Star Wars

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Thad
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:05 am

Brentai wrote:I'm waiting to see Solo on the small screen.


A secondary market which Disney seems to be actively sabotaging with its whole "we're gonna take everything off Netflix and try to get people to sign up for our new streaming service" plan.

If I need a spectacle, I can go catch the tail end of Infinity War's run or I can wait a month or so and there'll probably be some other loud and colorful superhero movie.


This is also part of the problem: Disney probably should not have released the two movies so close together. (And this after bumping Infinity War up a week.)

I think I'm not alone and I think this movie will do very well in ancillary revenue but I'm hoping the studio takes this as a sign that they need to pump the brakes a little bit. And they probably will, because studios don't understand a lot of subtleties but they definitely understand "the goose stopped laying golden eggs."


I think they're definitely going to take a lesson from this, I just don't know if it's going to be the right lesson.

Keep in mind that the lesson studio execs took from Batman and Robin was "superhero movies don't sell anymore."

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That was book 4.

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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:22 am

Thad wrote:
Brentai wrote:I'm waiting to see Solo on the small screen.


A secondary market which Disney seems to be actively sabotaging with its whole "we're gonna take everything off Netflix and try to get people to sign up for our new streaming service" plan.


As long as they don't try to do their own Redbox thing we're golden. I'm a weird dinosaur who still enjoys watching new movies on Blu-ray.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:03 pm

Adding:

Ultimately, my point is that Solo is still a one-off. You can't extrapolate a trend from one underperforming movie.

I think that long-term theories about the appeal of the Star Wars franchise are premature (and likely to be colored by our own biases, what we want to see).

I also think the big question is, what's the difference between Star Wars and Marvel? I'm not begging the question; it's a difficult question to answer. Frequent releases of formulaic movies haven't hurt Marvel at the box office. Is there something concrete that makes Star Wars different? Or is this just one single failure -- an Incredible Hulk or Thor: Dark World -- that doesn't presage disinterest in the rest of the franchise?

And, again, not begging the question here; we simply don't have enough information to answer. And I think Disney's best move is to recognize that: certainly, look at issues that may be contributing to a declining interest in Star Wars in case there's a need for a course correction, but acknowledge for now that you've only got one turkey on your hands and otherwise you're doing fine. (Financially.)

For now it seems like Disney continuing as planned is probably the best move it's got. Personally I think the answer to the "What's the difference between this and Marvel?" question is that, following Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has allowed for a little more variety in setting and tone, with more directorial vision and less house style. It seems like Disney is at least thinking about doing the same with Star Wars. Giving Rian Johnson his own movies where he's not picking up the middle act of someone else's story, and giving James Mangold a toy like Boba Fett to play with, both seem like promising developments. I'm interested in those. (And I was interested in Solo back when Lord and Miller were doing it, though I don't know that their version of the movie would have done any better at the box office than Howard's.)

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:03 pm

One of the RLM guys keeps making the argument that Star Wars just isn't deep enough to support a Marvel-like release cycle and I have to agree with that. You say "a Marvel movie" like it's one series, but you're plumbing the whole depth of a publisher's near-century of output there, and it can be nearly any genre in the world you want. You go from modern robot-man to crazy norse space-god to WW2-era soldier to comedy rock-epic to street-level coming of age story to WIZARD to etc. etc. et cetera. Star Wars is pretty much one thing, World War II in Space (ft. Wizard Knights), and there's a lot of stuff dangling off of that skeleton but it can still only support so much.

It's not like I'm making any grand dire prediction about the fate of the Star Wars series, I'm just expressing the not-unpopular opinion that they need to slow the fuck down. What people want out of the series is a lot of things but that definitely includes that feeling of anticipation building up to the release of Empire or Jedi or even Phantom or Awakens, and that feeling is almost competely gone now.

When the production is under total control, Star Wars... becomes routine.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Friday » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:56 pm

That was book 4.


The way I'm counting, it was book 10.

I take your point, I was using probably unfair hyperbole. But it's still my opinion of the series as it stands now and into the foreseeable future. Maybe like you're saying Disney will loosen the reins a bit a let someone make a movie that isn't safe. I share that hope certainly.

Ultimately, my point is that Solo is still a one-off. You can't extrapolate a trend from one underperforming movie.


I agree entirely. I don't even blame Solo specifically, like my initial post about it said, I feel like it was just "more of the same."
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:15 pm

Brentai wrote:One of the RLM guys keeps making the argument that Star Wars just isn't deep enough to support a Marvel-like release cycle and I have to agree with that. You say "a Marvel movie" like it's one series, but you're plumbing the whole depth of a publisher's near-century of output there, and it can be nearly any genre in the world you want. You go from modern robot-man to crazy norse space-god to WW2-era soldier to comedy rock-epic to street-level coming of age story to WIZARD to etc. etc. et cetera. Star Wars is pretty much one thing, World War II in Space (ft. Wizard Knights), and there's a lot of stuff dangling off of that skeleton but it can still only support so much.


