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Star Wars Story Films Reportedly On Hold

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Or another good solution, Disney will get George to write the dialogue. See if any of Hayden Christensen's or Jake Lloyd's relatives are actors, and look for people who don't know the word "no". Then we could get Star Wars back to the glory of the prequel trilogy days

I think there's the distinct possibility that Disney wants to get a sense of what's going on at Lucasfilm.  Granted, the movies that have been released during the Disney era have grossed some $4.78 billion.  Those grosses are close to paying back what Disney paid George Lucas for the franchise.  But I think that Disney is very conscious of maintaining the integrity of the Star Wars brand.  One movie not doing as well as the previous three at the box office is one thing.  But when Disney starts looking at the bigger picture?  They might start to question things.  For Disney to let Lucasfilm move forward and have a second movie that underperform?  That could be far more damaging to the Star Wars franchise, and I think they simply don't want to let that happen.

Granted, there are some significant factors to consider.  The whole release calendar has been a major point of concern for me.  Everyone here knew the previous Lucas era model for movie releases:  one movie every three years, and a broad-based marketing campaign that would begin a few months before the movie release.  It was the original big summer movie, with May releases.  And a whole trilogy would take some 9 years to produce.  The toy lines had time to develop, and they got increasingly interesting over time because of the depth and breadth of characters, etc.

There's also the BIG elephant in the room.  You don't have that ONE GUY who is writing everything and has the grand vision for EVERYTHING.  You don't have George.  Now, Lucasfilm tried to figure that out with the Star Wars Story Group.  But they seem more like custodians and trail guides rather than an entity that will provide a unified artistic vision for the entire Star Wars universe.  So you have individual directors and screenwriters coming up with the majority of things in a new film project rather than the previous unified vision.  Should Lucasfilm employ some sort of Chief Creative Officer to guide the franchise from a story perspective?  It's a question worth asking.

There's also the state of fandom to consider.  It's scary right now.  Social media has gotten much more ugly, especially following the polarized reactions to THE LAST JEDI.  And perhaps by making Star Wars SO available, SO OFTEN?  It may not seem quite as special to the fans.  But then you also have fans who essentially ran off George (including with a documentary), bashed a young kid like Jake Lloyd, led Hayden Christensen to quit acting, and trolled Kelly Marie Tran until she deleted her social media accounts.  And some people are actually PROUD of having done this.  To say that none of this helps the franchise is a massive understatement. 

I am not going to go on a tear over Kathleen Kennedy.  She's one of the most successful producers in the history of Hollywood.  And George personally selected her to lead the company following him stepping away.  She got people like JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson involved.  And I think they managed to breathe some life into the franchise while also respecting some of the legacy.  But there have also been some hiring missteps with writers and directors.  I think that Disney probably wants some time and room for the franchise to breathe and focus on Episode 9.  As for future projects?  I think they want to be REALLY sure about the people who are writing and directing new projects.  As much as seeking out new talent is in the independent spirit from which Star Wars was born, having a relatively new director manage a movie with a budget of around $200 million may not be the right fit.

I think it's ok to push pause.

I want my Obi-Wan movie, but will it work at the box office? I don't know. Solo might have made more sense as a TV series - it was really the best pilot I've seen in a long time. But this idea SW is broken, considering its commercial and qualitative success in the last three years, is curious. To put it mildly. There is something broken in SW, and it's the aspect of fandom we've discussed here and in other threads. There's simply a part of fandom that has become toxic and disconnected from reality. If they think they've achieved some victory here with this (unconfirmed) announcement, they're wrong. All they've done is cement the idea in Disney's mind that the movies with female leads make bank and the ones without don't.

SW is roughly where the MCU was with Hulk and IM2; not quite solid in its footing. And that's ok. This is a new frontier for the franchise. Not all of this will work, and Disney is learning along with us what works as a SW movie and what doesn't. I've said before the cinematic universe is not as big as they think. As expansive as SW is, there's a limit to people's interest in it and I think, sadly, Solo may be evidence of that.

