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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 16 March 2018 at 6:37pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

We have no way of knowing how SOLO will perform at the box office. Mostly because we don't know the exact nature of the engine that drives the STAR WARS juggernaut.
+++++++++++

No, of course not. But I know how I'd be willing to bet that things will go. The Amazing Kirkwell predicts failure. The energy surrounding this film is not good. The reshoots, the lack of penetrating marketing, the recent controversy over the supposedly-plagiarized poster artwork--all signs point to a negative conclusion.

To say nothing of the STAR WARS fatigue/disappointment and massive fanbase schism caused by THE LAST JEDI. People are getting sick and tired of arguing and thinking about STAR WARS, over the past three months. The merchandise rots in store. I saw Kylo Ren placemats from THE FORCE AWAKENS on clearance in a local store for $0.20, last week. Among lots of other old toys and merchandise on clearance. Like the omnipresent pegwarmner: Hasbro's Black Series Constable Zuvio.


I've abstained from all of the online arguing, over the past few months, until now. The atmosphere around the franchise has become increasingly toxic, and I just don't have the energy for it. I'm paying attention, though. And have plenty to say. I'd just rather not get into one heated argument after another. Emotional detachment is now the best course of action. STAR WARS is already over and done, for me. I'm just waiting for the body to stop twitching.


I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong if SOLO is a massive hit, but I'll bet that--at least--the film underperforms. Insiders have previously hinted that Disney is already prepared to write the film off as a failure. If even they don't have confidence in it, well...
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 16 March 2018 at 9:47pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I work in a nearly all-female workplace and everyone there is pretty jazzed to see anything Star Wars as it comes out. They just like the films. They are also overwhelmingly pro-Abrams Trek. It was fine. It did no one any harm. And wow, did the guy playing McCoy ever nail him, or what? I've long since stopped offering my observation that Urban does an excellent Dan Akroyd as McCoy rather than an actual McCoy. Everyone seems to be having a good time with the franchises right now.  That ties in with exactly no theories of genre marketing that I know of, except that if you build it, people will come.

I'm assuming this next observation applies to general audiences. rather than specifically female ones, but my boss was asking our resident film expert what the big mystery about Rey's parentage was. Didn't we already see her parents? Her father was a scientist guy... He was played by the actor who played Hannibal... 

I chimed in to clear up the confusion between Jan Erzo and Rey, but really neither of them could place where the two stories related to one another in the timeline. There was a great deal of nodding and lots of "uh-huh's," but I don't know that the point really mattered. The whole thing ended with speculation that maybe Jan was Rey's mother then...

I don't think general audiences care nearly as much about external story coherence and timelines. They want what's appearing on-screen to work logically enough that it can be followed and they want it to lead to solid emotional payoffs. 

A friend showed me one of her genre favorites from back in the day, "Warrior of the Lost World," starring Adam Ant as the bad guy, never released on DVD apparently. It was amazingly cheesy from the get-go and was earning considerable scorn from her significant other and myself, right up to the point where, I'll be damned... It actually started paying off. The wall of cars built around the settlement, the sub-plot with the little girl's mother... The film actually began striking some sparks towards the end there. 

You can never underestimate the importance of moving your audience at critical story points, and I believe you can easily over-estimate the impact of "having everything fit" inside the overall saga. Fans will bellow to the heavens and yowl like scalded cats when betrayed by a lazily-constructed saga. The audience in the theatre cares more about the interplay and bouncing plot points happening in front of them. If it all comes together in a way they love, the movie is a success. 

None of those present in my office evinced much love for the prequels, but lazy saga construction wasn't cited as the cause. The movies themselves are overly long, ponderous, and boring. They do know who this guy is supposed to be and who that one is in relation to the original films, but there's just no story to any of them that caught the interest of these people. And bad acting gets noticed big time. 

Ultimately, like Star Trek: Discovery, Solo's placement in the timeline and overall fit with the other films isn't going to be what kills it. It's going to have to be a film the audience wants to see on its own. Inviting associations with an already beloved, if not venerated, performer is a creative mis-step from the start. But if this guy can turn on the charm and the film gives us a couple of satisfying story punches, the whole thing could turn around from where it looks today...

Not that I'm optimistic, mind you, but general audiences pretty much just want a good ride on the roller coaster, fan agendas be damned.


