Ugh, I hesitate to even write about the newest Star Wars movie, but here I am, and I’m feeling a little annoyed. Disney and Lucasfilm haven’t exactly ingratiated themselves to the fans since The Last Jedi, and I’m not at all happy that Disney bought Twentieth-Century Fox, because Disney’s dogged committment to artificial scarcity stinks. They might be holding a lot of cards, but what they do with them isn’t especially ethical or respectful of film. When a company salts away its film catalogue, save for brief little bursts of access, that rubs me the wrong way. Don’t be surprised if Fox titles are suddenly impossible to find.
In fact, it’s already started happening, as theaters are no longer allowed to screen older Fox films, even if they have an existing contract with the studio. This is a big deal because it’s a de facto return to the block booking that was banned in 1948. What’s more, smaller theaters are generally barred from showing the newest films until the initial buzz has died down, and the legacy titles help keep them in the black.
Seeing as Bob Iger and Disney threw George Lucas under the bus, don’t expect to see much done with the Original Trilogy as far as new media transfers, either. If anything (Well, they might add a word or two). There’s even a rumor circulating that Disney killed Luke and Han off because Lucas still receives royalties from the original characters. If true, it’s proof the company has no intention of respecting the guy who only created the Star Wars universe.
Here’s the trailer, if anyone hasn’t seen it:
Rather messy. It looks like it wants to be Return of the Jedi, only it fails miserably. Lando flies the Falcon, Rey finds the Death Star wreckage, she runs around in a forest, and the Emperor is apparently somewhere about. Oh yeah, and at least one major character appears to get killed off. If there are any cute little furry creatures in this trainwreck going, “Yub, yub,” George may as well sue for copyright infringement.
Seriously, though. It’s like they’re not even trying anymore. It’s as if Disney expects failure. The final trailer didn’t drop until October 21st, unusual for a franchise whose buzz has historically started no less than five months prior to release, and the movie officially opens tomorrow. Also unusual is the rumor going around that the audience walked out during the third act of the test screening. Yipes. That’s bad, and Disney knows it. It’s why J.J. Abrams came out and said there haven’t been any test screenings. Plus, after two years of Lucasfilm and Disney badmouthing the fans, Abrams flip-flopped and said fans are not the enemy. He also says he now understands why The Last Jedi was panned. Is that like “There is no spoon,” J.J.? Come on. We see you.
Regardless of what the real story is here, nothing surrounding Skywalker is looking good. A long time ago, Forbes predicted poor performance relative to other Disney films of 2019, and it’s very telling that the boring, paint-by-numbers Lion King is the winner. Personally, I think Star Wars films should only be measured against other Star Wars films, because they used to be guaranteed successes. That Solo tanked is a more reliable predictor of how Skywalker will go over.
Nope, Disney is definitely not trying anymore.
Come to think of it, I’m not going to try anymore, either, because I don’t want my last “Origins” post of 2019 to be any more of snark-fest than it already is. I just don’t have it in me anymore when it comes to Star Wars or Disney. I will enjoy the original films, maybe even the prequels and Rogue One, but that’s where it stops for me. I said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again: Disney as it exists today isn’t getting any more of my time or money from here on out. Not even “Origins” posts, unless I feel like ranting. The older properties are, of course, fair game, but I won’t review anything from 2019 on. No new Disney. Or Lucasfilm, unless it’s Indiana Jones. No new Touchstone, either. Or Miramax. Or Fox. Disney does not deserve any boosts from me, tiny though they are.
As the cliche goes, people vote with their feet. It’s hard to say how this will play out. I won’t pay to see the film, but others may feel differently, which is fine. Regardless, Disney made their choices and they will live with them, which means The Rise of Skywalker will likely bomb or at the very least, seriously underperform. Nice job, Disney. You’ve managed to kill the most profitable film franchise in history. Hope it’s worth it.
And with that, I’ve posted my last blog entry for the year, which means break time, y’all. Sorry my 2019 stuff is ending on a downer, but you know how timing can be. On the bright side, though, see you on New Year’s Day with a new “Stage to Screen,” and be sure to look for more “Origins” next year, among other goodies. Lots of fun stuff happening next year!
Speaking of next year, here’s a bit of January:
Feel like throwing your hat in the door? Please visit these lovely bloggers:
- Quiggy at The Midnite Drive-In
- Hamlette at Hamlette’s Soliloquy
- Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood
- Annette at Hometowns To Hollywood
Thanks for reading, everyone, and have a great holiday season. Talk to you soon…