Solo's sub-par showing scuppers Star War spin-offs.
June 21, 2018 5:53 AM   Subscribe

The proposed Obi Wan and Boba Fett films have been put on hold.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (119 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've got a bad feeling about this.
posted by chavenet at 5:59 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


I thought Solo was fine, but I'm also kind of okay with this? Obi Wan and Boba Fett weren't the characters I wanted to know more about in the Star Wars universe.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:02 AM on June 21 [41 favorites]


I thought Solo was fine, but I'm also kind of okay with this? Obi Wan and Boba Fett weren't the characters I wanted to know more about in the Star Wars universe.

I agree. Actually ended up really liking Solo, but I also think that these backstory movies aren't really adding enough to fully justify their existence. I'm fine going a couple of years Star Wars-less waiting for sequels.
posted by doctornecessiter at 6:08 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


I completely agree dinty_moore. I love the idea of more stories in the Star Wars Universe but I'm quite lukewarm about the idea of continuing to mine the 'iconic characters'. They need to break out and do something other than imitate the Marvel approach. Frankly, Rogue 1 could have been even stronger if they hadn't felt a need to shoe-horn in quite as many familiar characters as well.
posted by meinvt at 6:08 AM on June 21 [29 favorites]


I'm completely okay with this. A new Star Wars movie should be an exciting event, not just oh hey it's a day ending in a y, there's a new Star Wars film in theaters.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:08 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Most of Boba Fett's appeal was in his mystery. It was bad enough having his family origins focused on in the prequels. Same deal for Han, to a lesser degree.

I was looking forward to more of Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan, but not at the expense of franchise fatigue. It's a shame they didn't start with that one.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:10 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


This is good thing. Solo was clearly a mis-step, audiences aren't responding to it, so yeah, rethink the formula.

Obi-wan is probably the only backstory anyone would really be interested in and that's solely due to Ewan McGregors portrayal. So yeah, that could be interesting, but otherwise, get out of the past. As awesome as it was to see Danny Glover as Lando, there's only a small window for future films with him.

Move forward.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


The whole exciting thing about Star Wars was this sense of mystery and a vast world that was only hinted at obliquely. The prequels, by their design, more or less strip-mine this sense of mystery and expansiveness, giving nothing in return.

The past is dead. Let it die. Kill it, if you have to.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:12 AM on June 21 [43 favorites]


"Most of Boba Fett's appeal was in his mystery"

I feel the same can be said about the Force as well. The attempt at 'explaining' it really felt wrong to me.
posted by Barticus at 6:14 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


It's worth noting that while Marvel has a powerhouse brand, it took time to build and there were a few missteps along the way (Incredible Hulk reboot). But they learned from their mistakes and kept moving.

The upcoming Captain Marvel is their first full length prequel (I think), and its purpose as a prequel seems to be setting up a few things Avengers 4. There's a lesson in all that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Danny Glover as Lando
I'm sure you meant Donald Glover, but oh man I would pay money to see Danny Glover as Lando. Retired, sure; past his prime, maybe; but still a scoundrel.
posted by xedrik at 6:24 AM on June 21 [55 favorites]


In our divided household, my son, who is a major Star Wars fan, has always loved the animated series more than the recent theater offerings. There may be something for them to learn from that. Maybe a really good Star Wars live action series?
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 6:27 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Yep, even had that editor's voice in the back of my head whispering "Something doesn't look right he-SQUIRREL"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 AM on June 21


NO! I'll nerd out here. I wanted all the movies to happen. I want the back story of Chirrut ("I'm one with the Force and the Force is with me") and Baze from Rogue One. I wanted them ALL!
posted by dog food sugar at 6:28 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I'd appreciate learning more about the various species' cultures in the SW universe.

Do the wookiees have some kind of... I don't know, celebration-of-life holiday? Could we get a Star Wars special about that? I think it would go down in history as the greatest Star Wars film of all time.
posted by duffell at 6:30 AM on June 21 [84 favorites]


OK, pump the brakes all they want, but only if the Doctor Aphra movie is still moving along, full steam ahead. Right? Right?!
posted by NoMich at 6:30 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Rather than get his own feature film, what I was hoping was that Boba Fett would have instead been a player in the Solo movie. And, what I was especially hoping was that Solo had done something truly shitty to double cross Boba Fett to make them true enemies and the pursuit in ESB more impactful and give Solo more edge. Perhaps Fett had moved on from antipathy towards the Jedi and was on a chaotic neutral path, but after crossing paths with Solo he takes a turn for the darker side.

But anyone whose first appearance is in the Star Wars Xmas special is bound to have a bad ending.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:31 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


I am probably as big a SW fan as they come....

...and I was starting to get Star Wars Fatigue.

Quality over Quantity - the shared-universe-formula that worked for the Marvel films wasn't the right course to take for Star Wars.
posted by Paladin1138 at 6:34 AM on June 21 [11 favorites]


Most of Boba Fett's appeal was in his mystery.

Yup, that was the predictable Solo problem, too, as you note.

I would have loved to see McGregor, who pulled off the best acting work in the horrible prequels, in an in-between "lost years" movie, hiding out on Tatooine, secretly protecting Luke... that was one I was actually looking forward to.

Can't decide if I wanted a noir detective story or a gritty Western, but either way, it could be (could have been?) a nice genre piece, definitely different.
posted by rokusan at 6:37 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Yah, Solo was fine, but.

If it were anyone other than Donald Glover fulfilling his life's purpose, I would have said that a much better movie would have been Solo Gets His Bloodstripes or just some early smuggling trip with Chewie that plays out like a good heist movie.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:38 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Behind the Music: The Max Rebo Band or bust.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:47 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


Good. There's only 1 good Star Wars movie and it was released in 1977. If there's ever a new movie that involves Marcia Griffin, who is woefully undercredited for why the original Star Wars actually hit it big, I'd see that.

