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Can’t speak to overall merchandising (every product has Star Wars on it these days), but I’m not surprised by the toy sales. I’m around kids all the time and absolutely none of them play with toys.

I also think LEGO split the market somewhat and is so expensive that people are actually spending less—buying one set or two rather than continuously buying action figures.


I also still maintain that they overestimated how far nostalgia would take them. All other franchises that managed to quickly release movies in a more or less yearly rhythm - say Harry Potter and the Marvel movies - had a forward momentum to them. A plan as to where things were leading. Marvel doesn’t seem to have that.


Nah, there’s no way they were gonna spend 4 billion to buy Lucasfilm and then test the waters for a while… :smile:


I’m looking forward to Marion: An Indiana Jones Story.


I think so. The frequency on Solo may have been off, I don’t know why they didn’t leave it to Christmas to keep the annual rhythm, but I don’t know it’s that major. As much as I liked it The Last Jedi was a miss with a load of fans and even with us here nobody was really that enthused by Solo with many thinking it was a lame idea.

I think all of this stuff can be turned around quickly by the way. It’s difficult to permanently break anything. Put out a couple of great SW films in a row and it’ll all be forgotten.

I’m quite intrigued by Episode 9 really because Abrams’ instinct is just to remix and play on the nostalgia but Johnson’s story choices have really fucked that up from happening. It could be the right balance is reached or it’s a right royal mess.


From what i hear there was no grand plan. Each movie just winged it and then the next one has to go from there like the whole thing is improvised. There was never any grand plan for who Rey’s parents were, or who Smoke was. When Episode 8 was finished they had no idea where to start with 9 - just hand it off to the next creative team and let them run with it. I know this sounds insane, but it’s apparently the reality.

I think there was plenty of desire for a Star Wars MCU, and I don’t think we had too many movies. One a year is fine, and initially it looked like they’d done great with the first movie. I’ve always thought Rogue One was a mistake - it played well with the older generation of fans who thought a Star Wars Dirty Dozen sounded like a great idea, but it’s really not what Star Wars is about and it still anchored the movies to the original trilogy. Last Jedi obviously shit all over the legacy of the original characters, and I think Solo payed a price for that.

Star Wars doesn’t feel quite like LOTR - the world itself doesn’t sell, as we have lots of sci-fi setting adventures (whereas LOTR doesn’t really have much competition). So I think going off in a new direction after episode 9 will be pretty difficult. And if they go ahead with Fett and Kenobi movies the’re doubling down on the Solo strategy. It’s important to identify that Solo didn’t fail because it was a bad movie - by all accounts it delivers what you’d expect. It fails because people just didn’t want to see it. Unlike Gar I think that’s really hard to fix - I think Star Wars and DC are both in the same place right now.


Oh absolutely. Rian Johnson was interviewed on the Kermode and Mayo show and said exactly that, he had n outline and he was told he could do what he wanted.

I knew you would. :smile:

However I think as much as they like to whinge there’s a huge fanbase for this stuff that wants it to be good. There’s no such thing as a bad concept just poor application. Even DC showed that, they put out a bunch of films nobody much liked but hit a critical and commercial success in the middle of it with Wonder Woman. We were saying Marvel had hit a ceiling then they put out two great films in Ragnarok and BP and now Infinity War is knocking on the door of $2bn.


One great film (BP), but yes I agree.


An Obi Wan movie is probably the only one I could have seen being successful. One because Mcgregor is charismatic as hell and one of the few bright spots in the prequel trilogy and two, he’s a Jedi. Plus, what he was up to between the two trilogies is kind of intriguing. That said, it should have been the first movie they used to the test the water. Or at least come out before a Solo movie. Because Obi Wan would have been the closest bridge movie they had to a sure thing and if it failed they would have known it’s a no go.

Oh well, they need a strategic shift now and they need someone competent to oversee the Star Wars universe. This whole winging it thing they’ve been doing was a dumb idea to start with.


You’ve got to look at what those two movies did - they completely changed the MCU tone (I’d add GotG2 to the list). It’s a bit like Fast and Furious - they changed what those movies were and gave them a whole new life. I think more than anything viewers want something new, something they haven’t seen before.

With that I’m not so sure Star Wars can do something new. It’s not a funny franchise, there hasn’t been joy in a Star Wars movie in some time.

I’m not so sure about the fanbase either. It’s all become a bit Star Treky.


I mean, that’s the big question. Not that Star Wars should necessarily be written off because a Han Solo movie is bombing. Yeah, The Last Jedi was also very polarizing but it still managed $1.3 billion and Rogue One managed $1 billion which is more than about 70% of Marvel movies.

Basically, while I definitely think that Disney needs to change course with their Star Wars approach, I’m also not sure it’s as dire as Solo is making it seem. Because, quite frankly, a Solo movie was never the greatest idea. That being said, they need to make sure Episode 9 hits.


Great Scott!


I suspect Episode 9 will be lower than Last Jedi and might not break a billion. I think the success of Rogue One piggybacked on TFA, so it was somewhat inflated.

There’s a danger in just dismissing Solo as one of those things and reckoning a new movie will fix things. Something has happened to the Star Wars market. Star Wars should be an auto-billion franchise.


Maybe so but, unlike those other properties, Disney could skim profits from Star Wars for years to come from animation and all the tie in merch they can peddle to kids.


I am surprised by Solo ending up so low. I do think competition has been a factor, but I can’t say I’m sure it would have done Rogue One numbers even if it was released in the usual Christmas slot. It’s down to more than just the release date.


The Last Jedi was quite literally that; Thanos’ finger-snap that killed half the audience. We got refried plot in Rogue One, some kind of dog crap in TLJ, and along comes The Movie Nobody Wanted.

And there’s confusion?

It’s the story - or lack thereof.

Star Wars IV-VI was The Hero’s Journey.
TLJ was a self-indulgent piece of crap.

See the difference?


You’re… Not in time with that one.


I want to be the first to say there is zero chance Episode 9 doesn’t hit the billion dollar mark. Even some of the people who hated TLJ won’t be able to resist hate-watching or going to see if they “fix” things.


Could be, but then again there were people who thought that Infinity War might not even out perform Age of Ultron (and certainly not the first Avengers) because of a perceived stink from Ultron and Civil War, yet here it is on the doorstep of $2 billion.

I’m definitely not dismissing Solo and I hope Disney doesn’t either. I’m fully on the side of Disney doesn’t know what they’re doing with Star Wars right now. They’ve willfully painted themselves into a nostalgia corner and need to figure a way out.

But at the same time, Solo is a movie that no one was really asking for. Episode IX is still the conclusion of a trilogy that I don’t think a lot of people in North America will be able to resist checking out. Globally? Well, Disney really needs to find a way to add international appeal there, because people outside of NA don’t seem to care and haven’t been given a reason to.

But we’ll see if Disney can get it done.


Star Wars: Episode IX: The Return of the Sensei

We open on a familiar jut of island, tall and craggy with greenery about. RION JOHNSON approaches the hooded figure of GEORGE LUCAS in full Jedi garb. JOHNSON opens his mouth to speak, LUCAS says nothing, draws and IGNITES HIS LIGHT SABER and decapitates JOHNSON.

Fade to black.