My knowledge of Marvel is considerably greater than my knowledge of extended Star Wars lore, but it sure seems like the EU managed to support quite a lot of stories over the past 40 years. Many of them published by Marvel.

There's no reason why Star Wars has to be limited to one story, and condemned to repeat that story over and over again. There's no reason why it can't support the diversity of narratives in the MCU.

Especially since, y'know, you're kinda vastly overstating the diversity of narratives in the MCU. You can dress up "snarky, arrogant guy with daddy issues (possibly played by an actor named Chris) faces an ironic comeuppance, has to rethink his life, find a family, and then fight [a big CG monster/somebody who is dressed in a high-tech suit similar to the hero's]" in all kinds of different genre trappings, but there is a fuck of a lot of overlap in the characters, tone, and major plot beats of the Marvel movies.

And I say that, it should go without saying, as a fan.

Why can't the Star Wars universe tell different stories with different characters and different genre trappings? The only reason is because Disney's holding the reins too tightly.

And even considering that, they at least seem to be considering it -- the selection of Mangold implies they think they can do a movie like Logan; the selection of Benioff and Weiss implies they think they can do a series like Game of Thrones; the selection of Lord and Miller implied that they thought they could do a movie like 21 Jump Street, until they punked out.

Again, I'm not begging the question here; I'm a lifelong Marvel fan and I know how deep and rich Marvel's history is and how many incredibly talented people have contributed to that success. Indeed, here is a thing I wrote right after seeing Deadpool 2:

Thad wrote:So I wonder if Deadpool 2 means that my signed copy of the first appearance of Zeitgeist is worth a lot of money now.


That's a joke, but...it is a joke that relies on the true fact that I own that signed comic.

I don't know Star Wars like I know Marvel. I've seen the movies with numbers in them, a few episodes of both Clone Wars cartoons and all of Rebels, played KotOR, KotOR 2, and Shadows of the Empire, and read a handful of comics.

But I know there have been a whole lot of Star Wars ancillary media.

And I also know that, as much Marvel lore as there is, the movies have mostly used it as a jumping-off point, not adapted it straight across.

Sure, the first act of Iron Man is straight off the page. Most of the origin stories are. But Captain America looked a lot more like The Rocketeer than any Cap comics from the 1940s. How much did Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, or Infinity War look like the comics they were based on? Switching over to Fox, how much did Logan or Legion?

You know how many people read the original 1969 Guardians of the Galaxy and thought, "You know who should play Yondu if they make this into a movie? Michael Rooker."? Zero. The answer is zero. And that's not because Michael Rooker was 14 years old at the time; it is because the character of Yondu from the movies is not recognizable as the same character from the comics.

Marvel's got a hell of a lot of great characters, and it's used those characters to tell a hell of a lot of great stories. The movies (both from Marvel and Fox -- and New Line, too, if we want to go back to Blade) often simplify or completely change those stories -- and that's fine; that's led to quite a bit of critical and financial success, and, again, I'm a fan. But I don't think it's quite right to say that the Marvel films are successful because they have such a rich base to draw from. I don't need to tell you how big a fan I am of Kirby and Simonson and the rest, and I would never deny the importance of their contribution to the Marvel films. (Hell, I'm likelier to go off on a tangent about how unfair it is that Billy Graham didn't get a credit on Black Panther and Wally Wood didn't get one on Daredevil.) But it's also Joss Whedon and James Gunn and Taika Waititi and the Russo Brothers, and Downey and Evans and Hemsworth, and everybody else involved in the movies, who've made the Marvel Universe their own.

And if you throw similar talent at Star Wars, I really don't see any reason why you can't get similar quality or success.

Hell, I just watched a movie where the second-billed character was Cable, and I enjoyed the fuck out of it. Having great source material helps make a great movie, but it's clearly optional.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 am

Adding: Here are some stories I'd like to see set in the Star Wars universe:

Something about Jedi who survived the purge at the end of Episode 3.

This appears to be the premise of the just-announced Jedi Fallen Order game, and also of the Kanan: The Last Padawan comic. (Which I was interested in because Greg Weisman wrote it, but I never bought it because I didn't care for the art.) They're also purportedly considering an Obi-Wan movie, which could cover similar ground. I don't know if the jabber I've seen online is representative, but what I've seen suggests that people are interested in seeing an Obi-Wan movie provided that Ewan McGregor returns to the role.

(I also wouldn't mind seeing Kanan in live action; Freddie Prinze Jr. could pull off reprising the role in live action for an older Kanan, but not for Padawan Kanan.)

