The way I heard the ST described once was as Star Wars snuff films. I think that's an apt description.
It’s certainly not rocket science. The series was very specifically structured by Lucas like a fairy tale, complete with a proper happy ending. The EU is its own thing, of course, but the films’ happy ending is a part of why they resonated so strongly for so long.
That’s why, on October 30, 2012 (…and, yes, I have thought about the Mayan calendar in relation to the destruction of STAR WARS…), I had that sinking feeling. And, sure enough, Disney’s counterfeit sequel trilogy completely and utterly destroyed the characters, themes, and plot points of the preceding six films. Luke, Han, and Leia all became losers and failures who were unceremoniously killed off, one by one. The Rebels didn’t actually win. Vader’s redemption was pointless. The Emperor never actually died. It was all just a sh***y, woke rehash of the OT, designed to steal away all of Luke’s accomplishments and gear and give them to a Mary Sue. I have no interest in watching the Disney films ever again, except maybe—MAYBE—for analysis after some definitive book on the whole mess is published. Probably not, though. It’s too painful.
Now, because its heart and soul was ripped out, STAR WARS a dead franchise. It’ll just continue to flounder and pump out mediocre shows for the next few years, but there’s no going back to what it was. Ever. I continue to be amazed by people who cling to the sinking ship. I’m not sure if that speaks more to the power of the brand, The Mouse’s ability to breed good little consumers of their empty and stupid “content”, or because STAR WARS fans tend to be less…discerning than those of other franchises.
What we’re seeing now, with the Tolkien fandom rising up and defending him and his work against Amazon’s upcoming trainwreck, is what SHOULD have happened with STAR WARS. Instead, we have people happily surrounding themselves with Baby Yoda plushies and t-shirts. Well, the people who have bothered to stick around, anyway.
Me, I’ve been done for years. I have 0.0% interest in anything the franchise puts out, going forward. Nothing after the Disney buyout is canonical. I only pay attention to the news and analysis coming out of it because it’s educational, and because I’m morbidly fascinated with slowly watching it burn. And with justice being done, because the past few years’ worth of insanity have been nothing less than malicious cultural vandalism.
In a way, the Disney buyout may have been the best thing that could have happened, because it drew a clear line in the sand to distinguish canon from apocryphal corporate fanfiction, and has assured Lucas’ positive and inspirational legacy by giving it a negative to be compared to. The Disney era has become a yardstick to remind everyone just how good we actually had it with Lucas. His creative genius, his careful management of the franchise, his treatment of his audience. These are things far too many people took for granted, and did not appreciate until they were gone.