Disney is just another Greedy Corporation milking the cash cow. The Marvel series are following the same path.
posted by yoga at 6:47 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Rogue One was good because it was an original story featuring new characters (with just a little bit from minor established characters and a Vader cameo).

I liked Solo but didn't love it (other than L3 and Lando and Enfys Nest), but I'd gladly take more "elsewhere in the galaxy..." stories over origin stories / character prequels.
posted by Foosnark at 6:52 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


They need to break out and do something other than imitate the Marvel approach.

Hmm. I really think Star Wars would be well served to imitate the Marvel approach. Marvel isn’t doing Tony: An Avengers Story about Iron-Man in high school. They are constantly pushing ahead to the next step in the story, adding new characters we’ve never seen before, and combining them in interesting ways. I can’t think of anything less Marvel-like than Solo and Rogue One. If Star Wars wanted to copy the MCU, we’d have a movie with characters we’d never heard of on a planet we’ve never visited before facing struggles that might or might not be due to the Empire/First Order, with no references to the Force and no way to guess whether their story would connect to the ongoing Skywalker saga. That ain’t Solo.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:53 AM on June 21 [23 favorites]


I liked Solo but didn't love it (other than L3 and Lando and Enfys Nest)

My reaction to Solo was "this would be much better if it featured more Donald Glover," which, given the title of the movie, was probably not the response the filmmakers wanted.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:56 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Major MMD, there's a live-action series in the works from Jon Favreau.
posted by Gaz Errant at 7:04 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


dog food sugar: NO! I'll nerd out here. I wanted all the movies to happen. I want the back story of Chirrut ("I'm one with the Force and the Force is with me") and Baze from Rogue One. I wanted them ALL!

*cough* graphic novels and *cough* a shit-ton of non-graphic (?) novels *cough*

In other words, the Star Wars universe is already expanded, just like the Marvel universe, if you look beyond the limits of their respective "cinematic universes."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:04 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


the shared-universe-formula that worked for the Marvel films wasn't the right course to take for Star Wars.

I feel the same way. Marvel is built around iconic characters that can be shifted around and teamed up in interesting ways, where part of the fun is seeing a familiar character pop up in an unfamiliar context. I can understand why Disney wanted to copy the same formula after seeing Marvel turn into a giant money-vacuum, but it just doesn't work the same way for the Star Wars universe.

When I think about the non-original trilogy Star Wars properties that I've connect with the most, what they share in common is that they tap into the mythology-building of the original movies, not the plot elements. I really couldn't care less about the small-time adventures of Han Solo or Boba Fett. I come to Star Wars for the grand-scale battles between good and evil, with the Force acting as a way to twist that good/evil binary in complex, interesting ways. Sure, it can be hokey and heavy-handed, but that's kind of just the nature of Star Wars.
posted by parallellines at 7:06 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Solo wasn't terrible but I was really hoping for "Han and Lando's roguish adventures in space", not "Han tries to recapture the love of his highschool crush".
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 AM on June 21 [21 favorites]


Rogue One was fine, but given that most of the other projects seem to have been more in the Solo vein of telling completely unnecessary backstories for characters whose backstories we either already know or else couldn't possibly be interesting, I say good riddance to them.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:09 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I also liked Solo but I didn't love Solo. It was a fun romp for a Sunday but almost all of the plot beats feel like a setup for a nostalgia reference. Although as a marketing vehicle, it's less insulting to both viewers and characters than Civil War, so there's that. It felt to me like one of those movies that Disney churns out to support a franchise, many of which go directly to formats that parents can plop in a child's lap for long trips.

I think another thing that Rogue One had going for it were better emotional stakes and better development of secondary characters.

Compared to MCU, I think one advantage that MCU has is that with the arguable exception of the Hulk--and you gotta go all the way back to Bixby/Ferrigno there --The Avengers had not been done successfully on the screen. MCU could do whatever they wanted with characters for audiences who had only a lunchbox-level understanding of them. And unlike the almost a half-dozen different Batman reboots that attempted an almost blank slate, Solo was all about justifying the performances of Ford and Williams, and they didn't really need it.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 7:10 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I am very unhappy about this news because I just wanted to see more Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan.

Mostly I just want to see more Ewan McGregor.
posted by cooker girl at 7:12 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


I wanted all the movies to happen. I want the back story of Chirrut ("I'm one with the Force and the Force is with me") and Baze from Rogue One.

I don't necessarily want all the movies, but Young Chirrut and Baze would be cool; they didn't get nearly enough screen time IMO. I'm also 100% down for a Doctor Aphra movie. (For those not familiar with Aphra from the comics, imagine a young Han Solo/Indy Jones mashup, only Rule 63ed and also kinda evil, or at least with really flexible ethics; she works with evil versions of Chewie, C3PO, and R2D2, and also works with/for Darth Vader on occasion.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:20 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I just wanted Solo to be funny. There's no memorable lines to quote from this one and it features characters we know are usually amusing. Lando's smirk is the most memorable thing about it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:28 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I haven't yet seen Solo.
I'm middlingly interested. I really like Star Wars.

I don't want any more prequels. Move on. Move forward.
You have the biggest universe to play with. Stop trying to make it smaller.

New stories, in the future, in new places with new people.
Build your universe. Explore it.
They shouldn't emulate Marvel because they don't need everyone to meet up.

Here's a thought. How big is Farfaraway Galaxy?
Are there people on the edges who don't know about the Empire and the Republic?
What happens when this generational war spills over on to their world?

Build the universe. Flesh it out.
Have giant events happen in the main sequence films and then use the anthology movies to show how they affect everyone else in the galaxy.

Coruscant street gangs who'll never run into anyone important, but they've got to somehow survive in a giant city that's slowly decaying since the Empire left.

Or stories of scavengers picking over the remains of the Hosnian System?