Edited by Brian Hague on 16 March 2018 at 9:50pm
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 17 March 2018 at 6:10pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply


Oddly enough, the trailers almost make this look like a Marvel Comics' STAR WARS flashback story, as drawn by Carmine Infantino, come to life!



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Patrick Mallon
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Posted: 18 March 2018 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Not that I'm optimistic, mind you, but general audiences pretty much just want a good ride on the roller coaster, fan agendas be damned.

*********

STAR WARS out of the gate in 1977 was HUGE...I was only 10 years old at the time and my memories may be tainted due the passage of time, but there has't been anything since that has captured the General Audience the way STAR WARS did back in 1977...

By 1987, STAR WARS was pretty much abandoned by the General Audience...no new movies, the Marvel Comic was cancelled, the Ewok movies and cartoons were aimed at children...

In my opinion, Lucas missed a huge opportunity to keep the franchise alive at that point. STAR TREK had the DC comic, the film franchise, the Pocket Book novels, models...really the only thing missing was a decent toy line...

In the late 80's, it was the hard-core STAR WARS fans keeping the flame alive with the West End Games...Archie Goodwin was trying to get DARK EMPIRE published at Marvel's Epic line, which then died on the vine once Goodwin went to DC...

As a hard-core SW fan, I can see how other hard-core fans where disappointed by the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy, as well as a lot of other stuff...

Unfortunately, what the hard-care fan cares about, the General Audience doesn't. 

There is more money in the General Audience's hand than the hard-core fan's...and Disney knows that...
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 09 April 2018 at 5:25am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

New trailer:  Click!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 April 2018 at 6:46am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

If that trailer existed in a world where STAR WARS (1977) never happened, I'd most likely be intrigued. But it doesn't.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 09 April 2018 at 10:46pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

It's interesting that the trailer definitively pins down where it falls in the Star Wars timeline by citing Chewbacca's age. If he's 190 here, that puts the film ten years before the original Star Wars, which, like the prequels, feels too close to where we started. It feels like there should be a little more room, perhaps. 

Overall, the film looks fine based on what was shown there. I can't help imagining how much more charming and unimpressed the main character would be if played by an "American Graffitti" aged Harrison Ford, but the premise invites the comparison. I just hope that I'm not plagued thinking how much better the film would be "if only..." the entire time I'm watching it. 

I'm on board at this point, more for Donald Glover than anything else. I feel a bit disloyal to the brand by taking a similar p.o.v. to this as so many have taken to the Abrams Trek films, but after the prequels, Star Wars was damaged goods anyway.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 10 April 2018 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
...feels too close to where we started....


Yeah, but if the more human characters age more or less as we Earthlings do, they really couldn't go back much farther. Harrison Ford's Han Solo was no kid, but he wasn't really that old of a guy, either.  If they went back much farther in the new "SOLO" film, Han would be a teen-ager.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 10 April 2018 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"The Old Republic was the Republic of legend..."

So says the first page of the novel by "George Lucas". But very quickly the sequels started compressing the timeline. Suddenly it seemed everything happened within the lifetime (or close to it) of one twenty year old boy. Don't "legends" take longer than that to form? Especially for people who were alive at the time (Han) to dismiss key elements?

We still "remember" Davy Crockett at the Alamo, and embellish the tale rather than erasing it. The Egyptian empire continues to intrigue and even inspire us, as do the Greek and the Roman. Would galaxy spanning Republics fare less well?

In 1977 I walked out of the theater with the sense of a long story. One about which I wanted to learn more. Then Lucas chose to tell us another story entirely.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 10 April 2018 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

One of the few bits I liked in Jackson's FELLOWSHIP movie is this from the opening voice over: "History became legend. Legend became myth." It's close enough to the spirit of Tolkien, even though these lines are not from his book. 

What they remind me of, though, is STAR WARS in re the Republic, the Jedi, and the Force, etc. 
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 16 April 2018 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I find I went from mild disinterest when this project was first announced to something akin to genuine enthusiasm, now.  The trailers look good.  The cast is populated with actors I like across the board.  And Ron Howard is a skilled workman who hasn't directed a movie I've disliked and has one or two in his varied career that I really dug.  Call me crazy.  This could be great. 
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 16 April 2018 at 1:27pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I don't know. It somehow manages to take classic Star Wars elements
(star destroyers, the falcon etc) and shove them into a generic scifi
actioner. I'd watch it it, but I'm afraid every single time Han Solo
appears in the trailer I'm left thinkIng 'that's Han Solo?'
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