Man, lots of interesting stuff to unpack here.
In the context of this topic...for me... Lucas SW >>>>>>> Disney SW
The very existence of the Story Group always struck me as odd. If that group doesn't have *some* creative say in the direction of any given story, regardless of the medium in which it exists, why does Story Group exist at all? Unless it's a purely cosmetic group, to make the public think there's one cohesive direction of the overall story when in fact, there is not. And it's not an unreasonable take to say there is no cohesive direction when lining up the stark differences between TFA and TLJ.
I have long speculated that the existence of the ST was driven by financial motivations (to pay back the investors who helped Disney write that $4 billion check to George), rather than creative motivations. The OT and PT sprang from George's creative motivations first, financial motivations second. That difference has been exposed, given how wildly certain story elements have swung between the films of the ST. I don't really feel much sympathy for Disney in this matter. Disney made its bed when it kept throwing the PRACTICAL EFFECTS shade at the PT in the lead-up to TFA. For George, that had to cross a line that, justifiably, shouldn't have been able to be uncrossed.
It also appears to be an irrefutable fact that the franchise hasn't had a smooth road in its creative personnel and direction. Look at how many key personnel changes there have been across these 5 films under Kennedy's direction. It also strikes me as strange that the one director that seems to have engineered a good production plus a fairly universally loved film, Gareth Edwards, has dropped off the LFL radar completely. And I don't want to hear about Rogue One's reshoots. Yet it had them. So does every other big-budget movie made in the past 40 years.
I haven't been to Galaxy's Edge yet (going in May), but I bet within 5 years, you'll see much more of an OT presence than the current ST presence. Easy enough to swap out ST stormtroopers for OT stormtroopers, Kylo Ren for Vader, Vi for a Rebellion-era spy, etc. That all seems like a fairly easy swap. But would such a swap be a concession on Disney's part that it misread its audience? And is it too prideful to admit anything like that?
The inner machinations of Iger/Disney/LFL/Kennedy etc. are interesting to me, but they ultimately don't affect my enjoyment of all Star Wars films. That includes the ST, which in my 1-11 ranking of the movies, rank 9-10-11.
At the end of the day, I'm glad the ST exists, though I am more glad Rogue One and Solo exist. But having seen TROS twice, I also don't believe the ST was necessary. It's like having a second controller for your PS4. While it's nice to have, it doesn't actually upgrade anything.