But always move forward. Always New. I don't need to see the adventures of Biggs and Porkins before luke joined the rebellion or Nien Nubbs graduation or whatever.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:31 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Not at the top of my list of things I want millennials to kill, but I'll take it.
posted by straight at 7:36 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Every story point in Solo was half-told and the in between is boring. It does seem like a movie that should have gone straight to DVD. Even Donald Glover couldn't save it.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:38 AM on June 21


Marvel isn’t doing Tony: An Avengers Story about Iron-Man in high school. They are constantly pushing ahead to the next step in the story

No, but they sure have done a whole bunch of origin stories. Like Solo is.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:38 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


It also seems like Woody Harrelson (or poor-mans Woody Harrelson in the Guardians of the Galaxy) has played that same character in about a half dozen movies in a row.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:42 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


I want an Ahsoka/Sabine team-up.
posted by synecdoche at 7:44 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


Shout out to the fanfare discussion of Solo in which we've been dissecting exactly what made the movie fall so flat.

For me it's simple; bad writing and production. Particularly the troubled history of the film all the way to bringing in Ron Howard to rescue it. It's got nothing to do with which month they released the movie or Star Wars fatigue. They just fucked up making the movie.
posted by Nelson at 7:44 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Most of Boba Fett's appeal was in his mystery. 

I forget where I heard this idea: a Boba Fett movie where Boba Fett is dead but some guy is wearing his armour. Our protagonist dons the filched Mandalorean battle suit because Boba Fett's reputation attracts contracts paid in advance, contracts which he has no intention of completing. This ultimately results in his being simultaneously chased by the Hutts, the trade federation, the Resistance, the I-hate-space-nazis First Order, and Boba Fett's jilted ex-lover CGI Carrie Fisher. Swindler meets orphans and goes on a mission from God.

The best thing about Boba Fett was that he looked awesome, and that might be enough to hang a movie on.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:52 AM on June 21 [29 favorites]


Also it is a musical.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:58 AM on June 21 [33 favorites]


Yeah, the animated properties have been much better. I'd love more prequel-era things like the multi-episode arcs in Clone Wars - explore the really weird aliens, do an original bounty hunter, and More Clones Please. Doing the whole thing with some clones learning about Order 66 ahead of time - which Clone Wars was in the middle of exploring when it was cancelled - would be amazing.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 8:00 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Time for some new mythology, but rest assured, Disney will end up milking this tired old goat until nothing is left, audience fatigue be damned.
posted by dbiedny at 8:01 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I do wonder if maybe the Marvel pattern just won't work with Star Wars.

Clearly a two or more per year release schedule has worked well for the Marvel franchise, though there's signs that there's some superhero fatigue going on. But perhaps Star Wars works best as an irregularly released thing?

I think, more than anything else though, we're simply getting tired of the same story and the same characters.

I'd be down with more movies set in the Star Wars universe, let's just move beyond the characters from the extant movies. I don't want to see a movie about Kal'Falnl C'ndros, or even Wedge or other less totally obscure background characters. Let's move beyond the Holy Trilogy and try new stuff.

I liked, for example, that the Knights of the Old Republic franchise said "nope, fuck it, we're going back a few thousand years, no one you know is alive yet not even Yoda." It freed them up and let them try new things.

If nothing else, moving away from the decades surrounding the Battle of Yaven will get us moving in a new direction and trying new things.

I totally get that the fans wanted to see what happened after the second Death Star was blown up. I totally get that the fans really wanted to see more of Han, Luke, Liea, and the others even if they were old. Yay!

But sometimes what the fans want isn't what makes for good movies.

For all that I wasn't super enthused about Last Jedi, I liked that it tried something different (the so crazy it just might work plan not only failed miserably but was totally unnecessary!).

They're stuck finishing the third trilogy. But I think they'd do well to take a couple of years off after that and then try something new. Either a different time period, a different kind of plot, or something.

I still think a sort of Firefly-esque show about a group of traders just trying to make it in the Star Wars galaxy would be fantastic. Maybe not as a movie, but as a live action show or an animated show it'd rock.

But they need to try a new formula and new characters.
posted by sotonohito at 8:09 AM on June 21


In our divided household, my son, who is a major Star Wars fan, has always loved the animated series more than the recent theater offerings.

I've pretty much only liked animated Star Wars for years. I haven't seen a Star Wars film in the theatre since Return of the Jedi. I was so disappointed in that film I had no motivation to watch any of the prequels. I only saw the first prequel on Christmas day when my sister brought a VHS of it. I was expecting bad and got worse than that. It was terrible.

It took me 4 viewings to get through the Force Awakens it was so boring and was so similar to Episode 4 I couldn't believe it. I was asked to give it another try with the Last Jedi and I did. That was a mistake. It was one of the most terrible films I've seen in awhile. Less interesting than a dirty toe nail.

That said I've always loved the sound of Star Wars films and do like the framework of the Star Wars universe. I just feel the animated versions are far more entertaining. I feel the same way about the Marvel and DC films. I will most likely never see a live action Marvel/DC/Star Wars film or television show again unless they're animated.
posted by juiceCake at 8:12 AM on June 21


And yes, I had to look up Kal'Falnl C'ndros. But I just knew she'd have a name and a backstory. Very close to literally every single background character, even the ones on screen for just a flicker of an instant, acquired one over the decades as fans worked and reworked the original trilogy.

For those of you wondering, Kal'Falnl C'ndros is seen for maybe half a second in A New Hope. She's the pair of vaguely birdlike legs that we see only the knees of as she walks across the screen while Luke sells his landspeeder. From **THAT** the Legends crew managed to develop a character and a backstory. She doesn't need a movie.
posted by sotonohito at 8:12 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


(or poor-mans Woody Harrelson in the Guardians of the Galaxy)

Hey now, Michael Rooker is no poor-man's anything. He's a character actor's character actor, and great at what he does. Which is to say I would gladly watch a Dirty Dozen style bounty hunters movie costarring Rooker as Dengar any day of the week.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:12 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Needs more Daleks.
posted by delfin at 8:14 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Hopefully this clears the way for a nice, lengthy trilogy delving into the personal and public life of that most intriguing Star Wars character, Salacious Crumb.
posted by koeselitz at 8:19 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Great news! Shame that Solo had to be the character to be assassinated for these dominoes to fall. If they're set on pumping out infinity Star Wars, I'd rather them do it with the least amount of ruining established characters and events. Between Solo and Rogue One, they've already spoiled enough classic stuff.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:22 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I still think a sort of Firefly-esque show about a group of traders just trying to make it in the Star Wars galaxy would be fantastic. Maybe not as a movie, but as a live action show or an animated show it'd rock.

