(This was previously mention by John in a tidbits post, but I think it deserves its own post.)
Jay Garmon at Geekend asks Sci-fi rant: When did Star Wars jump the shark? Now we all know that the prequel trilogy just doesn’t live up to the original three, and that Revenge of the Sith, while the best of the three, can’t unjump the shark. So when, exactly, did the Star Wars jumpage occur?
Jay’s answer is one word for you: Midi-chlorians. As lame as midi-chlorians are and as bad as all the awfulness they lead to (the ‘royal’ blood to be a Jedi, Annakin’s miracle birth), the series didn’t jump the shark here because it had already been jumped. In Return of the Jedi. You probably know where I’m going, so I’ll say just one word:
That’s right, the moment Lucas decided to put merchandising above storytelling, the shark was well and truly jumped. Not only did we get cute, cuddly Ewok toys and the execrable Ewok adventure movie, we were also cheated out of seeing the Wookies kick some Empire butt during the fight to eliminate the shield generator.
Because Lucas saw $$$, the Wookies were relegated to a bit-part in Episode III, and the Ewoks took their glory, and we got the shaft. Episode VI could have been so much better without Ewoks, too bad Lucas was eying the killer fish in the water in front of him.