MCU focuses on anyone who isn’t a straight white male.
Pixar has made some hits and misses. Ratatouille and Luca are probably my favorites. However, when Toy Story 4 came out, I was thoroughly disappointed. Woody ends up leaving his entire family and best friend Buzz for Bo Peep. Overall, I have found Pixar and all the vintage animated films to be quite enjoyable, but that alone cannot save Disney for me.
I haven’t been to Disney World since I was four, yet the option of going was always enticing. However, the increase in prices of tickets, food, and merchandise is completely appalling to me. The idea of shelling out thousands of dollars to wait hours in line for one ride is ridiculous.
It gives me no pleasure to write my farewell to Disney. I will try my best not to give this company any money, but there are a few exceptions, such as certain video games and the odd item here and there. Perhaps the runners at Disney should stop and think about what Walt Disney once said.
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” -Walt Disney