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Whoa there (Off-Topic)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 14:20 (646 days ago) @ kidtsunami


Just a few thoughts:

  • I didn't realize that the great woke divide had happened and was so pronounced... Like I'm not entirely clear on where you got those impressions about both critics and mainstream movie goers.

There have been several high-profile studies on this issue in the past couple years. The general finding is that the percentage of people in America and Canada that agree with PC culture of "woke" culture is in the single digits.
As far as the prevalence of PC/woke culture in the entertainment media, if you're interested, do a quick google search for "toxic star wars fans". You'll find dozens and dozens of articles from the past 2 years, and almost nothing before that. The term was mentioned here and there following the release of TFA (because some fans said they didn't like Rey, and this was then used by certain members of the media to prove that these fans were sexist). But usage of the term really exploded after TLJ, because that was when the amount of criticism of the film from fans reached a kind of tipping point that simply couldn't be ignored. Again, at the time, I was a defender of the movie. But I still noticed that almost every article I read about TLJ made some kind of mention of the "backlash from toxic fans", as if to dislike the movie was in and of itself proof of poor character. A few reviewers and writers have made a point of calling out this issue, so I'm certainly not trying to claim that reviewers are some kind of united mass, or anything like that.

I just find that for myself, there is a kind of tipping point that we've reached that effects how I translate critic review aggregates. For example, when I see this:

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that's a pretty good indicator to me that I am going to really enjoy this special.

[*]Is there a good break down on how Disney hasn't already made back their money on Star Wars? It's obviously hard to tell without cracking open their financials, but I was under the impression they had already cracked at least 4 billion in revenue before the release of TROS. Like look here, I'm not going to get all pumped about Disney making a ton of money, they've got plenty (on top of owning a surprising amount of mainstream movies at the moment), it's just that your case for "Star Wars is in trouble" doesn't really make much sense in the grand scheme of things.

It's not "my case". It's the case made by industry sites and channels that follow movie business news, combined with statements from Bob Iger himself.

George Lucas wanted more than "the Marvel Deal" for Star Wars (the Marvel deal being 4 billion dollars). But unlike Marvel at the time it was purchased, Star Wars had no movies in production, no pipeline, no major product that was on the horizon. Meaning that a lot more money would need to be spent before any money could be earned from the IP. Disney valued Star Wars at roughly 3.5 billion. But after some negotiation, Iger and his team decided that they wanted the franchise badly enough to justify overpaying.

Since then, it's not easy to say definitively how the finances balance out. But we can look at the announcements that have been made, and infer from there. We do know that TLJ made $700 million dollars less at the box office than TFA. That's a HUGE slide. We also know that Solo lost money, and was such a flop that Disney cancelled plans for all future stand-alone films that were already in production. We know the theme park is losing money. And we also know merch sales are nowhere near the hoped-for or anticipated levels. Bob Iger has made statements like along the lines of "we oversaturated the market with Star Wars" and "we may need to scale back our output". All signs point to a situation where Star Wars is not paying off for Disney the way they'd hoped.

Now, I'm a HUGE Star Wars nerd. So I follow several channels that report on Star Wars news constantly, several of which have been covering Rise of Skywalker and its production for about 9 months now. I'm inclined to believe there is at least some truth in the production issues that they cover, because the vast majority of the plot points they leaked (for RoS and previous movies) have proven to be true. Don't worry, I obviously won't get into plot spoilers here. But one of the things that has been widely covered by several outlets is that Rise of Skywalker went through insanely extensive reshoots, to the point where they were still doing minor reshoots about a month ago. These reshoots were happening because the movie wasn't scoring high enough with test audiences. And according to a couple of these outlets, JJ was basically told that "this movie needed to please everyone, so keep filming until you get it right". Again, that could all be bs, except the reshoots themselves have since been confirmed, and the plot summaries that have come out since the film appeared in theaters line up perfectly with the more recent plot leaks that were coming out of these channels.

All this to say, Disney isn't happy with Star Wars' financial performance. And while the franchise itself may not be in any danger, the creative team at the head of it certainly is. Unless RoS is a massive hit, I'd bet money that Kathleen Kennedy will "move on" to other things in the not-too-distant future.

[*]You appear to be very aggrieved about people enjoying TLJ... The way you use the phrase old-school Star Wars fans is disappointing, as if you couldn't be an old school Star Wars fan and enjoy The Last Jedi, just overall this seems like a real battle for you. I'd be curious about how many "old school star wars" fans feel as insulted as you claim they've been the past 2 years.

Not at all. I enjoyed TLJ. As I've said many times now, I defended it quite a bit when it came out, even here on these forums. But I'm not blind to the fact that a very large portion of the hardcore Star Wars fan base hates where the franchise has gone, and I'm also aware that members of the media and even some of the filmmakers themselves have tried to paint those fans in a very negative light. I take your point about my use of the term "old school fans". It clearly doesn't communicate what I was trying to communicate. I hope I'm making a bit more sense here. I don't mean to say that fans of the OT can't like TLJ or anything like that. I mean something closer to "fans who enjoy the older Star Wars films, but not the new ones".

[*]Also I didn't realize the Mandalorian was a smash hit, some people seem to enjoy it, some don't. I've been enjoying it, but I find the dialog a little undercooked and the mandalorian himself is a bit of a bore, that baby yoda though... I hope the little green blob sticks around for Season 2.

As far as the Mandelorian goes, it's getting great reviews from many of the outlets that have disliked the last few movies. I'm personally close to your position on it, from the sound of things. I like it, but I don't think it's amazing. I do love baby yoda, too :)

[*]You use the word "woke" in a way that just sounds like you've got a serious axe to grind.
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I use the word woke to describe a political leaning and/or a specific set of values. The same way I'd use terms like conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc. I've been very careful to keep my own personal opinions on the whole political can of worms out of this (I'm happy to discuss it, I just don't think it actually matters with regards to the stuff I'm bringing up here).


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