Star Wars: 9 Storylines That Hurt The Films (And 16 That Saved Them)

What started out as a young filmmaker's ambitious idea has grown to be an inescapable cultural phenomenon. Since Star Wars first hit theaters in 1977, the hype train has never stopped rolling, chugging along through both the good and bad. It's easy to see why people are so enthusiastic about the franchise. The first film, and the trilogy to which it belongs, is a masterfully crafted work of art in all aspects of its design.

Numerous plot threads have been created, developed, and completed throughout the films, which now includes ten full length features. Some of these story lines go through their arc in a single release, while other spread themselves out over many years and titles. Not all of them are perfect, though, which is why we've compiled a list of sixteen that are immaculate, and nine that should have been done better or ignored entirely.

As incredible as Star Wars is, even the most hardcore fans have to admit that it's not all gravy. That does not detract from its over all legacy, but it is unwise to think it is completely infallible in terms of storytelling. The plots that work, however, only prove how great the franchise is at its peaks.

So, get ready to shoot some womp rats, because here are 9 Story-lines That Hurt Star Wars (And 16 That Saved Them)

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Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars The Last Jedi
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25 Saved: Searching For Luke Skywalker

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars The Last Jedi

When the new trilogy was announced, people expected the old band to get together for new adventures. This turned out not to be the case, but the old guard still got plenty of time in the spotlight, excepting Luke Skywalker.

As many already know, the legendary Jedi was absent from the whole film until the last scene. This mystery, and the ensuing one after the credits rolled, made everything about The Force Awakens more intriguing. It also made the two year wait for the next film that much harder to endure.

24 Saved: Han And Leia's Romance

What's a space faring adventure without a bit of romance to spice things up? The best lovers can never stand each other at first, only being hit by cupid's arrow sometime afterwards. Han and Leia initially did not see eye to eye, but were madly in love by the end of Return of the Jedi.

The relationship means more than just love, as it shows a growth in both of their characters, particularly Han Solo. The smuggler goes from caring only about himself to making immense sacrifices for the sake of the rebellion.

23 Hurt: Luke And Leia's Brewing Romance

Luke and Leia

This one is not necessarily bad while it is happening, but it becomes many things in hindsight, and none of them are normal. The two main characters' chemistry is igniting flames in the first two films, but it comes to a halt when they learn of their familial ties.

After Luke and Leia discover they are siblings, the romance stops, but the kisses and glances in the prior scenes are all still there. It's not their fault, because they didn't know, but it is still the source of countless jokes.

22 Saved: Luke's Training On Dagobah

Yoda trains Luke Skywalker on Dagobah

Yoda, played by the immensely talented Frank Oz, is first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke heads o the Dagobah System in order to complete his training. Luke happens upon a trollish creature who bugs him to no end, only to realize the old green hermit is the Jedi master Obi-Wan told him about. What follows is a training sequence where the protagonist, along with the audience, learns more about the secrets of the force. This part contributes greatly to what is often considered one of the best films ever made.

21 Saved: Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett in Star Wars Empire Strikes Back

Billy-Dee Williams is so suave, it is easy to forget that he sold out the rebellion. What choice did he have, though? If he refused, he probably would have lost his life as well. He makes up for it later on, however, since he aides the ragtag group in anyway he can. In fact, he even directly leads the aerial assault on the second Death Star, delivering the explosive blow to the immense space station. Lando certainly redeemed himself, and audiences can't wait for his appearance in the next film.

20 Hurt: Assaulting Starkiller Base

Starkiller Base from Star Wars

In The Force Awakens, the first order's ultimate weapon is Starkiller Base, and everything about it triggers strong deja vu. Much like the Death Star, it is spherical and holds a weapon capable of obliterating entire planets. The assault on the base is also identical, with the main characters infiltrating the interior while the X-Wing's offensive mirrors the iconic trench run. In all fairness, it does distinguish itself slightly by being created from a currently existing planet, rather than built from scratch, but everything else is too similar, even for a film built on satisfying nostalgia.

19 Saved: Finn's Defection

Many of the new characters can be seen as analogues of previous heroes, which has been marked as a criticism of the uncompleted trilogy. One new face that manages to avoid comparisons is Finn. No character in the original trilogy was a storm trooper who defected after a crisis of conscience, so Finn's revelation in the beginning of The Force Awakens makes him unique to the franchise. He then spends most of the film trying to hide this fact. He's more sympathetic as well, because he never chose to be on the wrong side.

