We’re talking about it as a flop in storytelling, not box office.
I get that. But there’s a lot of chatter that suggests people are mystified it made any money at all, let alone lots of it. It did. It made lots of money. And the complaints are mostly from older fans who hate the idea of what it did.
Yeah the issue is not that they won’t do good money (although Solo might actually end up being an actual flop), but more the fact that a SW movie should be doing A LOT more all things considered. I mean, if they only do 600 mil, sure it’s fine, but it’s also leaving a lot of money on the table.
It’s more like their trend dropped surprisingly fast from The Force Awakens to The Last Jedi and from Rogue One to Solo.
However, if you took out the American Market entirely, what does Star Wars look like? How does it compare to the competition internationally? If it’s success is tied to the US sales, then it depends more on the fan base here, enthusiasm and positive word of mouth.
Ironically, I would think that Star Wars should have more international appeal than most any other story, Superheroes, Fantasy or Action Movies, as there is nothing inherently American about that world.
Empire and Jedi left a ton of money on the table. By the standards of A New Hope, they were miserable flops. Fact.
I was actually sort of cool with TFA mirroring ANH. There’s precedent for that, as TPM kicked off the prequel trilogy by mirroring ANH, too. Not as closely as TFA did, but you have a queen in peril, a boy savior on Tatooine, the Jedi Master being struck down by a Sith Lord as his apprentice watches helplessly, a big space battle, and it ends with celebration of a major military victory.
But then, AOTC went off in its own direction and told its own story. Whereas the sequel trilogy just seems to be cynically repackaging the story already told in the OT.
True, the prequels were a hot mess, but they did have their moments and the story was solid even if it faltered in the execution.
Yes, I definitely view TFA differently after watching TLJ.
Since TLJ did little in the way of following the set-ups in TFA, I definitely see it through a more cynical eye. The aforementioned coincidences like Rey, the map to Luke’s hiding spit, and the Millennium Falcon all on the same planet, and within walking distance of each other, is just ridiculous unless there’s a backstory there. Luke’s old lightsaber was just a McGuffin.
It would have ended with Rey getting redpilled.
Actually, there’s red all over the movie: Red highlights on the Star Destroyers, the throne room scene, the sand on Crait, even the posters and key art use a lot of red.
It’s a bit like the experience I’ve heard many CW/DC viewers having. Shows like Arrow and The Flash being given a lot of leeway because of the expectations that they will grow into something resembling the characters they love, but end up never getting there or doing a very unfulfilling mad dash to the superficiality.
This making those early set-up seasons less full of promise and now just stark reminders of the losses and failure.
At least the prequels had ambition and expanded the Star Wars world. It felt like a proper space opera, and was full of inventiveness and never before seen design. The scale was off the charts.
The sequels make Star Wars feel small, like the entire galaxy only has a few million people in it. The casino planet is a decent example - the city feels mostly empty, having a chase through it at night and there’s hardly anyone there. Vegas on Friday night feels bigger and more interesting that the fantasy made up rich space city. Something like the pod race felt like a much bigger scale.
Yeah do I even need to adress this? Are you really comparing the movie business from ages ago to the one today?
Actually, for my money, the prequels had the better stories of all SWs I’ve watched… however the execution is really, really, REALLY bad… =/
You know, I think if my memory of the discussions here back when TFA came out serves, many people did point out that it was a retread and quite a few would have liked to see something going in a different reaction, but at the same time, people were just happy to see a good Star Wars movie. That sure went for me: I wished they hadn’t done the Starkiller Base thing because it worked against the movie, but I was fine with pretty much the rest of the movie. Personally, I would’ve liked to see a different story being told, but I was okay with the one they gave me.
But the thing is that what works for one movie doesn’t necessarily work for the other. TFA was a restart and it traded on tying things back to the OT. But that movie had pretty much recreated all of the story beats from the OT, so that was kind of done with and it was clear that the next movie would be free to do its own thing - that was what I said back then, that I expected that the next movie would take the story into different directions.
Also, I don’t know about Millar and Jim, but my problem isn’t just that it’s a retread (and I don’t think it’s a re_hash_, let’s be clear), but that it retreads Empire while at the same time continuously going on about how you have to let go of the old and start something new. My gripe is that it could have just done that instead of being stuck in the perverse paradox of recreating the old while fighting against it the entire time.
But more importantly: Once again, I think it is important to separate the moaning and “what the majority of the fans want” from whether TLJ was a good movie in its own terms, and from success with the general audience. Those are really three very different things, and I have to say that what the fans want is probably the least relevant of all of those. When it comes to the nostalgia thing, it may well be that all the fans ever want to see is the OT recreated ad eternum, but I think that while the general audiences were happy enough to see that done once, the second time already lost them.
This is purely anecdotal of course, but my kid - he’s twelve - is a huge Star Wars fan, has been for ages. He’s watched all of the OT movies and the prequels, and all of the Clone Wars cartoon. And he liked TFA fine, but wasn’t overly excited with it, and he thought TLJ was kind of okay. His enthusiasm has dropped to the point where I don’t even know if we’ll watch Solo together in a cinema.
This is a twelve-year-old who is a Star Wars fan. If they’re losing this audience, they’re in trouble.
Now this is just one kid and I am sure there are a lot of very different experiences. But this is what he drop in box office from TFA (2bn) to TLJ (1.3bn) to Solo (underperformer) may signify: They are losing their audience.
Maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. The other view would be that after the first movie, there was bound to be a drop and TLJ did great, and that Solo was always going to be a tough one because it’s a spin-off prequel with a problematic production history.
So, who knows. But if I was Disney, I’d be thinking very carefully about where to go next with those movies.
That would be the biggest concern. Twelve year olds are - or were - who the films were really meant to please.
I do wonder if the simplicity of the original series is also what made them reach kids so well. Luke’s intentions throughout the series were pretty clear even when he was making a bad decision. All his motivations were something a twelve year old could immediately grasp and get behind. When he cuts his Jedi training short, it’s to go help his friends (does not work out that way). In the middle of escaping from the Death Star, he decides to also try to rescue the Princess which, in the end, could have jeopardized everything.
The movies really were fueled by the energy of little kid thinking which is why they became such a great phenomenon. I don’t think you see the same level of directness and simplicity in Rey or Jyn. Certainly, though he may be childish, Kylo Ren’s motivations are complicated. Haven’t seen Solo, yet.
What are they? Serious Q.
I think at first they were to live up to this grandiose image of Vader, then a whole tear it all down, and now just a “taken control” thing.
True. I couldn’t see the viable alternative that would have been acceptable to Rey. It just seemed like he was still asking her to go to the Dark Side just as Vader wanted Luke to join him and replace the Emperor (wasn’t that in Empire right after the Father reveal?).
In the end, it was the bad guy who promoted the idea that the past must die, so maybe the whole message of the movie is to honor the past. Not kill it.
Somewhere in the realm of killing his father and marrying his mother. At this point he is tremendously frustrated that he just can’t kill everybody all at once. He’s Baby Thanos; quite literally, embracing the thanatotic urge Freud wrote about on top of that Oedipal thang. He’s got greasy hair, greasy smile and says “Lord this must be my destination”. He is Oedipus written by (insert your own insult here).
Yeah, I agree completely with that. When I was that age, I desperately wanted to be Luke Skywalker, and I think TFA strives to give us that option with Rey and Finn. But TLJ makes it hard to entirely identify with any of the characters.
The drop from TFA to TLJ was virtually the same as that from ANH to ESB. The SOLO thing is going to be debated and analyzed for years to come, with probably no real answer found.