I think Kennedy and Abrams have far more pull at Lucasfilm than the director of Looper, and Johnson was hired to follow-up the previous film however he wanted, which he did (and they were happy enough with the finished product to give him his own trilogy to do next).
Absolutely. They put themselves into an impossible split with Anakin, he should never have been the hero. He should always have been Obi-Wan’s problem child. The way they did it he pretty much went from savior of the galaxy to Space Satan like the flip of a switch.
With Kylo I think they painted themselves into a corner. They can’t turn him into a hero but I think they don’t want to keep him as an utter villain either. So the only option as far as I can see is an ending with him sacrificing himself like Vader did in ROTJ which will be completely unoriginal.
I think it would have been stronger if they’d been the same age, rather than master and apprentice. Growing up together, fixing the universe together, then falling out over something or other. Obi Wan becomes an uncle to Luke and Leia in a way. They tried to make them brothers towards the end, but the age difference at the start was just too great (Jake Lloyd was 6, Ewan McGregor was 28. That’s a father-son difference).
I think it’s disingenuous to suggest ripping up everything A New Hope accomplished wasn’t exactly what Empire Strikes Back did. Exactly what it did, in every way. The destruction of the Death Star meant nothing. Han joining the Rebels screws him over big-time (and hey! nobody thought to help the guy out, but rather exploit him as much as possible). And the bad guy is Luke’s dad!
But fans have had a hard time understanding that this is what sequels do. I mean, what does Godfather Part 2 do but make sure Michael screws up whatever thought he used to have about having a different kind of life? And by having a direct parallel with Vito’s descent into mob life? The whole point of the first one was that the Corleone story is tragedy. And people tend to view the second one as the perfect sequel. But instead of reversing the tragedy, it makes it more tragic.
And fans hated Matrix Reloaded because Neo wasn’t presented as the Superman savior he’d become by the end of the first one. He has to keep fighting for legitimacy and even Agent Smith. They saw it as a mindless rehash. Of course it was drowning in deliberately thought-out storytelling. There’s no popular film trilogy with more thought put into it than the Matrix movies. So what was rejected? Essentially that it didn’t give something new, like Yoda, or the Vader reveal, or Robert De Niro. It just plunged further into the story.
Also, Solo really failed because it’s essentially a Western. Those things have been underperforming for decades. I think Chris Pratt lost his golden boy status because he thought it was a good idea to star in one.
Also, because fans are upset about a sequel doing what sequels do.
I think it was established in ANH or TESB that Obi-Wan was Anakin’s teacher so that’s hard to retcon. I can see putting their ages closer together, Anakin could have been a teenager in Phantom Menace. Maybe have Anakin start as a 14 year old and Obi Wan 28.
I don’t know what the official ages are but I always thought McGregor was playing Obi-Wan a bit younger in Phantom Menace, maybe late teens or very early 20s. I always felt like the age difference wasn’t meant to be more than 10-15 years, so the ‘older brother’ relationship came across for me.
Part of what works about their relationship is that Obi-Wan is regularly putting Anakin down due to his age (especially in AotC - there’s a lot of Obi-Wan calling him “my very young apprentice” and so on). While Anakin knows he’s more naturally gifted than Obi-Wan and feels like he’s going beyond his teachings despite his age.
It’s a part of the prequels that actually works quite well for me.
But will that trilogy happen now?
I think he was hired to be arrogant, he was hired because Kennedy wanted a visionary. As I’ve said before she worked for Spielberg for years. Her experience is that the director leads and everyone else follows, including her, despite being the head of Lucasfilm now.
That’s the way most of Hollywood works too, one producer described the choice of director as difficult because it’s really “hiring your own boss”.
And that’s where Marvel are different. They hire employees. Important ones. Once with experience and talent, but they’re not hiring bosses. Directors work for Marvel, not just at Marvel.
I have a problem with Johnson’s creative choices. I think that he made a film that doesn’t work, and I think his choices to eliminate and downplay a lot of what was set up in the first film are clumsy and counter productive. That’s just my personal opinion though.
Professionally, I think they were bad choices because they run so counter to what was set up. The most significant moment to me wasn’t killing Snoke or revealing the unimportance of Rey’s parents, it was when Snoke tells Kylo to “Take off that ridiculous mask.”
That’s not Snoke talking, that’s Johnson, he wrote the script. He thought the mask was ridiculous. He thought a junior Vader was ridiculous, so he removed the mask and the implications of it. Johnson wanted to make his idea of what he thinks Star Wars is and it’s not a continuation of what Abrams thinks it is.
And my problem with Lucasfilm/Disney is that they went along with it.
There’s no continuity of approach. Lucas made Lucas films, even when he hired other directors, they were employees, they had input, but they also had a boss.
Just like Marvel.
People disliked ‘Matrix Reloaded’ because it kept stopping to lecture you on philosophy every 20 minutes. What had been subtext in the first film was badly pushed into text in the second and third.
The Wachowskis were suddenly allowed to do whatever they wanted and they really wanted to get their text books out and read passages from them at you.
Fortunately they also wanted martial arts, explosions and killer AI robots, but you had to sit through the rest of the seminar to get them.
Attack of the Clones should have been Episode I. Darth Maul looked cool, but nothing that happened in TPM really mattered to the greater saga.
Honestly, I’m amazed they haven’t offered the BBC a billion dollars for Doctor Who yet.
Snoke with the overhead projector is what makes it.
But that’s why they didn’t use Brackett’s draft. Lucas had quite specific ideas of where he wanted the characters to go – maybe not right at the start, but by the time Empire was being drafted, he knew. Which is why he rejected Brackett’s draft and wrote his own.
I think TLJ suffered from not having anybody look at the screenplay and say, “No, that’s not what I want.” Basically, Star Wars no longer has a George Lucas. Not saying that Lucas himself would be the right man for the job now, but there needs to be somebody in his role. A trilogy “showrunner”.
Oh, they’d never do something completely unoriginal in these movies
Actually that was one of the parts that worked best for me. It was an important moment in Kylo’s story (which was the only really interesting story in the whole film), and actually made sense (unlike a lot of the rest of both films).
And if the idea of Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker’s father had been there from the start, Lucas would have mentioned it to Brackett as a plot point for her script.
Which is fine, I’m sure it worked for Johnson too, but it represents a break from what’s been established in the first film.
Johnson didn’t want a new Vader or a new Sith, which is what Abrams had set up.
And probably what he’ll try to return to.
Get ready for more narrative whiplash.
“Put on that ridiculous mask!”
Sony were interested in a Dr Who movie in 2014, but Moffat was very protective of his plans for the show and Sony were advised to back off at that time.