Star Wars Rebels is more or less literally this, and I mean that as an endorsement. The similarities between the crew of the Ghost and Serenity (as well as the ships themselves) are impossible to miss. I have a sneaking suspicion is that at least a few episodes of the show may have been spawned from leftover Firefly story specs, retrofitted to the Rebels setting and characters.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:23 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Marvel isn’t doing Tony: An Avengers Story about Iron-Man in high school. They are constantly pushing ahead to the next step in the story

I know it's not part of the MCU, but they did X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was terrible. Then they tried another Wolverine spin-off and against all odds it was amazing.

A Boba Fett film in the style of Dredd would be amazing - no back story, not even a shot of his real face, just him and a sidekick killing their way through a crime-lord's HQ to collect a bounty.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:35 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Honestly, Ewan MacGregor deserves to be Obi-Wan in a good Star War, so I really hope that one happens.

Boba Fett? Meh.

And for what it's worth, I liked Solo. I didn't think it was the greatest, but it was good enough. Entertaining. Alden Ehrenreich made a good Han Solo, and Donald Glover was an amazing, though way underused, Lando.
posted by SansPoint at 8:35 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


I hope they re-calibrate and put more focus on new stories - more myth making, less myth backfilling.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:41 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


they did X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was terrible. Then they tried another Wolverine spin-off and against all odds it was amazing.

Both of those were Fox, not Marvel.
posted by haileris23 at 8:50 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Quality over Quantity - the shared-universe-formula that worked for the Marvel films wasn't the right course to take for Star Wars.

I feel this is wrong. My favorite character in Star Wars is The Universe itself.

But you know, there was a time, there in 81 or so, when Star Wars was Not Cool - and again after ROTJ.

I think a movie a year would be a good pace. But, a GoT type show wouldn't go amiss either, if it was done well.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:51 AM on June 21


Danny Glover as Lando

I suspect he's too old for this shit.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:52 AM on June 21 [23 favorites]


I didn't realise that an Obi Wan movie was on the table and now I wish they did that instead of Solo. (Only partially motivated by my love for Ewan McGregor and I see I'm not alone here)

But other than that, I think this is very good news and I welcome it. I really liked Rogue 1. Solo was just ok. But I need a break so I have some time to build up emotional and mental hype for the "main" movies.

Because it's not just Star Wars, all the franchises are guilty of this (ie Marvel) and all the movies that get automatic multi-sequels. As a fan of going to the movies, it sometimes feels like a box ticking exercise for me to try and watch every permutation of something for fear of missing out on some storyline or character development.

On my To Watch list:
- Deadpool2 (sequel)
- Ocean's 8 (sequel/spinoff)
- Jurassic World (sequel)
- Incredibles 2 (sequel)

And I need to also squeeze in non-sequels that I also really want to watch like RGB and the Mister Rogers' documentary and I still haven't seen A Quiet Place.

It's too much! So two less movies that sound like classic box tickers? Yes please.
posted by like_neon at 8:58 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Danny Glover as Lando

I suspect he's too old for this shit.


Then again Billy Dee Williams is still alive and more than happy to play old-fogey Lando at the age of 81.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:00 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


No, but they sure have done a whole bunch of origin stories. Like Solo is.

I think there's a bit of a difference in how they've been done. Sure Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther are "origin stories" to different degrees, but after act one we're introduced to antagonists and thematic conflicts that hadn't been seen outside of the comics. The sales of the comics are likely a single-digit percentage of a feature-film release.

Solo didn't develop much that hadn't been previously shown or explained, much of which didn't need elaboration. We already knew that Han shot first, C-3PO's abilities as a translator are lacking , Han's tactical improvisation frequently backfires, and Lando is well dressed. I think I have to rank Lando's Capes along with Tony Stark's Pants as an example of Disney inexplicably choosing to invest modestly large sums of money and labor to develop scenes that lampshade costuming over secondary characters. (Tony Stark's Pants was more offensive to me because time constraints were used to justify literal bi erasure.)

(C-3PO appears to be even more annoying to droids than he is to organics. Although I suppose one could now slash L3/R2 as one outcome of that plot device.)
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:03 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen Solo yet, and pribably won't based on Jenny Nicholson's review video: Solo Bad

Nicholson previously about Star Wars Destiny

Previously about Ready Player One
posted by AlSweigart at 9:10 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


One of the major differences between what we're seeing with Star Wars and what we saw with Marvel is that Marvel (for the most part) introduces the characters in the stand alone films and then throws them all into the crossover movies - the stand alone films tell us about the character and why we should be emotionally invested, so when the crossover films come around, they have to do less emotional heavy lifting per character. With Star Wars, they're assuming that the ensemble films are getting us invested in the characters, so then we'd see something else that only features them.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:12 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


The major exception is Captain America: Civil War introducing Black Panther and Spider-man, and the general consensus is that, while those character introductions were fine and their stand alone movies certainly didn't suffer because of it, Civil War would have been a lot better if it wasn't tasked at doing quite so much.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:16 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


The Marvel Universe is orders of magnitude more fleshed out then the Star Wars Universe, with way more material to choose from and adapt, and an audience less apt to insist on absolute fidelity.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:25 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Would like to see a Star Wars take on horror movies, with perhaps post-apocalyptic Ewoks as anti-heroes.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:26 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


My feeling is that many of the secondary character arcs end up as anti-climaxes because they're used to fulfill some self-referential explanation of events and lines from earlier work. And one is completely inexplicable if you've not been in contact with extended universe works.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:27 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Look, if you compare Solo with the massive box office of Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi, one thing becomes clear: audiences are just not ready for a Star Wars movie with a white male lead.