We're very lucky to have SW back after a very long time in the desert of the PT (not all bad, but not all good) and to have good, sometimes great, movies. Solo didn't work at the box office. Ok. There are a lot of factors that go into that, covered well here, so I won't retread those. The biggest one is it simply wasn't a movie people wanted to see. They said so in 2012 when it was announced, and nothing in the trailers changed their minds. It's a very good movie, so that's unfortunate. It's fine for Lucasfilm to stop and assess the landscape. What makes sense? More of these one offs? Future trilogies? More connected? Less? People often cite the behind the scenes issues with directors, etc. It's symptomatic of trying to find the right direction for this franchise post-Lucas. They're still finding their footing. The cold hard reality is SW will never be the singular vision of one person again, or a primarily artistic enterprise. Say what you will about the PT, it's Lucas' vision.

I'll believe this once their is an official word from Disney or Lucasfilm.  I just read an article previous to this that there are/were currently nine Star Wars films in some sort of production phase.  The thinking was the Episode IX, the Obi-wan film, the Boba Fett film, the Rain Johnson trilogy (hopefully not the saga of Broom boy on Canto Bight), and a possible trilogy from the Game of Thrones people who were rumored to be doing something.  Now just a few days later we see they are putting the breaks on everything.

Solo "failed" for two reasons primarily.  There was extreme bad press throughout the entire production which included the firing of the original directors for supposedly trying to make it a slap stick comedy.  Second is the insistence of the May release date.  When the Disney purchase came about, I admit I was annoyed when TFA was set to be released in December instead of May.  Now, with all the Marvel movies, I much rather have Star Wars in December.  It worked well for Disney for three movies, but they had to change it.  I don't buy the whole "we want Star Wars back in May" rationale either since there was never even a hint of a May release date for Episode IX.  They really should have moved Solo to December.  It was too close to TLJ and maybe they could have used the extra time on it for post production and advertising.

I'm not sure that Star Wars can support multiple movies a year like Marvel can.  You don't have the Avengers equivalent in Star Wars.  All the story films are focusing on existing characters from one of the trilogies.  There isn't a "get the team together to battle the big bad guy" type plot that can fit into Star Wars.

The one thing that I keep seeing is the thought to go somewhere else, namely the Old Republic.  That is a pretty open time period considering the new canon.  I wonder how a movie set in the Star Wars universe would work without any ties to the saga films.  I also keep hearing a desire for a Yoda film.  I'm not sure that would work.  I thought about a series of Sith films to show the lineage from Darth Bane to Darth Sidious, but I doubt that could work on the big screen.  If they were hidden for 1,000 years, not sure how you could play a Jedi vs. Sith plot without stomping on the thought that the Sith were extinct by TPM.  It might be able to work in the novels or comics.

It would be really interesting if true.

There's certainly no public mandate for "more Star Wars," I guess you could say people are interested in Episode IX, but even there I'd argue that its only from the point of a view that we need to "finish" the trilogy. It's not like there are storylines left dangling from "The Last Jedi."

In the month since "Solo" came out it has become obvious that it's stumbling block was not being marketed well at all, and it proved the general public's indifference to Star Wars beyond the hype machine. Let's face it, Disney marketed "Solo" like a lost cause, like a movie they were embarrassed to have. The ads and trailers screamed: "Here's a movie we were able to finish against all odds!" as opposed to "You need to go see this movie!" They hid the lead character's face and voice as much as they could in promotion, they avoided saying his name, which just so happened to be the movie's do you market a movie if you don't want to say it's name?

And the lesson? If you don't tell the public they need to see your movie, they don't go see your movie. I doubt very much that this is shocking news to a company like Disney. Sure, they would have been happy to have a Star Wars movie perform at "Star Wars movie" levels without spending "Star Wars movie" money on the promotion, and my suspicion is they may have written "Solo" off as a test to see how bulletproof the franchise was.

The infamous line about the spin-offs has been: "No one asked for these movies," and in that regard no one is worried about the lack of an announced future spin-off. Again there is no public mandate for a new movie every year. Maybe the public will say "Hey where's Star Wars?" this Christmas after three years in a row, but I doubt it.

I am fine with Lucasfilm waiting for the right pitch and the right creative team to come along, and making a movie based on the merit of the production rather than filling a previously announced release date. As a matter of fact, I think that is the best decision they could make.


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