The problem with Star Wars' anthology films
A couple of weeks removed from the release of Solo and I think it is fair to say that the overall reaction has been... luke-warm. That in itself is one of the biggest things to happen to the Star Wars franchise. Never before has a Star Wars film been greeted with such apathy. Those who enjoyed it are mostly saying not much more than that. They enjoy it, but not enough to rave about it. Equally those that didn't, are not moved so much as to rail against it on social media. There are a thousand reasons this could be and that would be a separate post on it's own but today I want to discuss another aspect of the spin-offs.
All the mooted spin-off ideas that we've had as either come to fruition or as the next ones to be made have been centred around existing cannon, and in particular existing characters - as well as Solo: Kenobi, Boba Fett, Darth Maul have all been rumoured.
The way I see it there are 2 camps of genuine Star Wars fans (and neither are "wrong"). Those who particularly love the characters, and those that particularly love the world/setting.
For those who are unhappy with the creative direction Last Jedi took, they are obviously in the camp that loves the characters. I, being in the other camp, had no problem with Luke having become jaded, or Rey not being the child of a skywalker/kenobi/palpatine but as explained above and elsewhere had plenty of other issues with the film. But, whichever camp you sit in, just doing anthology movies about characters we've already seen seems a bad idea. For the world/settings lovers like me it just comes across as lazy and uninspired. There's a whole galaxy and it's millennia of history out there to be explored. Do we really need a 5th movie about Kenobi?
For the character lovers, these films will appeal to them. They want to know more, until they do know more. The problem for this camp, is that everyone has had they own preconceived ideas in their heads about these existing characters that have had decades to gestate and take root in the hearts and minds, so when we do get more of a certain character - like Luke in Last Jedi many people get their preconceived ideas torn to shreds. For something that has been held on to for so long and so tightly that is of course going to hurt and anger. And the problem is you're never going to please everyone, even trying to please a majority is an uphill battle.
So instead, Disney should continue to focus on new characters that aren't weighted down by the same mass of expectation, that people can go into fresh. We need only look at Rogue One to see that it works. In the months after it's release, we were getting calls for spin-offs of the spin-off so we could get more of these new characters. A Chirrut and Blaze buddy movie, a Saw Guerrera guerilla warfare movie, etc. It's time Disney realise that playing close to home is not playing safe.