10 Wildest Star Wars Controversies Since Disney Bought The Franchise


  • Star Wars audiences have long criticized the franchise.
  • Disney Star Wars has specifically faced scrutiny.
  • The backlash to representation in Star Wars has been shocking.

Since Disney purchased Star Wars, a number of controversies have arisen, each coupled with severe backlash. Star Wars movies and TV shows faced intense scrutiny long before the Disney acquisition, with even the now-beloved prequels being viewed as Star Wars’ worst movies when they were first released. However, tensions grew considerably when Disney bought Star Wars, and the franchise has struggled to recover from the narrative that Star Wars has been ‘ruined.’

Even with Star Wars’ newer projects, this same refrain persists; in fact, this issue seems to have only grown with time. While part of the backlash is illegitimate and spurred on by internet trolling more than good-faith criticism, it’s irrefutable that Disney Star Wars has made a number of decisions over the years that have created genuine controversy. Here are the 10 wildest controversies that have emerged out of Disney Star Wars thus far.

George Lucas holding up his hands with a red-tinted Force Awakens poster in the left background and a green-tinted Rogue One poster in the right background. Related What Has George Lucas Really Said About Disney Star Wars?

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10 Luke Skywalker Had Complicated Feelings

Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Luke Skywalker

Created By George Lucas Cast Mark Hamill , Grant Feely First Appearance Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Alliance Jedi

In truth, Luke Skywalker’s character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy was disappointing. It was thrilling that the franchise had the opportunity to bring the original three heroes back together on screen, and many feel that opportunity was squandered, as Luke, Leia, and Han Solo never reunited in the sequels. However, other criticism about Luke in the sequels makes little sense.

Luke Skywalker’s character in the
Star Wars
sequel trilogy was disappointing.

Yes, many were disappointed to see that Luke had fallen so far from the height he’d reached at the end of Return of the Jedi, but the plot line begun in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and continued in Star Wars: The Last Jedi isn’t as egregious as it’s made out to be. While Luke’s decision to withdraw from the galaxy might have been incongruent with his optimistic, wide-eyed farm boy characterization in the original trilogy, plenty had happened since Return of the Jedi to change him.

The most prominent argument against this character development for Luke is that he had believed in Darth Vader’s goodness, so it made no sense for him to abandon the galaxy and lose faith. However, saving the galaxy and redeeming his father just to see history repeating itself is more than a little discouraging, and it’s reasonable that in the face of a new evil rising again, particularly within his own family, he would think there was no hope. Moreover, Luke wasn’t wrong about his criticism of the Jedi.

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9 A Sith Lord Obsessed With Immorality Managed To Resurrect Himself

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker


Emperor Palpatine / Darth Sidious

Created By George Lucas Cast Ian McDiarmid , Sam Witwer , ian abercrombie First Appearance Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Alliance Sith, Empire

The Star Wars sequel trilogy received significantly more heat for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker than it did for The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi and, at times, for good reason. Arguably the biggest controversy to come out of the sequels was the shocking revelation that Emperor Palpatine had survived his fall down the reactor shaft and returned as little more than a zombie. However, while the execution was bad, the idea that Palpatine would return isn’t that unrealistic.

Palpatine made clear to Anakin in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith that he was intrigued by the idea of immortality. After all, that is in part why he told Anakin about Darth Plagueis and his ability to prevent others from dying. Yes, Palpatine wanted to convince Anakin that he could save Padmé via the dark side, but this was also an interest of Palpatine’s specifically. It’s therefore not that difficult to imagine that in the nearly twenty years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, he would have figured out a path to immortality.

Moreover, Darth Maul has also proved that a reactor shaft need not be the end of a character’s story, and his demise was much clearer (or so it seemed) than Palpatine’s. Of course, Rise of Skywalker did itself no favors by simply having Poe Dameron say, “Somehow, Palpatine returned,” but it nevertheless was believable that Palpatine would have had this trick up his sleeve. Sure, Star Wars could have put forth a much more compelling sequel trilogy villain, but this objective does at least make sense.

8 Ki-Adi-Mundi’s Birthday Changed

Star Wars: The Acolyte


Star Wars’ most recent addition, The Acolyte, has stirred up an astonishing number of controversies, although the online hatred for the show and review bombing began before the two-episode premiere even released. One of the largest, however, was really blown out of proportion. In The Acolyte, prequel trilogy Jedi Council member Ki-Adi-Mundi made an appearance, enraging some viewers because it seemingly meant a retcon.

The Acolyte is set 100 years before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace in the Star Wars timeline, around 132 BBY. Ki-Adi-Mundi, however, was meant to have been born in 93 BBY, suggesting a major conflict between Ki-Adi-Mundi’s previously established age and The Acolyte. Notably, though, this age had been confirmed in Legends, meaning that Star Wars was no longer beholden to that timeline. Of course, the fact that this reflected the Disney Star Wars takeover didn’t help matters, and many made their grievances with this decision known.

