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Star Wars Movie Thread


#4058

I think Star Wars is destined to become Star Trek. The original series was beloved, and all the movies and merchandise and so on was based around that original cast. And at some point the executives realized you can’t really continue a franchise with a bunch of geriatric actors, so they cut them loose and started the Next Generation. Trek became a TV show again rather than a movie presence and it found a nice ongoing stable market of mostly long term Trek fans. They had a handful of movies but really the new launch brought them 20 years of extended life.

Star Wars is now too risky to continue to make new movies on new ideas. Not only in the potential loss in production costs, but in merchandise and most importantly in the all important list of slots available to Disney each year. I think they’ll cut back on the Star Wars plans in the cinema, maybe one every couple of years or less (unless the Fox deal falls through in which case Disney don’t have much in the larder). They’re in the same spot as Warners are with DC (hence why Warners are essentially sitting still on most of their plans, unable to figure out what’s next).

Instead I can see a place for Star Wars TV series, particular with their streaming plans. And with that they can reinvent the franchise and get it away from just Jedi’s and Skywalkers. Trek went from an action franchise to a sort of intellectual TV property. Kirk punched people every week but Picard’s favorite weapon was a hard glare. And it worked, fans wanted something different and loved it. So I think the same potential exists within Star Wars. I think it’s peaked, it’s fallen out of flavor and it’s time for a different plan.


#4059

And then it went back to Sisko punching Q in the face, along with later blowing shit up in the Defiant!

What I also liked about Sisko is that he could lead, he could do a speech when he needed to, and whenever he did, he nailed it.


#4060

I think you’re overestimating how many people hated TLJ. It’s just that the people who hate it are very loud.

Letterboxd compiles the ratings of every user who logged the movies.

For TLJ, out of 114,000 ratings, 54% are 4*-5* reviews, while only 7% gave it 2* or below.

23

That’s about the same as Rogue One, which has 52% at 4*-5* and 7% at 2* or below from 116,000 ratings.

05

For comparison, TFA has it a bit better, with 65% 4*-5* to 5% giving it 2* or below from 150,000 ratings.

41

Solo obviously doesn’t have as many ratings yet (only 21,000), but the reaction is definitely more towards the middle than the other movies, with only 27% giving it 4*-5* to 9% giving it 2* or below.

49

Anyway, my point is, no matter how loud people are shouting online, the reaction to these movies is still relatively positive on the whole.


#4061

I’m not talking about that Paul, I’m referring to people for whom Star Wars was the characters of Luke, Han and Leia. They feel, after watching TLJ, that SW holds nothing more for them. (For some, TLJ has had a negative impact on the OT films they enjoyed.)

I’m talking about the emotional impact, not data.

There are people who would have been incredibly enthused by the idea of a Sequel Trilogy, that after 30 years Hamill was playing Luke again, ditto Ford and Fisher. Then, by the end of two films, they’re rendered dead failures. It’s not that hard to see why these fans would be less than happy with TLJ, is it?


#4062

I don’t see Luke’s death as a failure at all. He held off an entire army and sacrificed himself to save the resistance. It was an incredibly heroic death.

And Leia became a badass general in charge of an army, who also had mastered her force powers, presumably on her own. The idea that she’s a failure is ridiculous.


#4063

I don’t think any of them were failures and the issues facing episode 9 are because Carrie Fisher died in real life. It was meant to be her film.


#4064

One thing about Luke: did he actually stop those laser blasts with the Force or did they just go through him because he wasn’t there? I think it is the latter and that makes it kind of an anticlimax. It would have been better if he had been there.


#4065

Yes, I’m aware the film works for lots and lots of people. How about some empathy for those who it didn’t?


#4066

I think they really betrayed the original characters. They save the galaxy and promise a new era of freedom. Then none of them can control their kid, who slaughters all the Jedi and goes off to form a new Empire. And in response Luke goes into hiding, Han moves in with his old college buddy again to fuck around the galaxy and Leia fails to secure a decent enough alliance to stop the First Order from getting a foothold.

It made all of the original trio a bunch of fuck ups. It’s like if Agagon’s kingdom collapsed into war, Frodo’s son became the new Sauron and all of Middle Earth fell to the Orcs while Legloas and Gimli fucked around getting drunk and having adventures.

Their legacy should have been peace. It’s shit that is wasn’t.


