It’s almost been a year since The Last Jedi hit theaters. Since then, the Star Wars fanbase has devolved into an insufferable wasteland, where fans draw their blasters at every other disagreement. It wasn’t always like this, though, and that’s not lost on Simon Pegg.
As The Playlist points out, the English star recently appeared on the Adam Buxton Podcast, where he offered his two cents on Rian Johnson’s divisive sequel and the franchise’s state of affairs. As a longtime fan of all things pop culture — and let’s not forget, a minor cast member of 2015’s The Force Awakens — he was quite sagacious.
“There was an odd thing with [The Last Jedi] in that the people who didn’t like it were sort of being gaslighted by the people that did like it, who were just dismissing their complaints about the film as being fanboy butthurt,” Pegg explains. “And yet, the whole thing is just eating itself in a hideous cultural soup.”
Pegg goes on to argue that “it’s just a film,” and admits some disappointment with Johnson’s sequel, stating: “…the overriding feeling I got when I came out was, ‘I miss George Lucas.’ For all the complaining that I’d done about him in the prequels, there was something amazing about his imagination.”
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He’s not wrong. While Lucas’ prequels are a mess — from the dialogue to the gluttonous CGI to the lack of narrative cohesion — the ideas are at least far more imaginative than the regurgitated plot lines of these sequels. After all, we’ve seen cantinas, we’ve seen death stars (two, in fact), and we’ve watched Jedis train.
Still, Pegg contends those prequels aren’t without its own hideous faults. He argues that the “first three [Star Wars] films were the product of real collaboration,” referencing producers Gary Kurtz and Alan Ladd, Jr., while the prequels were more of an anything goes situation that needed “someone to steer [Lucas] in the right direction.”
Having said that, Pegg still feels like “[Lucas’] voice is missing from the current ones,” which is something most veteran fans would agree upon. While Disney probably won’t heed that advice, they’re at least appointing creatives to steer the ship by hiring Jon Favreau for The Mandalorian and re-hiring JJ Abrams for Episode IX.
Revisit State of the Empire’s polarizing review of The Last Jedi below.