The director for the upcoming space fantasy film Rebel Moon, Zack Snyder, recently described Star Wars as “immobile” and seemed to imply that it’s due to “how canonized it is.”

REBEL MOON: Director/writer/producer Zack Snyder on the set of Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix © 2023

While promoting the upcoming Netflix film with Den of Geek, Snyder briefly discussed how the film evolved out of a pitch he previously gave for a Star Wars film.

First, he touted how dominant Star Wars became and how love for the franchise was passed down from generation to generation, “Star Wars’ fanbase basically aged with the movies, and then they had children that then also became fans of the movies, and their children had children who became fans of the movie.”

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker trains aboard the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), Lucasfilm

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He then claimed the franchise is “immobile” due to how canonized it is and contrasted that with Rebel Moon, “I do understand the love of Star Wars, how canonized it is… and actually how immobile it is.”

“That’s why I’m here now doing Rebel Moon the way I’m doing it, because we really have no rules except for the ones we make,” he said.

Rebel Moon. Doona Bae as Nemesis in Rebel Moon. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Snyder made near identical comments to IGN, “I don’t think you can make a sci-fi movie now that’s not going to be compared to a Star Wars movie in some way. And I do welcome [it], and I’m happy to discuss its place, or where it will end up in popular culture in regards to the legacy of Star Wars.”

He continued, “It’s a rare thing because the Star Wars fan base basically aged with the movies and then had children that then also became fans of the movie and their children had children who became fans of the movie. I understand the love of it and how canonized it is and actually how immobile it is. Which is probably why I’m here now doing it the way I’m doing it, because we really have no rules except for the ones we make.”

Rebel Moon. (L-R) Sofia Boutella as Kora and Djimon Hounsou as Titus in Rebel Moon. Cr. NETFLIX ©2023

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He also previously commented on the state of Star Wars back in 2021 during a livestream on the TheFilmJunkee YouTube channel.

He was asked, “If you were ever approached to do Star Wars… is there a certain story that you had in mind in your head kinda like, ‘I want to do that in the Star Wars world?”

Snyder responded, “I’ve probably gone over this a little bit in the past. I am a huge Star Wars fan. The reason why I started making movies when I was 11 years old is because of Star Wars. For sure it has been a huge influence on me, and really got me onto this mythic past, sort of the Joseph Campbellian take on archetypes and storytelling.”

“Star Wars it that to me. I have interest in Star Wars. I don’t think I have a story right now,” he continued.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

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Snyder then stated, “I don’t know how I would fit into the Star Wars universe anymore. I don’t know what it is. It’s a thing I love, but I don’t know if I’m… Maybe it’s moved on from me.”

“I still love it and I have lightsabers everywhere around the house,” he concluded.

Grogu in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Grogu in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

It’s unclear what Snyder means by describing Star Wars as immobile. It’s possible that he’s referring to The Walt Disney Company and their insistence on seemingly only telling stories surrounding the time frame of George Lucas’ original films when it comes to theatrical releases and television shows.

As for the idea that the series cannot movie because of its canon, that also makes no sense given The Walt Disney Company constantly breaks the canon of Lucas’ original films and has no qualms breaking their own canon. In fact, Dave Filoni dismissed the idea of canon in a recent interview attempting to hype up the Ahsoka series at Star Wars Celebration.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 08: Dave Filoni attends the Ahsoka panel at Start Wars Celebration 2023 in London at ExCel on April 08, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Disney)

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He told ScreenRant, “People get into all of these debates of what’s canon, what’s not, and sometimes forget just the special nature of telling a good story and creating great characters.”

“Part of the fan debate in the past always used to be what’s canon, what’s not, because there was George and we always knew George was the canon. I look at it very broadly and just say, there’s just a love of Star Wars. Because I knew George, I worked with him. None of us are going to be him, but we love the galaxy he created and we are very much a product of it, growing up with it,” he concluded.

In fact, the canon of it all is what makes Star Wars so compelling for so many viewers. Lucas was able to bring millions of people into a Secondary World and have them become fully immersed in it.

The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien discussed this in his essay On Fairy Stories writing, “What really happens is that the storymaker proves a successful ‘sub-creator.’ He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is ‘true’: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside.”

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi faces off against David Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

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However, he notes this can all come crumbling down, “The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside. If you are obliged, by kindliness or circumstance, to stay, then disbelief must be suspended (or stifled), otherwise listening and looking would become intolerable.”

“But this suspension of disbelief is a substitute for the genuine thing, a subterfuge we use when condescending to games or make-believe, or when trying (more or less willingly) to find what virtue we can in the work of an art that has for us failed,” Tolkien asserts.

Ivanna Sakhno as Shin Hati impales Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren in Ahsoka (2023), Lucasfilm

I think it’s very easy to see that by breaking the canon of Star Wars, does indeed result in numerous people exiting the sub-creation or the Secondary World. And there is indeed quite a bit of canon to Star Wars, but that does not make the property immobile. It’s definitely quite possible to still tell compelling, interesting, and immersive stories within the world Lucas created. It just takes dedication, discipline, creativity, and more to get it done.

If one is not willing to put forth that effort, something The Walt Disney Company has not done, it’s not hard to see why Snyder would describe it as immobile.

(L-R): The Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Lucasfilm’s THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

What do you make of Snyder’s comments? What do you think he means when he describes Star Wars as immobile?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.