I know, I know, there's people want a Star Wars movie with a white male lead for, I dunno, diversity or something, but really, you shouldn't have a white male lead just to have one; you have a good compelling story reason for it. Star Wars isn't a place for a white guy just to fill a quota.

So right now I think they should just go with something solid and traditional, like say, a film trilogy where Ashoka Tani and Sabine Wren team up to fight crime. And if they want a white guy in it, well we can have one as a member of the team, or somebody's boyfriend or something.
posted by happyroach at 9:30 AM on June 21 [69 favorites]


Speaking of white male leads, I thought Woody Harrelson’s character didn’t need to be yet another white male human at all. Nothing against Harrelson, but that role should have been cast with someone/something more interesting than another white dude since it is a galaxy far, far away after all.

(“It’s a far far galaxy after all” sung to the tune of “It’s a Small World After All”)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on June 21


GenderNullPointerException: "I think another thing that Rogue One had going for it were better emotional stakes and better development of secondary characters.
"

That's interesting - those are precisely the areas that I think Rogue One failed at.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:46 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


sotonohito: Clearly a two or more per year release schedule has worked well for the Marvel franchise, though there's signs that there's some superhero fatigue going on. But perhaps Star Wars works best as an irregularly released thing?

Nelson: For me it's simple; bad writing and production. Particularly the troubled history of the film all the way to bringing in Ron Howard to rescue it. It's got nothing to do with which month they released the movie or Star Wars fatigue. They just fucked up making the movie.

Seconded. And ...

happyroach: Look, if you compare Solo with the massive box office of Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi, one thing becomes clear: audiences are just not ready for a Star Wars movie with a white male lead.

While I'm taking this as as a cheeky gender/race flip of the usual angry white male outcry about Rogue One, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, I also agree that it's a solid comment on what made those three movies more interesting for me, a white dude. I'm done with Exciting Boy Adventures where boy finds love, boy loses love, boy goes on adventures, boy reclaims love (or finds new love, or is simply propelled into new adventures because boy's love was fridged). Solo was another Exciting Boy Adventure, and it wasn't novel enough, and it had significant enough issues for me that the issue isn't Star Wars fatigue, but bad/ boring movie fatigue.

Also, movies are now competing against the Golden Age of Television, so movies aren't the sole source of engaging, lengthy stories. You can get the rough equivalent of about 5 movies from most new US television series (from 10 "hour" long episodes, or more half-hour long episodes per season). There is less space for lackluster movies, and telling stories of people other than white men is a good start to breaking those old, tired molds.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Everything not related to Episode IX and the new Rian Johnson movies should go to the TV series.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:53 AM on June 21


This is not an original point, but the movie would have been so, so much better if Woody Harrison's 'I trust nobody but myself' had ended up sacrificing himself for Thandie Newton, and an increasingly bitter Thandie Newton is the one who ends up being the questionable mentor figure for Han Solo.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:56 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


I'd appreciate learning more about the various species' cultures in the SW universe.

Friendly reminder that there are no less than two Ewok centric movies.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:00 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


This is not an original point, but the movie would have been so, so much better if Woody Harrison's 'I trust nobody but myself' had ended up sacrificing himself for Thandie Newton, and an increasingly bitter Thandie Newton is the one who ends up being the questionable mentor figure for Han Solo.

Can you get a spec script back us by Monday, 9am?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Hopefully this clears the way for a nice, lengthy trilogy delving into the personal and public life of that most intriguing Star Wars character, Salacious Crumb.

One word: Sleazebaggano
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:05 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


A Newton-centered Solo would have been *great*. Fridging all the female characters was not only offensive, it made the movie boring -- because the women were, consistently, way more intriguing than Han and the boys. We know about Lando and Han. Qira, Val, L3, Enfys, and so on are on the other hand, new and interesting and complex. And yet they mostly wind up dead or as ancillary plot points. They missed the movie they could have made.
posted by SandCounty at 10:05 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I am really really really alone in not liking L3, aren't I?
posted by hanov3r at 10:16 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


I liked SOLO, but I knew it was in trouble the moment the introductory captions flashed on the screen instead of scrolling. STAR WARS isn't supposed to be STAR WARS, it's supposed to be 1940s FLASH GORDON and BUCK ROGERS. A new chapter in an ongoing series you've been watching since you were 12. And really, A NEW HOPE is the only one that truly achieved that. For instance, Obi-Wan's introduction: you're clearly meant to recognize him from the previous films, which didn't exist at the time. That film managed to convey, all by itself, the feeling that "there is already more of this that you haven't seen."

The more these films strain to follow a formula of "what a STAR WARS movie is" and stray from cranked-out but spectacular time-filling trash to keep the kids in the seats, the more they'll become cranked-out but spectacular time-filling trash that keeps adults away from the theaters.
posted by Devoidoid at 10:19 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


xedrik: "Danny Glover as Lando
I'm sure you meant Donald Glover, but oh man I would pay money to see Danny Glover as Lando. Retired, sure; past his prime, maybe; but still a scoundrel.
"

Past his prime? Maybe. I heard he was getting too old for this shit.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:28 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Danny Glover as Lando

It's only a matter of time before we see Star Wars: Episode XIII - I'm Getting Too Old for This Sith
posted by New Frontier at 10:33 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


They made $340M in a month, not including future licensing, on a film with a $250M production budget. (Roughly a 17% effective annual return, which is likely to continue for a few years.) And they're unhappy.

Imagine all the great films we'd get to watch if the goal was to do a little better than break even while employing lots of talented artists instead of growing faster than any other mature industry in the history of the world.
posted by eotvos at 10:37 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


To make Marvel money they would have to up the comedy factor quite a bit. The only reason I see any Marvel films is if I hear they are funny. Deadpool and the latest Thor are mostly comedies with some action thrown in. Same goes for the GotG. I didn't see the latest Avengers because I have not seen anybody say "It was hilarious!".