7 Obi-Wan Kenobi Was Weak After Not Using The Force For 10 Years

Obi-Wan Kenobi


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Created By George Lucas Cast Alec Guinness , Ewan McGregor First Appearance Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope Alliance Jedi

One of the most confusing controversies followed the release of the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show, set 10 years after Revenge of the Sith. The show reveals that, following Order 66 and his brutal battle on Mustafar, Obi-Wan became effectively a hermit, living a quiet life removed from anyone else. Because of the threat the Empire posed, he had also completely stopped using the Force and refused even to help other Jedi who found their way to Tatooine.

Despite the fact that Obi-Wan was clearly entirely out of practice, audiences were outraged when Obi-Wan was struggling to use the Force and lost so severely to Darth Vader in their first encounter. However, this outcome makes perfect sense. Vader had been growing in the dark side more each day and frequently exercising his power and strength. It makes sense that, when they went head-to-head, Vader would win the day by a large margin.

6 Sabine Wren Proved Anyone Could Have The Force… As George Lucas Intended



Sabine Wren

Created By Dave Filoni Cast Natasha Liu Bordizzo , Tiya Sircar First Appearance Star Wars Rebels Alliance Mandalorians, Rebel Alliance, Jedi

The Ahsoka show did a number of things right, most notably the incredible meeting of Anakin Skywalker and his former Padawan Ahsoka Tano in the World Between Worlds. For as great as that reunion was, though, the show became bogged down in criticisms mainly pertaining to one key choice in particular. Ahsoka had made Sabine Wren, who previously showed little to no Force sensitivity, a Jedi Padawan to Ahsoka.

had made Sabine Wren, who previously showed little to no Force sensitivity, a Jedi Padawan to Ahsoka.

While this was somewhat out of left field in light of Star Wars Rebels, it was also in keeping with George Lucas’ perspective on the Force. As made clear as early back as A New Hope, the Force lives in all things and binds life together. The Force does not just belong to the Jedi, and it’s certainly not only the Jedi who can wield it. Even so, Ahsoka created quite the outrage with this choice, and the controversy became a very vocal one online.

5 Kylo Ren Had The Audacity To Cry (About Killing His Father)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Ben Solo/Kylo Ren

Created By J.J. Abrams , Michael Arndt , Lawrence Kasdan Cast Adam Driver , Matthew Wood First Appearance Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens Alliance Jedi, First Order

Kylo Ren was largely considered one of the best characters in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, yet an issue with his character was one of the biggest controversies the trilogy faced. Specifically, some viewers were very bothered that Kylo Ren repeatedly showed emotion, at times even crying. However, this is ludicrous for a number of reasons. For one, Star Wars has never shied away from characters—men included—getting emotional. Anakin Skywalker, one of Star Wars’ most powerful Jedi (and eventually one of Star Wars’ most powerful Sith), cried multiple times in the prequel movies.

For another, the moments when Kylo Ren shed a tear or two were not inconsequential. Rather, Kylo Ren first became emotional in The Force Awakens when he was about to murder his father because he believed it to be the only path forward. While he did have somewhat embarrassing moments of rage akin to temper tantrums, Kylo Ren being emotional shouldn’t have created the controversy that it did.

4 The Holdo Maneuver Had Audiences In An Uproar

Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Yet another sequel trilogy controversy occurred in The Last Jedi when Laura Dern’s Vice-Admiral Holdo made the incredible decision to save the Resistance by flying her ship directly into the First Order’s Supremacy nearly at lightspeed, killing herself in the process. Although this was a fantastic cinema moment (which made a very satisfying noise), it caused significant issues among viewers. Many found the move to be unrealistic, and it was largely mocked.

However, this criticism cannot be separated from the growing criticism around diversity in Star Wars. The sequel trilogy received quite a bit of this, and Vice-Admiral Holdo’s character was surely poorly received in part for this reason. Unfortunately, Star Wars continues to have issues with viewers getting angry about characters who represent any marginalized group, which makes it difficult to separate out legitimate criticism of the shows and movies from vitriol pertaining to representation.

Star Wars
continues to have issues with viewers getting angry about characters who represent any marginalized group.

3 Baby Yoda Killed Some Frog Babies

The Mandalorian, Season 2, Episode 2, “The Passenger”



Created By Jon Favreau , Dave Filoni First Appearance The Mandalorian Alliance Jedi, Mandalorians

One of the more lighthearted controversies Disney Star Wars has faced shockingly pertained to Grogu, who is by all accounts an extremely beloved character. In fact, this is the only inclusion on this list from The Mandalorian, which had very positive reception early on and continues to be a fan favorite. However, even The Mandalorian had its controversies, and Grogu’s ‘genocide’ of the Frog Lady’s eggs was perhaps the most massive of them all.

