This is frustrating.
I get it. We live in a world where big-budget films are only created if there is concrete data they will make profit.
To Disney executive the data clearly states “Put an Avenger in it or put “Star Wars” in the title and it will profit.”
I’ve ranted time and time again about the lack of creativity currently in the Marvel and “Star Wars” universes. So I’ll spare “ranting” and come down to their level.
When Disney acquired LucasFilm there were so many possibilities. We already had 3 masterpieces and 3 solid to mediocre films all telling the story of Anakin Skywalker.
After the acquisiton it was almost immediately announced that 7, 8 and 9 were happening. Great! Sure, why not?
Many fans, including myself were eager to see what had happened post-Return of the Jedi.
The Force Awakens put a big, childish grin on my face the whole time I watched it. Not necessarily because it was good, but because it was “Star Wars.”
Upon reflection the film lost value to me. The story felt too safe. Disney had notoriously kept things vicariously safe in the Marvel universe – No major deaths, no wild narrative structure shifts etc.
They were at it again.
“Rogue One” continued the trend of brighten my weekend. It was fun, light and left open-ended as it should have.
The Vader sequence was tremendous – one of the best scenes of the post-modern era of “Star Wars.”
What “Rogue One” lost in character development it gained in spectacle and gravitas in those moments.
Then “The Last Jedi”…
At the start of writing this I said I wouldn’t rant too much so I won’t even get into “The Last Jedi.”
Okay, maybe a little.
“The Force Awakens” was a good movie, but a bad “Star Wars” movie. “The Last Jedi” was a bad “Star Wars” movie and an even worse movie.
The plot holes, the unimportant story arcs, the jarring shifts in tone and pace. There were a few moments, sure, but overall it was just not good.
Now the critics that, for some reason, thought this film deserved to be in the top tier percentile on Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic will belittle the established fanbase.
“It’s a new era, quit whining, you’re just a bitter fanboy!”
These generalizations coming from “educated” journalists who also put “Iron Man 2” and “Thor” in the 70/80 percentile.
The idea of “The Last Jedi” taking on this “new era” theme was incredibly insulting to the established fanbase who took time to read the books, read the comics, play the games.
People who made “Star Wars” is big and as popular as it is to day deserve more respect than just hitting the reset button.
Now we have “Solo” get mixed reviews.
Disney, with their billions and billions of dollars, are too frightened to dive into this lore. Other stories, in this galaxy apart from this cast of characters are waiting to be told.
And some of them are pretty damn good!
The data just isn’t there to make a Darth Plagueis movie. Hell, doesn’t even seem to be enough there to inspire any confidence in messing with the prequel characters.
Instead lets spin the wheel of current characters who can have origin stories: Lando and Boba Fett.
At the start of this article I mentioned how this corporate mindset, putting profit first, has stifled creativity in the movie industry.
I don’t believe people fully understand the severity of it though. Just making established characters the center of an origin story is easy and takes two seconds of thought.
Do you know what else is easy?
Not reading up on any of the “Star Wars” lore and going with a new era theme. *cough* Rian Johnson *cough*
The laziness and greediness of Disney, LucasFilm and Kathleen Kennedy are at a high, but they’re still making bank so the criticism won’t matter in the end.
Money is the biggest enemy of art. Have you ever wondered what Disney’s end game is with these franchises?
They don’t have one. They plan on making these films till they no longer profit. This could be decades of studio money funding projects that completely lack ambition and risk.
Thank God we have other franchises in the meantime to shelter us from this ugly business.