18 Saved: Han And Leia Trying To Save Kylo Ren

In the middle of the seventh part, it is revealed that Kylo Ren is Han Solo and Leia Organa's son. This may have been disappointing to some bookworms hoping for Jacen and Jaina to show up, but it culminated in one of the film's most powerful moments. Shortly after the estranged couple reunite and before assaulting Starkiller Base, Han vows to bring Ren back home. The old warrior confronts his long lost son in an attempt to appeal to the goodness in him. The plan fails and Han Solo is tragically slain.

17 Hurt: Finn's Romances

By the end of The Force Awakens, one can see love start to bloom between Rey and Finn. In The Last Jedi, the two do not see each other until the last moments, which could cause some problems in the next film, considering that Finn now has another potential love interest. The former Stormtrooper spends the movie on an adventure with Rose Tico, and they kiss by the end of it. Romances are all good, but no one wants a love triangle getting in the way of an exciting galactic conflict.

16 Saved: Rey And Kylo Ren's Relationship

Rey fights Kylo Ren Star Wars

For this entry, relationship is meant in the traditional definition of the word, and not relating to love. The two characters duel it out at the end of The Force Awakens, but it is in The Last Jedi where their interactions reach whole new heights. Ren does not want to destroy her, but instead wishes for her to join him in establishing a new empire. The young Jedi is tempted by this at first, but refuses. However, her decision is not set in stone, and she could go in any direction in the trilogy's conclusion.

15 Save: Master And Apprentice Relationship Between Obi-Wan And Luke

Star Wars Lightsaber Luke Obi Wan

Part of A New Hope's Magic is the way in which it exposes audience to an entire galaxy while showing a relatively small amount of it. This also includes the lore, which audiences can get a full understanding of by watching the movie. This element is highlighted by Obi-Wan Kenobi's interactions with Luke Skywalker. He is the young man's, and the viewer's, only connection with the old world and ways of life. It's still shrouded in mystery by the end, but the old Jedi's exposition makes one's mind wonder endlessly about it.

14 Hurt: Trade Disputes

Obi Wan Qui Gon Jinn Star Wars The Phantom Menace

Star Wars often keeps things simple, but uses its simplicity to explore universal truths inside everyone, like the internal conflict between good and evil, the yearning for adventure, and overcoming insurmountable odds. With The Phantom Menace, George Lucas tried to spice things up by centering the conflict around trade disputes. It was a noble effort, but in the end these parts turn out to be dullest, and could have been replaced by a more exciting problem. It's not that Star Wars shouldn't be complex, it just should not deal with economic issues of the galaxy.

13 Saved: Anakin Searching For His Mother

Anakin and Shmi Skywalker

The acting in the prequel trilogy is certainly not its strong suit, though this no fault of the performers, who are all stellar in other projects. Despite this, there are some great moments to see. One of the finest comes from Anakin Skywalker searching for his mother in Attack of the Clones. He tracks her whereabouts to a Tusken Raider camp where she was tortured. They share one last moment before life leaves her, prompting Anakin to massacre the whole camp in one of the darker moments of the saga.

12 Saved: Palpatine's Manipulation of Anakin

Ian McDiarmid manages to pull off two vastly different personalities when portraying Palpatine. He plays a charming, witty chancellor for most of the prequels, until finally unveiling his true identity as Darth Sidious. In a trilogy that desperately needs positivity, the talented actor stands out as one. Palpatine's subtle manipulation of Anakin Skywalker is also well done, as the soon to be emperor plays the Jedi like a fiddle. The audience also sees that Vader is not simply pure evil, but tricked by Darth Sidious into abandoning everyone he loves.

11 Hurt: Romance Between Anakin And Padme

Anakin Padme Picnic

It is well established that dialogue is not George Lucas's forte. The filmmaker's contribution to cinema cannot be understated, but it'd be a lie to say he is perfect at everything. The Romance between Anakin and Padme displays just how wonky the scripts can be. There are several lines during their relationship that have gone down in history as clunkers. Anakin's poetic waxing on sand in Attack of the Clones or Padme's wish for her to hold him "like (he) did on the lakes of Naboo" are just two examples.

10 Saved: Kylo Ren's Internal Struggle

The new trilogy tickles the nostalgia bone pretty hard, but there are aspects unique to it. Particularly, the main villain is unlike anything seen in Star Wars before. Kylo Ren has goodness within him, but desperately wants to embrace the dark side of the Force. To this effect, he goes so far as to obscure his face with a Darth Vader-esque mask, despite not needing one to survive. Throughout the two released films audiences see him struggle to let go of loved ones, wanting to do it but finding so difficult. Perhaps he can still be redeemed in Episode IX.

