There are a lot of reports going around that Rian Johnson’s trilogy has now been cancelled. I don’t know that I buy this, but if it is true, what state does that put the Star Wars Universe (SWU) into. Is it in the same chaotic state as the DCEU?
Just so everyone is on the same page, the quote under discussion comes from an interview between Neil Lamont and Eric Eisenberg from Cinemablend. Neil Lamont was the production designer for Rogue One and Solo. He was reportedly involved with what might have been the Kenobi movie. Here is the quote that is behind this firestorm:
“We were just starting our work on another Star Wars spin-off and yeah. We were actually just making our mark on Tatooine — which would have been interesting and some other new galaxies. So hopefully, it that comes back, we’ll get the chance to be able to do that further.”
That quote is extremely vague to base anything off of. First off we do not know what the Tatooine reference is in regards to a movie. We would like to think it was Kenobi, but there have also been rumors of a Mos Eisley movie that was in some level of development. Nowhere does it say anything about any movie being cancelled. It simply implies things have been frozen, which we have known for some time.
The little bit that has everyone up in a tizzy, is the part where he says “…and some other new galaxies.” People are thinking this refers to Rian Johnson’s trilogy. First off, it is poorly stated as there are not multiple galaxies in the SWU. There is just one galaxy far, far away.
Secondly, if this is referring to another movie he is involved with, it could be anything. Yes it could be Rian’s trilogy, but it could be the supposed Mangold/Boba Fett movie which could also revolve around Tatooine. For the record Mangold denies any SWU projects. We have no idea what movies they are trying to kick into gear. Rumor alone has 4-5 ideas in the works.
After the announced freeze on stories, Lucasfilm has stated several times that Rian Johnson and the Benioff and Weiss projects were still moving forward. Why would they be frozen now?
WHERE PRODUCTION STANDS
Benioff and Weiss are wrapping post production on the final season of Game of Thrones. With many of these episodes said to be movie length episodes, they are going to be busy for quite awhile, polishing then touring for the series finale. Their “series” as its being called is years off.
Rian’s trilogy was to be next. He has stated he is in the process of developing the script and surroundings. If they can find their footing fast enough, he may be able to have it ready for a December 2020 release, which is the next opening for a SWU movie. If Rian’s trilogy is on hold or cancelled, as people are saying, there will not be another SWU movie until 2022 at the earliest.
THE ISSUES AT HAND
Two of the issues stated for this freeze have been the divisiveness of The Last Jedi and the poor box office of Solo. Let’s start with TLJ. Yes the ‘fan base’ split over this movie, but the divide is not as great as the wannabes make it sound. The loudest part of the ‘fans’ yelling against TLJ are fans that can’t let the past go. They have their Luke Skywalker and that’s all they will accept. I for one had to get used to what Johnson did, but once I let expectations go, what he did was brilliant.
TLJ was a huge success. It domestically grossed $620 million and ranks a very solid second place for Star Wars films behind The Force Awakens. Nay sayers argue ‘yeah but it was $300 million behind TFA.’ That is a lame argument. TFA was the perfect storm of events that can never be equaled by any movie ever again. It was the resurrection of a dead franchise. It was an apology for the prequels, so fans were on fire to see films returning to the original trilogy feel. The almighty Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War still sit over $200 million behind TLJ and are unlikely to even catch the second all time grosser in Avatar.
It is fine to not like TLJ. That’s your opinion. Those that are boycotting Solo and future Johnson films are likely people that haven’t liked a movie since ’83 any ways. Nice thing about Star Wars, it has proven it can win over new fans easy enough. The haters will be easily replaced.
As for Solo, all the faults with it, save the directing mishap, lay squarely on Bob Iger’s shoulders, not that he will take the blame. The low box office had more to do with its release placement and neglected campaigning/merchandising.
Finally, let’s talk about the big divider, Kathleen Kennedy. She is a woman on an agenda. There can be no mistake about that. She has a pro-female agenda and is driving it at the expense of everything else. She is more focused on where she can cram a female into a spotlight than stories and naturality itself. If she wants more women involved that is fine. You don’t make a campaign out of it and shove it in the face of everyone else.
Should she be fired? My argument is no. The biggest negative on her shoulders, other than the agenda, is the director issues. Rogue One had problems in the editing room. Instead of letting it go, she got the help that was needed and turned Rogue One into not only the best of the new films, but a film in line with the originals. She should have caught the Lord and Miller problems much sooner, but instead of saying let it go and cutting losses, she got a great director to right the ship and get it done. Was it a needed film? No, but it didn’t need to be. It was a fun film that audiences enjoyed, especially the more casual fans.
As far as directors lost, you cant fault her for that. Its the nature of the beast. That and can you fault her for trying to give younger, newer directors voices and chances? I think not.
With everything frozen if you are going to fire her, now is the time. However to do so comes at a heavy price. If Kennedy is fired, it will set all production back 3-5 years. Add development time and we will not have another Star Wars film inside of roughly 8-10 years. Star Wars will essentially go back in the can, but this time it wont get the roaring reception The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens received – too much baggage.
There is also the problem of actually replacing her. First off the fake fans have made the universe so poisonous no one wants the job! Rumor has it Iger was indeed looking for a replacement, but could not find a single person that wanted the job. Who can blame them?
Secondly, will the new person be any better? The DCEU has had perceived problems since it started its universe. Month in and month out we hear about people being hired and fired and reassigned. Their problems persist.
Another case study ill let you look into is the Nebraska football program. Since the retirement of Championship coach Tom Osborne, good has never been good enough. They fire a coach that is having issue without giving him a chance to fix them. They then hire a coach that breaks every bad record that could be broken. The next coach never had less than 9 wins, but with no championships he was fired. His replacement took Nebraska to its lowest point in school history and more losing seasons. A new person does not guarantee a better person. Tweaking Kathleen Kennedy’s issues may get you further than firing her outright.
I truly fear that if Rian Johnson’s trilogy is cancelled and Kennedy is fired, the SWU will now be on a slippery slope that may never get fixed. A dark and uncertain future I sense ahead. No matter what, Disney needs to get on top of this NOW! Tell the fans what is going on and don’t let poisonous rumors infect the franchise.