Han Solo was the only funny thing in the Star Wars films and well they've blown their wad there now. Having said that I don't want a funny Star Wars. I want space fantasy and universe building stories. But those are never going to earn Marvel money in this day and age.
posted by Justin Case at 10:48 AM on June 21


Imagine all the great films we'd get to watch if the goal was to do a little better than break even while employing lots of talented artists instead of growing faster than any other mature industry in the history of the world.

TBH, I'd much rather movies make it or break it at the same rate, but they actually treat the some of the employees in the shittier jobs better - it's to the point where I'm getting uncomfortable with the amount of CGI in films just because of the poor animators.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:54 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


My problem (well, one of my problems) with Solo was that Han started out as the same character he was at the end of New Hope. He was already the good guy! He's supposed to be a roguish anti-hero! So his arc in the movie was weak, and his arc in New Hope now doesn't make sense.

He should have been like Ash in Ash vs. Evil Dead. Charming, fun, but utterly self-interested and unreliable. Instead he was downright... wholesome.
posted by zjacreman at 10:56 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Han Solo was the only funny thing in the Star Wars films

Holding for General Hux was, while not a great joke, probably the best joke ever in any Star Wars movie.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 10:56 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Wow, I thought "holding for Hux" was a clang of a joke that didn't fit at all.

It's possible I don't think of these movies the same way as other people.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


I am really really really alone in not liking L3, aren't I?

I liked the idea of L3 more than the execution. Padding every discussion about gender, sexuality, and forced labor with copious eyerolls from the rest of the cast--including characters who didn't even have eyes--flagged to me that Solo was nowhere near the social justice flick that people have been protesting.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:02 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Related:
Seth Rogen has put on his producer hat and is currently asking practical questions of a twitter account called Remake the Last Jedi (bio: "Our team of producers is offering to cover the budget for a remake of The Last Jedi in order to save Star Wars. Share this and spread the word to let @RobertIger & @Disney know you want this!")

It is very amusing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:13 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I loved L3 right until the moment they turned her slave rebellion into a joke and exterminated her awakening consciousness to turn her into a GPS database for a spaceship. It's pretty hideous. We've talked about this theme a lot on Fanfare; this article summarizes it pretty well.
posted by Nelson at 11:14 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


My favorite film universe lately has been Cloverfield. I didn't like Cloverfield, nor it's actual sequels, but I LOVED 10 Cloverfield Lane and very much enjoyed A Quiet Place. Neither of those were supposed to be in the cloverfield universe but 10CL got it shoehorned in at the end and even if TQP wasn't in that universe it's easy to imagine it was.

I like this because you can tell stories with wildly different tones that have the trappings of your universe to connect them. The movies are good stories in their own right. THAT is what I would recommend with SW: figure out the story first, then see what trappings you need from the SW universe to make it fit as a SW story.
posted by nushustu at 11:15 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


(Or maybe I should just quit grousing about how L3 deserved better and read the award-winning Murderbot Diaries instead.)
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:20 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


RE: the Seth Rogen thread—
Ryan Johnson now getting in on the fun.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:38 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Princess Leia (based on the recent awesome graphic novels) or GTFO.

Tired of sad space dudes. I need angry space women kicking ass and taking no shit. Maybe Padme Force-Ghosts in occasionally. Meeting Ahsoka. Older Leia mentoring young women into powerful leaders. Generally proving the truism that the Skywalker/Star Wars men are fucked up, the women were the worthwhile ones, let's give them more stories.
posted by emjaybee at 11:59 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Wow, I thought "holding for Hux" was a clang of a joke that didn't fit at all.

This and "It was the best joke in any Star Wars movie ever" can both be true at the same time.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:13 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


This and "It was the best joke in any Star Wars movie ever" can both be true at the same time.

Mainly because it was exactly the sort of joke that a cocky (albeit strangely charismatic) jerkass like Poe Dameron would deliver. It's the difference between a joke being one placed there strictly for the audience's benefit, or as a way of revealing character.

This is Poe's sense of humor: He's still punch drunk on adrenaline and endorphins from blowing up Starkiller Base a few hours earlier, is feeling kind of invincible and really wants to rub Hux's nose in it, so he falls back on a routine he heard on an old Jakku Boyz record he had in junior high.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:25 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


The Marvel Universe is orders of magnitude more fleshed out then the Star Wars Universe, with way more material to choose from and adapt, and an audience less apt to insist on absolute fidelity.

This is probably in significant part thanks to the differences between comics-based canons and a franchise founded on movies that birthed an extended universe. Comics continuity is, ultimately, pretty much non-existent. These are comics that have been going for decades, that have been rebooted and restarted and retconned, that have their own alternate universes and have characters killed off and brought back to life and then killed off again. The details of a comics canon are constantly shifting and changing, they're never static, and they're updated to match the times (i.e. Tony Stark becoming Iron Man during the "War on Terror" instead of during the Vietnam War).

So sure, there's obnoxious entitled and/or racist fanboy rage when Marvel does something like make Heimdall and Valkyrie black. But the remixing and reimaginings of comic storylines and characters that we get in the MCU don't get so much in the way of howls of outrage and fan rejection, because there's no one, pure, static canon that such remixes diverge from. The MCU sticks the sprawling expanse of comics canon in a blender, mixes and matches, pulls out one aspect or another, or tosses another out, and then lets the directors and actors take it from there.

You can get people annoyed that the MCU has taken a certain approach to translating a comic storyline, but nothing like the kind of sustained fan outrage that you see in the responses to TLJ. Even when something does generate a fair amount of fan and critical discussion (something like the Mandarin in Iron Man 3), it's still just discussion, not "this isn't Iron Man and it's an affront to fans!!!"