9 Saved: Luke Trying To Persuade Darth Vader To Leave The Dark Side

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker Duel in Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi

In A New Hope, Darth Vader is a personification of evil. There's nothing complicated about him; he does bad things to people who usually do not deserve it. As his motivations and backstory become clearer, he becomes more sympathetic. His son, Luke Skywalker, ultimately believes he can save his father by convincing to return to the light side of the Force. This added layer makes for a more interesting conflict between the two characters, and adds more to tension to their showdown in Return of the Jedi. Vader does redeem himself too, in some ways.

8 Hurt: Palpatine Destroying The Jedi Order

Star Wars Emperor Palpatine Laughing

Seeing order sixty six put into effect is one of the saving graces of the prequels, but one audiences see coming for six years and two prior films. Going into the movie theaters back in 2005, most everybody going in knew what was going to happen, and the movie itself did not add to people's expectations. They got their scenes of Jedi being slain, the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and the birth of Darth Vader. One does not have to see the movie to know all of those things occur.

7 Saved: Jabba's Hunt For Han

Star Wars Jabba the Hutt Han Solo Special Edition

Han Solo is not beloved by the criminal underworld. One of the first things learned about him is the price on his head placed by Jabba the Hutt. The smuggler lost some cargo and since then has been in debt to the slimy creature. It starts with Greedo trying to take him out, and ends with Boba Fett capturing him while allied with the Empire. Without bounty hunters pursuing Han, there would be less at stake for the character, and less reason for him to assist Luke and Obi-Wan in A New Hope.

6 Saved: The Crimson Dawn

Recent Star Wars films have been more polarizing for audience members, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Solo split audiences down the middle, with just as many people finding it dull and exciting. One uniquely good thing about it is its story shifting focus away from the Jedi and the Force. Instead, the film explores the criminal underworld and the Crimson Dawn syndicate. The organization is ruthless and mysterious, and only gets more intriguing when Darth Maul, sporting mechanical legs, is revealed as the leader by the end of the movie.

5 Hurt: Second Death Star

The franchise introduced so many new ideas to audiences, things they never even dreamed of before. After the first two films shared novel concepts, it seems like they had to retread some old ground for the first trilogy's conclusion; namely, the second Death Star. The space station, dubbed Death Star II, worked much like the old one, except with its crippling vulnerability removed. It would have been better if the new super weapon was original, even if they do change things up a bit with the battle on Endor's forest moon.

4 Saved: Rey's Lineage

One of the questions raised in The Force Awakens is the identity of Rey's parents. Before The Last Jedi, many fans subscribed to several different theories, ranging from her being Obi-Wan's child to her being conceived by the Force. The eighth episode revealed that her parents were nobodies, and this makes her character all the more special. Too long has the main character been destined for greatness from a family lineage. It is more interesting, and encouraging to audiences, when greatness can come from somebody who has no predetermined fate.

3 Hurt: Obi-Wan's Investigation Into The Clone Army

Star Wars: Clone Troopers and Dropship

Obi-Wan spends a significant amount of Attack of the Clones in investigation mode. After the attempt made on Padme's life, he tracks down the assailant to Kamino. There, he discovers an army of clones being mass produced. This is a cool revelation, but the clones are under utilized, considering the film is titled Attack of the Clones. The clone army is not deployed until the final battle, and the entire clone wars takes place off screen, only being delved into by the cult classic animated television show, The Clone Wars

2 Saved: Luke Skywalker's Disillusionment With The Force

There is no way to hyperbolize the way Luke Skywalker's portrayal in Last Jedi polarized audiences. Some viewers loved the legendary character's abandonment of customs and old ways, while others loathed seeing their beloved hero as an old hermit. Ultimately though, what they did with the character is better than what many fans wanted to see. Had he willingly joined the team and taken on the entire first order single-handedly, it would have felt lazy. It's understandable to be upset by the subversion of expectations, but the Luke we got makes for a more meaningful story.

1 Hurt: Rebels Meeting The Ewoks

People often site the Ewoks as the first cracks in Lucas' then flawless creativity. In an epic space opera that showcased boundless imagination, sentient Teddy Bears seemed like a half baked attempt at merchandising opportunities, something the films never lacked from the start. The idea of the empire being toppled by a seemingly primitive race of creatures is novel, but that species should have looked less like stuffed animals. You can't blame a family film for putting in something for the kids, but it doesn't make their addition any less jarring.

What are your favorite story lines from Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!

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