#4067

Let’s be clear as Star Trek, though. Its fans loved it rabidly, but there were not in the grand scheme enough of them, and they were constantly scrambling to try and find more. The show was going to be canceled after the first season, and then after the second season, and finally the job got done after the third. And then some ten years later because of Star Wars there was a movie, but it underperformed, and then the second movie did about as well as the first…But the fans were happy with the second one, so there was a third, which didn’t do better. It was the fourth one that finally got Star Trek out of the box. That was the biggest hit any of them, or any of the fans, or the general public had ever seen from the franchise. And a year later, there was The Next Generation. Which itself underperformed, at least as fans were concerned, until the third season, and then there was widespread acceptance. The original crew got two more movies (the fifth was the first outright bomb, but the sixth was a rebound). Then Next Generation ended and everyone and their mother thought Star Trek Generations, the big mash-up with Kirk and Picard, was going to be Infinity War…a quarter century before Infinity War. But it performed at about the average level of a Star Trek movie. Fans will tell you that happened because of the way Kirk died. Yeah nope. That’s just the box Star Trek was in

1996 was the strangest year. This was two years after Star Trek’s Infinity War. It was the franchise’s thirtieth anniversary. There were two TV shows on at the time. Both of them did special anniversary tribute episodes. Voyager did the Sulu episode. Fans at the time were begging for a Sulu TV series. They were absolutely convinced that would “save the franchise.” But nobody talks about the Voyager Sulu episode (“Flashback,” for the record). Instead, Deep Space Nine nailed it with a mash-up of a different kind, its characters inserted into the classic “Trouble with Tribbles,” and the results are still thought of warmly to this day. No one was begging for that to happen, but it did, and it was a huge success.

But the weirder thing that happened that year? Independence Day is a huge, huge hit. By 1996 standards, anyway. It’s the return of the blockbuster. But playing in front of it? A trailer for Star Trek: First Contact. And the reports are…people booing. People boo First Contact. The trailer featured unfinished footage. It plugs in the ship blown up in the last movie because they’re still working on the new one. And once people actually see the movie? Later that year? They start talking about how it’s not even a Star Trek movie, but an Alien rip-off. But you know what happens? It makes more than any Star Trek movie, aside from that fourth one. It is, for Star Trek, a huge, huge success.

Then of course the third and fourth Picard movies flop, fans grow increasingly disenchanted with the TV product, and there’s a hard stop in 2005, and there isn’t anything new until 2009. And Star Trek has its biggest movie success ever. All three of the Abrams movies make more than any Star Trek movie ever had. Fans still manage to complain. In fact, they actually start talking as if this is the worst thing that could’ve happened, that these are, especially Into Darkness, not only “not really Star Trek,” but some of the worst material the franchise has ever seen!

Star Wars in 2018 has nothing on any of that. Every time there wasn’t a movie it was because George Lucas decided there wouldn’t be. He had that luxury! People are talking now like Disney is pulling a Paramount, dumping a lot of unpopular product on the market, but until Solo (which again at this point is only a perceived flop) Star Wars had maintained or built on its prior massive success. And I wouldn’t even begin to call Solo the start of a downfall. Outside of the main sequence, it’s still a huge success, much bigger than the initial Clone Wars movie. At the time of that release, I was pretty shocked that nobody wanted to see that. It was a theatrical release, and it made…less than a hundred million. Internationally. Those average Star Trek movie successes? Bigger than that, just in the US. That’s what it looks like when a Star Wars movie is a flop. It was deemed totally unnecessary to the experience. Fans will tell you it was because of the quality, and that the TV shows were a lot better! But we’re talking Star Wars. The barometer of blockbuster success. And that movie bombed.

Disney looks at what’s happened to Solo and they’re going to take a long hard look. If this happens again? That’s when there’s a problem. You can guarantee they’re going to pull every trick they have out of their mouse hole. Everything they’ve learned from MCU.

But this is not even close to Star Trek.


#4068

You keep trying to say this movie isn’t a failure - the goal was a billion (that’s the goal for most Disney releases). They didn’t think this was Ant Man here, it wasn’t planned on this being a smaller movie that kept fans happy waiting treading water for the next big movie. They expected another Rogue One result but half the people who saw Rogue One won’t see this.

All they have now is Episode 9. Nothing else to build on, unlike Marvel which has 15 franchises. Rogue One isn’t a franchise. If they try another ‘history of a character’ take they could see the same results as Solo. Lose a hundred million and waste a precious summer slot. The future of the franchise is pinned on episode 9 and episode 8 wasn’t all that well received. And they’ve already burned through the original cast to prop it up.