For better or worse, Star Wars is a much more closed universe and franchise, and it can't operate the way the MCU does, especially not when Star Wars ditched the EU. I don't think the way forward for the Star Wars should be Solo-style filling in of backstory like this. It's of limited interest to general audiences, and the committed fans just find something to rage and whine about. Tell new stories in less explored corners of the canon.
posted by yasaman at 12:29 PM on June 21


I think that “holding for General Hux” gag would have worked better if it wasn’t right at the start of the damned movie. You gotta build more tension before you can just let off comic relief steam like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:29 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I didn't like it for the same reason I didn't like the part where Finn and Rose's vehicle got towed due to a parking violation — it took me out of the universe. I'm not into Star Wars for Tarantino-esque riffing on the mundanities of everyday modern life.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:37 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Related:
Seth Rogen has put on his producer hat and is currently asking practical questions of a twitter account called Remake the Last Jedi (bio: "Our team of producers is offering to cover the budget for a remake of The Last Jedi in order to save Star Wars. Share this and spread the word to let @RobertIger & @Disney know you want this!")

It is very amusing.


That is hilarious. I love the two guys who made fun of the RtLJ guys who admitted that, well, they aren't covering the budget so much as going to go trawling for crowdfunding by offering $100 each in return for playing Han Solo; since they both wanted the same part, they're going to be Han Duo.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:23 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Much like the Marvel franchise, the Star Wars franchise looks like it has hit the point of diminishing returns: simplistic plots, loud explosions, flashy graphics, and an enforced mandate that no matter what the studio's investors receive a massive return on their investment has resulted in a peculiar sameness and blandness that just isn't appealing after the first few iterations. You can't be too controversial, iconoclastic, complex, or different if your investors are promised a 15% return on their money, especially if said investors insist on auditing the script, the actors, the editing, and the marketing to make it in tune with their own sensibilities.

It's happened before: the history of film is filled with franchises that built up to a point of nigh universal appeal then overspent and overproduced and faded to obscurity. Who besides a film aficionado watches Bowery Boys films, Hopalong Cassidy westerns, or East Side Kids flicks? These franchises and many lke them all had dozens of entries, over decades of production, and now are now little more than lists of franchises on Wikipedia.

I'm a serious SF fan, but the last Star Wars film I truly enjoyed was ESB, that I was 12 at the time may be telling. Unless dragged along by friends, I haven't gone to a theater to see one since RotJ, though I have watched the prequels and the first two movies of the new generation mostly out of curiosity. I haven't seen the latest couple, and it seems likely I'll just catch them when they hit basic cable. Or maybe I'm just getting old, and out of touch with what today's moviegoer wants.
posted by Blackanvil at 2:58 PM on June 21


I know its not an original thought but I would like to chime in and agree with all you brilliant folks that the problem isn't really too many Star Wars movies, it's too many unnecessary Star Wars movies telling stories we don't really want.

I would be on board for 2 Star Wars movies a year; it more than works for Marvel. But they have to both be relevant and interesting and stop with the fucking prequels and backstories. Show me stuff set in the "present" so far as that has any meaning for something which claims to be set in the past. Stop focusing every movie on characters we already know so well like Han Solo or enemies we've fought a million times before.

Or, hell, just convert the KOTOR games into movies. Darth Treia would be the greatest star wars antagonist of all time.
posted by Justinian at 3:18 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Mostly I just want to see more Ewan McGregor.

Velvet Goldmine has a scene you may enjoy...
posted by candyland at 4:05 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Always saber swinging, that one.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:27 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Boba Fett is just a Marvin The Martian ripoff, but I would have liked to see the Obi Wan film.
posted by thelonius at 6:28 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Mostly I just want to see more Ewan McGregor.

Velvet Goldmine has a scene you may enjoy...


Fargo S3 will double your pleasure!
posted by Sparx at 7:27 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


The promising thing about an Obi-Wan movie is that they can wait ten years to make it, and unless something unexpected happens with McGregor's health he'll still be younger than Guinness was in A New Hope.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:39 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Star Wars under George Lucas had a bit of a fanfic problem in that the fandom had developed enough that it could come up with better stuff than the guy who created it. This is why so many of the ancillary Star Wars nerd stuff turned out so much better than what Lucas created. I love the animated Clone Wars series so much that it retconned affection for the terrible prequels into my head. (The prequels consist of incredible fashion and ridiculously overwrought relationships so they're actually pretty solid as a guilty pleasure. The weird thing about the series is that it makes you realize that the prequels could've been really good. It isn't perfect, but the bones are at least as good as the MCU!)

I was looking forward to an Obi-Wan movie (the tumblr joke on this is basically "Obi-Wan crying alone in the desert," but the more sophisticated fan version is obviously "Obi-Wan's decades-long, on-and-off threesome with Bail and Breha Organa"). But also....I don't mind skipping it? I haven't seen Solo, and definitely take the "we've already seen the young Han Solo story, it was filmed before I was born" approach. I don't think most of the more recent Star Wars entries hold up to re-watches. For me, The Last Jedi does. Not coincidentally, it's the one that jettisons a lot of franchise baggage. So...onwards! (Please. Please. I don't want to see Young Yoda.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:09 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


I think it was a bit of a mistake to try to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe with just the original series characters.

First, there just aren't enough characters and plots to mine.

Second, the original series characters were written to work as an ensemble. You had contrast and conflict between youthful idealistic Luke Skywalker and jaded, cynical Han Solo. Darth Vader and Boba Fett are basically henchmen to the manipulative Grand Moff Tarkin and Emperor Palpatine. When you take these characters out into their own movies they're not as interesting.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:53 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Solo was so-so, but I did really like that there was nothing in it that made me say, "Jesus Christ, these characters I grew up loving would never, ever do this shit." That's become a sad rarity post-Abrams. (I also liked Rogue One OK. I'm fine with new Star Wars stuff so long as it doesn't feature the heroes of the original trilogy as bitter old failures who just get killed off to make way for the youngsters.) Solo had like 14 endings but there was not a single moment I actually hated. A good solid B+.

