Star Wars Is The One Franchise That Should Never Be Rebooted

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Summary

  • Matthew Vaughn believes Star Wars should be rebooted to focus on the original trilogy characters, disregarding the generational saga aspect.
  • Star Wars is a generational saga, with each generation having their own Skywalker to connect with.
  • The way forward for Star Wars is to continue expanding and introducing new characters and stories, rather than rebooting and focusing solely on nostalgia.


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Star Wars is the one franchise that should never be rebooted. Reboots have been a staple of Hollywood for decades, and it’s easy to see why. Studios tend to see reboots as easy wins, ways of retelling a classic story in a modern style that can reach a new generation of viewers. Sometimes reboots also help straighten out the continuity of complex franchises, breathing new life into them; that was the goal behind Fox’s X-Men: First Class reboot, and it’s the real reason Marvel Studios is expected to reboot the MCU after Avengers: Secret Wars.

Director Matthew Vaughn is no stranger to reboots; he was the mastermind behind X-Men: First Class, one that worked in large part because of smart casting decisions. Now, surprisingly, Vaughn has revealed he believes Star Wars should be rebooted. This doesn’t appear to be a mere passing remark, either; he’s made similar comments twice now, explaining his initial comments. But, for all Vaughn’s experience with big franchises, the Kingsman director is wrong to believe Star Wars should be rebooted.

Why Matthew Vaughn Believes Star Wars Should Be Rebooted

Star Wars A New Hope Luke Skywalker watching the suns set

To be fair to Vaughn, there’s a certain logic to his case. He fell in love with the Star Wars original trilogy, and to him Star Wars simply doesn’t work when it moves too far away from the Skywalker family. “I want to see Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewie doing their ****,” he explained. “Not some distant cousin. Who cares?” It’s an obvious criticism of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, where Daisy Ridley’s Rey eventually became a Skywalker by virtue of deciding to take on the name.

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Vaughn made the same point in an interview with Josh Horowitz. “For me, doing a Star Wars movie is to play with the characters that I loved,” he explained. His hope would be that, by rebooting Star Wars, he’d be able to share the things he loved with a new generation of viewers. Although Vaughn acknowledges a Star Wars reboot would be controversial, he’d ideally make something so good even older viewers – familiar with the original trilogy – would enjoy it.

Related: Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked Worst To Best

Matthew Vaughn Doesn’t Realize Star Wars Is A Generational Saga

Luke, Rey, and Anakin Skywalker from each Star Wars trilogy.

Vaughn’s explanation makes sense, but it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of Star Wars. George Lucas designed Star Wars as a generational saga; that’s why the focus of the Skywalker saga itself moves from Luke to Anakin, and now on to Rey. It means every generation of viewers experiences Star Wars in a different way, and it’s the reason the fandom will never be truly unified. For Vaughn, the most important Star Wars characters are Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca, but others would disagree. Even George Lucas himself considered Star Wars the story of Anakin Skywalker first and foremost, while newer audiences may have crossed paths with Rey before even enjoying Luke’s story.

It’s easy to understand why Vaughn wants to share his love of the Star Wars original trilogy with a new wave of viewers. But the different relationship modern audiences have with Star Wars is not a bug, it’s a feature. Part of George Lucas’ genius is that he created a galaxy where time really does feel as though it passes, where well-known adventures fade into the past and become myths and legends, shaping their successors. Luke became a Jedi in large part because he wanted to honor his father’s legacy, and he spent the entire original trilogy learning what that really meant. Rey too struggled with the past, ultimately taking up the name Skywalker in recognition of the legends who had inspired her. This is the nature of Star Wars, and a reboot doesn’t just start again – it breaks something fundamental to the franchise.

Star Wars Is Finally Moving Beyond The Nostalgia Card

Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker.

Reboots are largely an appeal to nostalgia. Although Star Wars has avoided any full reboots, it has still played the nostalgia card, and frankly it has likely over-played it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens repeated so many familiar character beats, concepts, and tropes, attempting to tell a classic tale in a fresh way. It was largely successful – adjusted for inflation, it grossed a staggering $2.6 billion at the global box office. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker didn’t work quite as well, though, complete with the unexpectedly abrupt return of Emperor Palpatine.

Lucasfilm has been much smarter since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The various Disney+ TV shows have deliberately appealed to viewers who understand Star Wars as a generational saga; stories have spun out of the original trilogy and the prequels, while the various shows set during The Mandalorian era are clearly serving to bridge the gap to the sequels. But, pleasingly, there are signs Star Wars is finally moving beyond mere nostalgia. Ahsoka was a near-perfect blend of the familiar with brand-new concepts, with its heroes traveling the pathway to Peridea and introducing a brand-new galaxy. Andor uses the well-established background of the Dark Times of the Empire’s reign in a delightfully fresh and original way. Vaughn’s idea would reverse all this, turning Star Wars into nothing more than a nostalgia fix.

Matthew Vaughn Forgets That Other Generations Have Their Own Skywalkers

Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca on the Death Star in Star Wars

Matthew Vaughn has forgotten that every generation has their own Skywalker. Lucasfilm has been heavily criticized for a lack of planning when it comes to the sequels, but the Rey Skywalker twist was planned before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “For our purposes, ‘the Skywalker’ is really a metaphor,” Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo is recorded as saying in a meeting back in May 2014. “It doesn’t have to be something that’s directly connected to blood.

Vaughn’s idea of a Star Wars reboot places one Skywalker above all the others: Luke. While this makes perfect sense for viewers who love the original trilogy most of all, it doesn’t work for those who connect more with Anakin Skywalker, or indeed with Rey. Vaughn’s proposed reboot therefore prioritizes the nostalgia of one portion of the fanbase above all others – conveniently enough, the part of the fanbase he belongs to. It elevates those who love the Star Wars original trilogy over audiences who are more drawn toward Anakin or Rey. It shrinks the Star Wars saga down, turning it into just one main story – the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his friends – with everything else in orbit around different retellings of this.

There’s no way to reboot Star Wars without breaking it completely; the way forward is not to reboot it, but to continue expanding it, giving even more generations their own Skywalkers. Rather than simply mimic George Lucas, the best way to honor his work is to build on it – to introduce yet more worlds and galaxies, heroes and villains, and of course Jedi and Sith. This is the way forward for Star Wars, and Vaughn’s proposal would be a step backward.