West End Games Designer Slams Disney’s Star Wars Sequel Trilogy

Fans are better off making their own stories with a role playing game.


Here is Bill Slavicek’s entry at Wookieepedia:




Recently Bill sat down with Salon for an interview. Salon wrote:


In an effort to answer these questions I recently spoke with Bill Slavicsek, one of the writers and developers of the much-beloved “Star Wars” roleplaying game from West End Games. He is also the author of the “Star Wars Sourcebook,” “A Guide to the Star Wars Universe,” many guides to RPGs and, more recently, “Defining a Galaxy: 30 Years in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.”


Slaviscek’s work continues to influence the “Star Wars” universe, as seen in films and TV series such as the film “Rogue One” and the TV series “Rebels,” as well as “The Mandalorian.” He was one of the main game designers for the Dungeons and Dragons RPGs and is currently the lead writer for the massively multi-player RPG Elder Scrolls Online.


Fair warning: This conversation contains spoilers for Season Two of “The Mandalorian,” which is now available on the Disney+ streaming service.


Salon asked Bill:


“The Mandalorian” is a cohesive story. The last “Star Wars” sequel trilogy was not. It was literally written by different people who were not coordinating with one another on a cohesive story. The last of those films, “The Rise of Skywalker,” was obviously written by committee, in a desperate effort to correct the blowback and negative reaction among so many “Star Wars” fans to “The Last Jedi.” How do you make sense of the cohesiveness of “The Mandalorian,” as compared to the last “Star Wars” trilogy?

The last three “Star Wars” films surprised me, at least from the outside looking in, especially given the Lucasfilm story group. I am not sure how or why they came to the decisions to do the last three “Star Wars” movies the way they did. By comparison, “The Mandalorian” is being done the way “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” animated shows were. There is a clear vision, a clear arc, and the show is building towards something. As we did with the “Star Wars” roleplaying game, which I believe that Dave and Jon are fans of, that is how you apply the lessons of storytelling. That is not necessarily true of the people who did the last “Star Wars” trilogy.


Given the richness of that universe and all its possibilities, how hard is it to write a good Star Wars” movie or TV show?

First, it is hard to write a good story. But when you have people working on these films who are actually fans — that’s why the Marvel movies, for the most part, work. They are being truthful to the source material which they grew up with. Whereas comic book movies in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s were people saying, “Oh, I can do a comic book movie! I’m not a fan, but I know I can do it better.” They failed miserably at the task. As far as I understand it, everyone who worked on the three newer “Star Wars” trilogy movies were fans. But sometimes things do not work out. When you try to serve too many masters, you can’t please everybody. That having been said, I like “Rogue One.” I think it is a good “Star Wars” movie. There are elements of the new trilogy that I like and enjoy. I do not agree with everything they did with the new trilogy, but I do not think that the films are as bad as the prequels, in my estimation.


Do you think that there will be a critical reappraisal of the “Star Wars” prequels, given the hostile reaction to the last “Star Wars” trilogy?

No. There are elements of the “Star Wars” prequels that are fantastic. But as a whole I think some of the storytelling that was present in the original three films was lost. I enjoyed the Han Solo movie [“Solo,” released in 2018]. My biggest issue with it was the way they introduced Chewbacca to Han. I didn’t think it was earned. Why did he need Han to tell him how to knock over a pillar? He could have done it anytime he wanted to. But other than that I thought they did a decent job with it. I liked the story, and I thought that Lando Calrissian was done well.


Do you think that there will be a critical reappraisal of the “Star Wars” prequels, given the hostile reaction to the last “Star Wars” trilogy?

If I had my way, I would want “Star Wars” to go into the future and try to come up with something new. But that does not mean I do not want to see all the other “Star Wars” stories which have been announced.


Given your rich background, if asked by Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau and the other principals involved in creating these new “Star Wars” stories, what advice would you give?

Keep telling good stories. That’s the key. Don’t try to hit everything all at once. There is room in these series, so use it, take your time and build the world up, whichever world or part of the universe you are dealing with at any given time. I would continue, just the way Kevin Feige has taken over and become the person behind the Marvel universe, I would like to see Jon Favreau and David Filoni become the linchpins to the Star Wars universe, because they’re certainly hitting the mark with “The Mandalorian.”


You can read the whole thing at Salon.



Originally published here.

Avatar photo

Itchy Bacca

Father of the Wookiee named Chewbacca, who lives with my wife in the city of Rwookrrorro on the planet Kashyyyk. Just a very old Star Wars fan since the very beginning. Check out my blog at: disneystarwarsisdumb. wordpress.com