While it may seem like a funny concept, viewers truly were outraged that ‘Baby Yoda’ would eat the Frog Lady’s eggs, and it even had fans of The Mandalorian turning on the Child online. Interestingly, Star Wars seemed confident that this moment would be read in a comedic light, not a horrifying one, as the franchise had even made merchandise referencing the scene. Luckily, the show and Grogu have both recovered their reputations since then, but this was one of the more surprising controversies.

2 A Girl Was Strong With The Force

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Rey Skywalker

Created By J.J. Abrams , Lawrence Kasdan , Michael Arndt Cast Daisy Ridley First Appearance Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens Alliance Jedi

Daisy Ridley and Rey both got an unfair shake when it came to their reception in Star Wars. Although the sequels undoubtedly had issues, that can’t be pinned on one character or one actor, yet Rey and Daisy Ridley are both frequently called out as though they are the problems with the entire trilogy. Sadly, this is almost certainly another case of Star Wars audiences pushing back against representation, as Rey was the first leading female Jedi in live-action.

Rey and Daisy Ridley are both frequently called out as though they are the problems with the entire trilogy.

Some have argued that this is about Rey specifically and isn’t a matter of gender, although those same arguments tend to be paired with the idea that Rey is a “Mary Sue.” Others point out that characters like Ahsoka and Princess Leia didn’t receive the same treatment and therefore it can’t be about gender. However, when Ahsoka first appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, she was hated, and Princess Leia had a very different role in Star Wars than Rey did—the slave outfit is proof enough of that.

1 Star Wars Has Countless Races But Introduced People Of Color As Jedi

Star Wars: The Acolyte



Created By Leslye Headland Cast Lee Jung-jae First Appearance The Acolyte Alliance Jedi

Similar to the responses audiences have had to an increased number of women in Star Wars movies and shows, many issues have arisen because of backlash against racial diversity in Star Wars. In fact, The Acolyte is currently an excellent example of this, as the show is being heavily criticized online for its cast, which includes many people of color as leading characters, Jedi included. It’s true that Star Wars has become more diverse, as has modern television and cinema in general, and it’s been shocking to see how much outrage there is because of that.

Star Wars is set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” and it has introduced myriad races far beyond the real world. It’s confounding to think that anyone could be shocked or angered by the existence of people of color in the Star Wars galaxy yet so readily accept the many races the franchise has invented. Sadly, this also means brilliant stories and brand-new ideas are drowned out by backlash. Hopefully, Star Wars will eventually reach a turning point wherein controversy will not be so pervasive and the actors, shows, movies, and stories can shine.

The Acolyte Poster Showing Jedi Order, Mae, and a Sith Lord Holding Lightsabers The Acolyte Sci-FiFantasy Where to Watch

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The Acolyte is a television series set in the Star Wars universe at the end of the High Republic Era, where both the Jedi and the Galactic Empire were at the height of their influence. This sci-fi thriller sees a former Padawan reunite with her former Jedi Master as they investigate several crimes – all leading to darkness erupting from beneath the surface and preparing to bring about the end of the High Republic.

Cast Amandla Stenberg , Lee Jung-jae , Joonas Suotamo , Charlie Barnett , Dafne Keen , Leah Brady , Manny Jacinto , Rebecca Henderson , Carrie-Anne Moss , Jodie Turner-Smith , Dean-Charles Chapman , Lauren Brady , Anthony J. Abraham , Thara Shöön , Danielle Xin Yao Waterman , Sienna Khiroya , Jeramiah Evans , Dan Milne , Thomas Coombes , Archie Singh Swali , Nick Court , Ed Kear , Jumayn Hunter , Scroobius Pip , Abigail Thorn , Margarita Levieva , Amy Tsang , Saskia Allen , Deborah Rosan , Tabitha Alege , Paul Bullion , Indra Ové , Derek Arnold , Lewis Young Character(s) Mae , Master Sol , Kelnacca , Yord Fandar , Jecki Lon , Little Mae , Qimir , Master Vernestra Rwoh , Master Indara , Mother Aniseya , Master Torbin , Padawan Torbin , Little Osha , Fillik , Tasi Lowa , Youngling , Restrained Convict , Convict , Olega Urchin , Olega Master , Olega Padawan , Scavenger , Ensign Eurus , Mother Koril , Ensign Rane , Scout Sarria , Ensign Shima , Elder Jaalyn , Master Lakshay , Master Holden , Master Ki-Adi-Mundi , Jedi Knight Seasons 1 Streaming Service(s) Disney+ Franchise(s) Star Wars Writers Leslye Headland , Charmaine De Grate , Kor Adana Directors Leslye Headland , Alex Garcia Lopez Showrunner Leslye Headland Expand

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