When the prequels stopped is wasn’t because Lucas decided he had enough money. The market had already indicated it was done with that series, merchandise was filling landfills and no-one was happy with the direction of the franchise. So it went on ice for a decade and they pissed about with TV stuff instead. Here we are in more or less the same place.


#4069

It’s kinda sad because I actually would watch a straight Solo sequel, given to Ron Howard from the outset and with a little more latitude to do something more bold now that all of the predictable beats have been hit.
So far, 2018 sure has had its share of mild blockbusters: Solo, Tomb Raider, Pacific Rim Uprising, A Wrinkle in Time. Ready Player One was all in visually, so I’d struggle to put it into the same class as those, but it does feel like a waste to have so many movies that cost over $100 million try to do so little.


#4070

2018 is a disaster so far. Only Marvel making any real money. It’s a bad year for cinema and I’m unsure if it’s going to get much better.


#4071

George Lucas quit making Star Wars movies (again) because he’d finished his story. It took him fifteen years to make a fourth movie. He’s on record as stating it took that long because he needed the market to catch up with his needs. The sixth movie (the finale) made a pretty penny. People talk about the fifth movie as the massive creative failure, but the sixth was seen as a rebound. He sold Star Wars to Disney with plans for a sequel trilogy, which Disney kindly said thanks but no thanks to, and went its own way. He stopped making them because they were a huge hassle for him. They always were.

Anyway, yeah, Solo is a huge massive failure. I’m only hesitant about this because we’re only in its first week of release. It pulled in good numbers yesterday. For some idea about revised expectations, the studio was worrying that it would struggle to hit $100 million at the US box office by yesterday, but in fact it reached $103 million. I know, I know, kind of splitting hairs at this point, but that’s at the revised expectations, and it nailed it. At this point it’s still very much wait and see. It’s going to be a smaller hit, but I think it’s way too early to be planning a Star Wars wake.


#4072

Yeah, the state of the blockbusters always looked terrible. In terms of total box office, 2018 isn’t looking very good at all. Let’s see if Jurassic is still a key franchise? If not, then Disney really have won (despite A Wrinkle in Time and Solo).


#4073

Black Panther is the only blockbuster I’ve really liked this year, and I’m wary of Incredibles 2 coming up. I have faith in Mission Impossible: Fallout though.


#4074

Of all the films coming out this year, it’s this one that I’m really willing to be be good.


#4075

When they announced the idea of the anthology movies, I can’t say I was that impressed by the news.

Then the R1 trailer came out and it had some really nice aesthetics, which is true of the Solo trailers too. The one difference was I could see the role of R1 in the overall structure of SW far more easily than Solo. With Solo, I keep hitting the brick wall of ‘why do this?’ and I couldn’t find a good answer.

Changing tack, here’s a very fast, off the top of my head summary of the fanbase of SW and how nigh-on impossible it’d be to do a film that all of it likes:

  • SW as saga fans

  • SW as continuing adventure

  • OT fans

  • PT fans

  • TCW-Rebels fans

  • ST fans

  • The Falcon

  • X-Wings

  • TIEs

  • Rebels

  • Empire

  • Vader

  • The Emperor

  • Count Dooku

  • ObiWan - PT

  • ObiWan - OT

  • Luke

  • Han

  • Leia

  • That trio as ensemble

  • The droids

  • Poe

  • Rey

  • Finn

  • That new trio as ensemble

  • Ackbar

  • Raddus (yeah, he now has fans - one film only,but damn, he was awesome in it)

  • Fett

  • Jango Fett

  • Mace

  • Yoda

  • Ventress

  • Ahsoka

  • Ezra

  • Thrawn

Probably a ton of other subsets that could be added, with people subscribing to numerous combinations of these and others.


#4076

I hope it’s great. But the whole “Bob has to stay home and learn how to take care of his kids” angle the trailer was pushing feels very tired. Hopefully it’s only a small part of the movie.

I’m not sure on the idea of it taking place immediately after the first movie either.


#4077

I’m sorry, but that takes a lot of neck when your prior post says this:

Which is me. And then this

Which isn’t. Attack of the Clones drove me away from Star Wars, Force Awakens was the first thing that interested me in the universe in decades. And even though I didn’t think Last Jedi was all that, I maintain that Kylo Ren is the best character in the entire saga.

So you know, if you want people to respect the opinion of people who don’t like the sequel trilogy, maybe you should start by not speaking for huge swathes of fans.