Freddie Prinze Jr.’s Famous Star Wars Rant: Was He Right?

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

As most Star Wars fans know, Freddie Prinze Jr., who played Kanan Jarrus on Star Wars: Rebels for four seasons, went on Jeff Dye’s Friendship Podcast in 2019 and delivered a now legendary rant regarding Star Wars and Star Wars fandom. A lot has happened in the Star Wars universe since Prinze Jr. went on his vocal tirade—the rant predates The Mandalorian by a few months—and with the Star Wars fandom seemingly as divided as ever, now is as good a time as any to look back at Freddie’s impassioned speech and see if there’s any merit to it or if it’s just a case of “Old man yells at cloud.” Unsurprisingly, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B… okay, a lot from column A, like the whole column, and maybe just a dash of B.

Star Wars Is For Kids?

The first point that Freddie Prinze Jr. makes is that Star Wars was originally for kids, and a lot of fan’s ire stems from the franchise not growing with them. This is true, from a certain point of view.

First off, yes, Star Wars was originally aimed at kids. That’s not up for debate. Star Wars, Marvel, and DC were all originally aimed at kids or at least an audience of all ages. The problem came when we as a culture hit a turning point in regard to nostalgia.

A long time ago in a galaxy right here, it used to be that kids liked kids’ stuff like science fiction and superheroes until they became adults, and then they were expected to shift their interests to adult things like the news, scotch, and naps.

Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace (1999)

At some point, corporations realized adults have more money than children and decided to remind them of how much fun they were missing as boring grown-ups. The adults took the bait, and now you have high-end action figures and LEGO sets that are so expensive no sane adult would let their child look at them, let alone play with them.

A long time ago in a galaxy right here, it used to be that kids liked kids’ stuff like science fiction and superheroes until they became adults, and then they were expected to shift their interests to adult things like the news, scotch, and naps.

As a result, adult fans wanted their childhood fantasies like Star Wars and Batman to get darker and more serious. This is why when the Star Wars prequels came out, many fans who had grown up with the original trilogy were repelled by what they saw as goofy, kiddie humor and silly characters. While Lucas may have gone a tad too juvenile in spots—lots of poop and fart jokes—trust us when we say that kids loved Jar Jar Binks—because that’s who he was aimed at, kids.

So on that, Freddie was mostly right, except that one could easily point to Rogue One and Andor as examples of Lucasfilm attempting to make Star Wars appeal more to adults.

Sexism In Star Wars Fandom

As for the actor’s second point that fans are just mad that Han Solo gave the Millennium Falcon to a girl, that was spot on. One need only look at the fans who claim Ahsoka is too “woke” to see that he nailed it.

Ahsoka is no different than The Mandalorian tone and looks wise. The only difference is that Ahsoka features a mostly female cast. And yet Ahsoka gets called out by toxic fans for being too “woke,” and Mando doesn’t. Hmmm… I wonder what those fans really have a problem with.

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Rosario Dawson in Ahsoka

Freddie Prinze Jr. then goes on to say that video games have given fans the wrong idea of how the Force works. This is 100% accurate, though it’s not exactly the video games’ fault.

Games like Knights of the Old Republic wanted a way to let players play light or dark side characters, and the best way to achieve that was through a meter that, depending on your actions in the game, moves either towards the dark or towards the light. Unfortunately, this led to fans coming up with silly concepts like Grey Jedi simply because the games let them play a completely balanced Force user.

In the actual world of Star Wars, however, there is now a middle ground when it comes to the Force. There’s not even technically a light and dark side. It’s more like there’s the Force, and then there are those like the Sith who use the Force in a perverse and corrupt way.

Balancing The Force

As for Freddie’s other main point about the Force, that it dictates who wins and loses, well kinda, but it’s more complicated than that. If the Force controlled everything, then that means there is no free will in Star Wars and, therefore, technically, no bad guys because it would mean that the Force wanted Palpatine to take over the universe. It would mean that the Force made Obi-Wan sacrifice himself, robbing the act of any agency.

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Knights of the Old Republic

The Force isn’t exactly sentient, and while it may guide things in some ways—like Prinze Jr. said, giving Padme twins to combat the two Sith—it’s more like nature correcting itself and less like an invisible God pulling all of the strings behind the curtains.

Balance in Star Wars doesn’t mean what most fans think it means. It’s not a balance between the dark and the light; it’s the Force without any corruption. The Force is only at balance when there are no Sith or Sith-adjacents bending it to their will for evil.

Star Wars And Mythology

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Ray Park as Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace (1999)

When it comes to Freddie Prinze Jr.’s assertion that much of Star Wars is based on mythology—aka Maul as Sysiphus—he’s just paraphrasing George Lucas himself. Lucas has stated many times that Star Wars is a melting pot of influences. Some are topical, like the Vietnam War and the Bush presidency, while some are archetypal and come from both Eastern and Western mythology.

Oh, and Freddie’s reading of Luke Skywalker as Cinderella? Totally appropriate. If Rey is a Mary Sue, then Luke was one first. If you’re a fan that has a problem with comparing Luke Skywalker to typically female archetypes, well, to paraphrase Freddie Prinze Jr., you can go and enjoy some self-administered physical intimacy.