I also quite liked what Rebels did with Leia. I think there's a lot of potential for a Teen Leia story where she has to balance her role in the Rebellion with the outward appearance of a loyal Imperial subject. Animation would probably be ideal if they went that route, though if they went live action and cast Billie Lourd, I don't think too many people would complain that Billie Lourd is too old and already playing a different Star Wars character.

I'd like to see a story of the Jedi Council -- anywhere in the timeline, really, from pre-KotOR to pre-Phantom Menace -- where the Jedi Council are not depicted as a bunch of fuckups who do everything wrong and then die. Hell, Samuel L Jackson is ageless; they could bring back Mace for a pre-prequel. Or go way farther back and show Yoda earlier on; I don't want any kind of fucking Yoda origin story or any nonsense like that, but Yoda as a minor character who's a little less wise and a little more impetuous could be interesting. (Only if Yoda is still played by Frank Oz and a puppet.)

Also, given that Episode 8 established Luke's attempt at training young Jedi as a colossal fuckup, I'd like to see a story about somebody training young Jedi who doesn't fuck it up. One of the Jedi who are still around at the end of Rebels, say.

I'd also like to see a story about a Jedi who isn't interested in the whole Dark Side/Light Side/joiner thing and just does his own thing (I believe this is the premise of the KotOR comic, though I never read it), or somebody who's Force-sensitive but never has any formal training, maybe doesn't wield a lightsaber at all.

Also, what's Lando up to? I wouldn't mind seeing a movie with Billie Dee and Donald Glover in it. Show us what Lando's up to these days, then work in some caper that involves a mystery from his past; alternate between flashbacks with Glover and a present-day story with Williams.

Those are just a few hooks I think could make for good Star Wars movies. I think there's plenty of room for compelling spinoffs in that universe.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:06 am

Or there are a million ways "bog standard movie plot, but Star Wars" could work.

Take some guy -- regular dude; maybe he's a mechanic, or a commercial pilot, or something. Or it doesn't have to be a guy; could be a lady. Or nonbinary; why the fuck not? Star Wars could stand more representation.

So okay, let's go with them/they, then. They've got a useful skill, but they're not an Imperial or a Rebel or a smuggler or anybody important; just some rando. They've got a family, or maybe just someone they're dating, or maybe a child, or a pet porg -- whatever, somebody/something they care about.

Then they overhear something they shouldn't, or wind up with gambling debts, or something like that, and end up tangled up with the mob. The Hutts, or the Exchange, or some criminal organization we've never seen before; whatever, it doesn't matter. The hero ends up in debt to the mob, or on the run from the mob, or both.

There are a couple of ways to play it from there. Maybe this is a villain/antihero origin story, in which case the hero keeps finding themselves in increasingly gray situations and finally crosses a line. (We've already done "mom and wife both die" for Darth Vader's origin story, so let's avoid that here; let's say that in this version, the hero commits foul deeds to protect their family and then vanishes into the night; the family is safe but our protagonist is too far gone to ever go home again.) Or maybe the hero stays a hero, in which case we'll have some temptation toward evil deeds and maybe some PG-13 gray-area stuff, but a hero's not going to torture anybody or kill any innocent people, is a good person at heart, and ultimately at the climax of the movie chooses to do the right thing and get back on the right path.

Anyway, that's it for my "spitballing Star Wars plots after a couple of beers" pitching for tonight. But my point is, there's no reason why the Star Wars franchise has to be repetitive and samey. There are plenty of compelling stories you can tell in the Star Wars universe that don't look anything like the ten Star Wars movies we've already got.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby mharr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:26 am

Could we not just make movies of all the Old Republic MMO characters?

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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:37 am

mharr I should introduce you to half my fucking tumblr timeline


But ultimately yeah, there's a ton of great stuff in the old republic since circles in circles and all that it is basically a mirror of the clone wars.

You can go for any kind of story you want during the height of the republic.
You have legit jedi armies fighting the best non-force combatants in the universe in the mandalorian wars.
You can kill jedi and sith in swarms during the jedi civil war.
Then after the fall of the jedi you get almost exactly the new hope - current situation with rando jedi doing cool stuff in remote areas.
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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:59 pm

Ended up seeing it in the theater after all.

And hey, it wasn't bad! Once you get past the fact that Han, the Solo is practically a separate and distinct character from Han Solo, it's a solid fun time that doesn't waste your time or stretch suspension of disbelief too far like *coughcough* recent related movies *cough*.

Though uh, am I to understand that Han went back just to post-mortem cuck Lando? That's... kind of weird.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:04 pm

Brentai wrote:Ended up seeing it in the theater after all.

And hey, it wasn't bad! Once you get past the fact that Han, the Solo is practically a separate and distinct character from Han Solo, it's a solid fun time that doesn't waste your time or stretch suspension of disbelief too far like *coughcough* recent related movies *cough*.

Though uh, am I to understand that Han went back just to post-mortem cuck Lando? That's... kind of weird.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Büge » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:17 pm




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