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Whoa there (Off-Topic)

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 12:45 (641 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/star_wars_the_rise_of_skywalker

Uh oh.


If the critics didn't like it, then I will probably love it. Most "critics" nowadays just want to bloviate and sniff their own farts up on their mountain of judgement as they hand out art lessons to the plebeians down below.


I find the gap in recent years has shifted around the fact that the majority of mainstream movie reviewers are part of the hyper “woke” crowd, and the vast majority of movie goers are decidedly not. Hence the huge discrepancies we get when comparing critic reviews to viewer reviews on a great deal of films/tv shows recently. Without getting into the whole can of worms around who’s “right”, I’d say that viewing most mainstream movie reviews through that lens is a good indicator of whether or not you’ll agree with the reviews.

I find the whole Star Wars situation fascinating right now. Kathleen Kennedy went out of her way to make a big deal about how she was taking Star Wars in a “woke” direction, which the mainstream media largely loved. She leaned into this hard in the lead up to TLJ, because she and Rian Johnson were particularly aligned in their political views, and she felt she’d found the director that best fit her “vision” for Star Wars (hence the announcement that RJ was getting his own trilogy at roughly the same time that TLJ was released). Naturally, most mainstream reviewers praised TLJ, and tried to slime all the movie’s critics as being hateful, misogynistic man-babies, because apparently that’s the only possible reason to dislike the movie (eyeroll.gif). KK and RJ joined in this tactic as well, looking down their noses at the very fan base they were ostensibly in charge of pleasing. It looks to me like KK and RJ were embodying Kylo Ren’s line from Last Jedi: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.” They weren’t interested in pleasing Star Wars fans. They were going to make a new Star Wars, and it would attract new and better fans.

But now we’re in an interesting place. Setting aside anyone’s feelings on any of the political views going on, Star Wars is in trouble. TLJ made over $700,000,000 less than The Force Awakens, Solo flopped, merch sales are at all-time lows, and the Star Wars theme park is bleeding money. Remember, all of this comes on the back of a deal in which Disney’s own bean-counters believe they overpaid for Star Wars to begin with. With all this in mind, Disney NEEDS Rise of Skywalker to be a massive hit. And they know that another movie like TLJ won’t do it. Notice how much the marketing for Rise of Skywalker is leaning on nostalgia? When the first trailer came out, it contained more footage from the original trilogy than of the new movie. KK and RJ’s apparent plan to attract a new fan base was an absolute failure. This point is driven home further by the success of The Mandelorian, as it is being handled by a totally separate team under John Favreau. That team has found success and fan appreciation where KK and RJ have failed.

Disney NEEDS old-school Star Wars fans, but that’s no easy task considering how many of them have had their concerns dismissed and their character attacked in the past couple years. It also puts the mainstream media in a strange spot. You can see the direction that the lead-up coverage has gone. This isn’t the celebratory coverage we saw around Avengers End Game. That is telling. Movie coverage is a bit like video game coverage, where the mainstream outlets tend to talk about the things the studios want them to talk about. So most of the coverage ends up having a “state media” vibe. And with Rise of Skywalker, the sense I get from the coverage is that expectations are being reigned in. Lots of “it’s impossible to please everyone” talk, or Kathleen Kennedy’s statement about how much tougher it is to “finish” Star Wars because they don’t have books or comics to draw from (apparently she isn’t aware that there were 20+ years of Star Wars books to draw from, and her team made the decision to wipe them all out of canon). I think Disney thinks they’re in for a rough landing.

Then there are the reviews. With so many reviewers defending TLJ, what happens when Disney goes out of their way to make it clear that RoS is not going to be like TLJ? How do they react when Disney is actively trying to attract the old-school fan base that the mainstream reviewers have spent 2 years insulting? When I see such middling reviews for Rise of Skywalker, I’m not sure if it’s because the movie is mediocre, or if it is simply less “woke” than TLJ. We’re now in a situation where all signs point towards Kathleen Kennedy and her “woke” Star Wars agenda are on the way out. This could very easily turn the hyper-woke media against Star Wars. That won’t really matter to Disney IF they can make Star Wars movies that recapture the love of the fan base. I don’t think JJ knows how to do that in an ideal situation, much less following TLJ. I won’t be surprised if Rise of Skywalker ends up being the final blow that marks a sweeping “changing of the guards” within Disney and their Star Wars team.

Just a few thoughts:


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