I would have thought that if anything was a sure-fire blockbuster, it was a not-bad Star Wars movie about the youthful exploits of Han Solo. Wasn't this exactly what everybody was pining for back in the days of the prequels? Han Solo running around, having adventures and not just sitting around in tedious meetings about trade regulations or whatever? I gotta figure people are just getting too much Star Wars too soon. These movies don't really feel like events anymore, and if you miss one you know another one will be along before you know it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:25 AM on June 22


I think that “holding for General Hux” gag would have worked better if it wasn’t right at the start of the damned movie. You gotta build more tension before you can just let off comic relief steam like that.

I cracked up at the scene at the beginning of The Force Awakens when Poe snarked to Kylo "Who talks first? Do I talk first or do you talk first?" so I think it does work even at the start of a movie. To be fair there was a lot of tension built up then with it being the first movie and the massacre happening in the background.

But also, I don't find Hux very scary, he's such a caricature to me now. So I think the tension between Poe/Kylo felt bigger than Poe/Hux so that may have something to do with why I merely smiled and rolled my eyes at the holding joke but genuinely cracked up at the who talks first joke. I still gleefully chuckle at that one on re-watch.
posted by like_neon at 3:01 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


like_neon: I don't think we're supposed to find Hux scary. We're supposed to see him for the sad, pathetic manchild he is. To me, he's a stand-in for a lot of young neo-fascists, all angry bluster and hate, able to give orders, but too chickenshit to actually stand up for himself.

Some of my favorite scenes in TLJ were Hux getting smacked around. If Episode IX is just 100 minutes of Hux getting force-choked and force-slammed, I'd happily see it.
posted by SansPoint at 8:03 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


100% this. In TFA, Hux is presented as a fairly straight-faced depiction of an eager fascist wunderkind, doing big shouty speeches in front of big, pointless military parades and reveling in being the face of a neo-Imperial movement. Whereas in TLJ, we get a peek behind the mask and see that he's really an embarrassing dilettante subject to the scorn of the seasoned Imperial military vets working under him, as well as the evil death cultists working above him. It's so of a piece with the way current neo-fascists like Richard Spencer and Stephen Miller and Jordan Peterson conduct themselves that it's hard to believe that these movies were written prior to 2015.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:05 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


I think that “holding for General Hux” gag would have worked better if it wasn’t right at the start of the damned movie. You gotta build more tension before you can just let off comic relief steam like that.

I felt like they'd had years and years of STAR WARS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS LOOK HOW HARD HAYDEN IS BROODING and AFTER THE PREQUELS WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE IT FEELS JUST LIKE STAR WARS AGAIN tension and that particular joke at the beginning of Last Jedi was a really delightful breath of "Hey, maybe this movie will be something new and different." And it was. And it was good.
posted by straight at 9:38 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


The Ringer with some analysis: The suits may be easily startled, but Star Wars will soon be back, and in greater numbers.
posted by nubs at 9:59 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]




A Star Wars Story and a franchise in paralysis

Hrm, that article kinda annoyed me. It felt like they were putting Rogue 1 and Solo in the same grouping: "Spin off stories that are making the franchise rethink their approach to spin off movies" when the two are a vastly different in terms of storytelling and box office performance.

Rogue 1 was intended to be lower budget but ended up costing $216 million but ended up making $1 billion.

It's not clear when the Solo budget went up, the timelines suggest they had overlapping production times. But it doesn't sound like there was a direct causation between the the success of Rogue 1 and then betting $275 million on Solo, which looks like it won't even break $400 million in revenue.

So I don't see how both these movies are what makes the studios rethink big budgets.

... It's easy to imagine Lucasfilm doing something similar with Star Wars, even as a one-off experiment. A $50-$100 million Star Wars movie with so-so reviews and a modest audience turn-out would certainly be easier to shrug off than one that cost nearer $300 million

What? No, please I hope they don't do that. That sounds like death by a thousand paper cuts.

It seems to me that the clearer takeaway is that it's not about how much or (how little) you spend on production, but more about coming up with a good story and compelling characters. The basics.

Solo was fun and ok, but it felt superficial and a bit lazy, like taking the Star Wars fan for granted. This is never going to succeed, big budget or small. I hope this is what the studio learned from Solo and made them shelve Obi Wan and Boba Fett for now. Especially Boba Fett, which I can see very very easily falling into a similar trap.

The article kind of stumbles towards this at the end of the article:

Lucasfilm surely needs to rediscover the unpredictability and sense of wonder that made the original Star Wars a hit in 1977.

Agree. But:

Star Wars has its roots in pulp fiction, low-budget B-movies and cheap serials. The bigger and more corporate it gets, the more it loses the honesty and conviction that defined A New Hope's storytelling.

What? Maybe? But how do they explain TFA and Rogue 1 which were 1) awesome 2) huge production budgets and 3) inarguably financial winners. (I also loved TLJ but I don't want to get sidetracked by the controversies *eyeroll* around that one.)

I don't care about budgets, just give me a good story!
posted by like_neon at 2:20 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


That Ringer article does the same thing, bizarrely lumping together Rogue 1 and Solo in the depths of an article that was mainly about Solo:

The first (and, for now, last) two Star Wars spinoffs weren’t stand-alone stories at all: Rogue One connected almost seamlessly to Episode IV, and Solo revolved around original-trilogy characters. Worse, whatever uniqueness might have arisen from the individual voices chosen to helm those movies was smoothed over and ironed out by director replacements and reshoots.

And yet, Rogue 1 kicked ass in the box office and Solo didn't, with similar budgets. Hmm I wonder why...

By comparison, the franchise spinoff that unseated Solo from the top spot at the box office, Ocean’s 8, got worse reviews and will likely make less money, but is generally regarded as a greater success.

And again... so tantalisingly close...

I'll just say this: As a POC woman, I wouldn't mind if Star Wars spent a lot of money or a little money if they tried to woo and charm me. I have a feeling it will pay off.
posted by like_neon at 2:39 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


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