Thursday, July 12, 2018

Where to now for Star Wars?

Well, well. Copies of Solo haven't hit the stores yet, so I haven't seen the movie – but it's interesting that the media has described the film as a 'flop'. Google 'Solo flop' and you'll get everybody (and their dog's) take on the sales and the so-called reasons. Franchise fatigue is one – Solo came out just five months after The Last Jedi, but as the writer of this article from the Daily Express points out, Marvel has churned out a heap of Avengers movies in a short time, so that's not it. And the argument that people got their knickers in a knot over The Last Jedi to the extent they abandoned Star Wars isn't very convincing, either. The fellow at the Express reckons Solo wasn't marketed well, since Alden Ehrenreich had to fill Harrison Ford's larger than life shoes to play the role of Han Solo.

Whatever. All the messing about with the production didn't help. When Ron Howard was hired to replace the original directors, he re-shot 70% of the film so costs soared.

What constitutes a box office flop? This is Variety's take on the matter. "The numbers don’t lie. “Solo” earned a disappointing $103 million in North America over its opening weekend and stalled out with $68.2 million overseas. At this rate, it will fall short of the $1 billion mark that each Disney-released “Star Wars” adventure has managed to fly past. The latest instalment will struggle to make even half that amount globally. Analysts project “Solo” could end its run with approximately $400 million to $450 million in revenues, a dreadful result for a film that cost at least $250 million to produce and $150 million to promote." [Variety]

But that's in the past. Let's move on to the future. We've learned a few things about Star Wars 9.

The first is that it will be directed by J.J. Abrams.  Since he directed The Force Awakens, that bodes ill for me. I thought SW7 was absolutely derivative, so much like A New Hope that I was almost dizzy from rolling my eyes. He also directed Star Trek: Into Darkness, which also had me rolling my eyes (although not quite as much). So I have a bad feeling about this.

Princess Leia was supposed to have been front and center of the last film in this trilogy, but she is no longer with us. I'm glad to say she won't be resurrected in CGI, but the writing elves at Disney will have to come up with something in this movie to bring the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. (Let's hope Rey kills off that exasperating jerk, Kylo Ren).

It seems Disney (or Abrams) can't help itself with the links to the past, though. Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his role as Lando Calrissian. As Han explains to Leia in Empire, 'He's a card player, a gambler, a scoundrel. You'd like him.'. Oh lordy I do so hope this isn't going to be another eye-rolling episode. Abrams keeps pulling characters out of the past. He reprised a young Khan in ST:Into Darkness. I still can't believe the best he could come up with in TFA was an orphan with strange powers who was abandoned on a desert planet, is caught up in a quest to destroy a super weapon.

Oh, I'll be watching SW9, of course. But I'll have a certain level of trepidation. There's plenty of time for Disney and Abrams to convince me, though. It's due for release in December, 2019.
Fingers firmly crossed.


  1. I was underwhelmed Force Awakened and so waited to see Last Jedi until it showed up on Netflix. Honestly, I was so annoyed about how they portrayed Luke, I almost didn't want to see it all. And it felt like a mish mash of all the original three movies. And Kylo Ren? Also underwhelming, IMHO. (My niece loved him and the not redeeming feature, which was interesting to me. It was like we saw different movies. see my comment on that below)

    I saw Solo and thought it was fun, but if Solo had been, say, George, it would have felt the same. I had no strong sense this was how Solo began. As you noted, totally hard to be the younger Solo. I also really liked Rogue One. That said, all my younger nieces and nephews love it, so I doubt I am their target audience. lol For me, the original three are IT. lol

    I will say, I have trouble separating what happened before. I think they count on people not connecting dots and I always connect dots. So inconsistencies really bug me. And I keep wondering, how did everything get so messed up that they ended up right back where they started? What? No one learned anything? And everyone I could have connected with is gone. But again, I'm not their target audience.

    What I miss so much is anticipating any movie. I was really looking forward to Wrinkle in Time and was beyond under whelmed with it. But yeah, miss that anticipation I used to feel. Maybe I'm too old. LOL

    1. The only thing I liked about Last Jedi was the line drawn underneath the old order. For me how Luke was handled was okay. I really liked Rogue One. I think I'll enjoy Solo in a 'ho-hum' sort of way. But (like you) I'm not the target audience and I'm just too old.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I'm kind of there, too. Maybe the magic has gone. Or maybe nothing could ever live up to my fond young adult experiences with the original three. I was beyond excited when I heard they would do the final three films in the triple trilogy, and one of the first in line on opening night of TFA, but now...

    While I enjoyed both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in theaters, they didn't resonate with me at the same level and I haven't had the same urge to rewatch and rewatch like I did the original trilogy. I just saw The Last Jedi on pay per view and, other than Luke's scenes, it was hard to pay attention. Luke's confrontation with Ben/Ren was the highlight for me, but now Luke is gone and that will leave a huge hole in my Star Wars universe. Even though I think Luke's final scene and death was handled with honor, Han's painful exit from the franchise and Carrie Fisher's subsequent death have made the franchise a bittersweet experience for me.

    Also, bringing in different directors for each episode seems counterproductive and has resulted in some weird contradictions, where much that was set up in VII (Rey's parentage and history, Supreme Leader's identity, the mystique of Luke's/Anakin's original lightsaber) was ignored, twisted or completely cast aside in VIII.

    I hope there's a definite direction for IX on how they want it to wrap and how they plan to get there so it doesn't turn into a big, sappy mess. What a travesty that would be for the legendary franchise that's meant so much to so many for over 40 years.


Comments set on moderation - all spammers will be exterminated!

About Spacefreighters Lounge

Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.