Huh, my idea wasn't completely retarded for a changeThis is a musing I find not only viable but also very likely as it relates to the overwhelming majority of western showrunners over the last few years.
So you'd pin this on perverse incentives? I can see it.There is a serious problem with television series as it relates to profitability. Ideally, you want your show to be watched and beloved by millions of people, which establishes it as popular and well-received and able to generate more money. Of course, most studios only care about that last point, so thus begins the inevitable process of milking. On the flipside, if your show doesn't do very well in terms of popularity, regardless of its quality, it's more likely to be canceled. There's a bit of a problem here for those who want to create and proliferate a quality series but not have it wrung out for every last penny.
I was personally ready to pin it on something else though: my theory was simply a childish inability to let go (how many fanfic authors refuse to finish their big, bloated babies?), but given how cynical media's become of late, I think your theory has more weight.
>Walking DeadWhen a series goes on for too long and ends poorly, it's most likely a case of either considerable studio interference (sequel baiting, pushing political narratives, etc. ) or an inability to know where to end now that the series has long since overstayed its welcome. In the case of the former, I can't think of any example more relevant and personally crushing than what happened with Dexter, though I wont spoil it for anyone who has yet to watch it. For the latter, I can think of several different ways The Walking Dead could have ended up until the point I stopped watching it, and I'm sure that number could balloon even further every subsequent season AMC has marched this festering corpse (pun definitely intended) onward.
It ended at the close of season 2 as far as I care. All the antagonists from thereon out I just found... unbelievable? Like it's not that I found their take on human nature uncomfortable, it's that I found their take on human nature ran on the same kind of logic as an edgy 14 year old who is a 'proud Satanist' when he openly misquotes Nietzsche. Humans can be real fucking evil, but Negan for instance is so cartoonishly evil that he would have been killed by his own for being a threat to their wellbeing a good dozen times over before the show even started.
To bring this point back to Star Wars, I think this same kind of cynicism crept in - though it operates more on 14 year old girl logic because that's the only explanation I have to the whole Finn/Rose thing (because way to rob a character of a fitting end and kill all dramatic tension that arc had to that point).
I think you're right, a lot of consumers are to blame.Stories since they have been invented by mankind have always had a beginning, a middle, and an end. All three need to be properly considered and balanced if you want to share anything of quality. Unfortunately, as far as finances go, quality matters much less than pure spectacle, member berries, or political appeasement these days. Really, one only has to focus on the introductory episodes (or even the whole first season) of a series to bait as many people as possible and rake in all the normalfaggot consumers they can to become sucessful. Sad, that.
No one wants their favourite franchises to end.
Problem is, ever seen a soap opera? They don't ever end. They're also a fantastic argument as to why you should.