Anghus Houvouras on the fan campaign to fund a remake of Star Wars: The Last Jedi…
Not the actual movie, mind you. I’m not here to advocate a $200 million GoFundMe financed fan-film version of Episode VIII. That would be ludicrous… but so damn entertaining. It would be like watching Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League or Josh Trank’s version of Fantastic Four, except with even more incompetence. There is, however, something that should be considered when we see all these salty Star Wars fans talking crazy.
Star Wars is in a perilous place. Fans are losing their damn minds over a galaxy far, far away. To be fair, can you blame them? I mean, you totally can. Some of these people clearly lack perspective and are in desperate need of a life outside of the Star Wars universe. But if you had dedicated decades to your life to something and saw it being treated like a hot tub at a Las Vegas bachelor party, you might find yourself in an irritable state.
Solo: A Star Wars Story has officially tanked hard. Having made less money than Terminator: Genisys. That’s right, TERMINATOR: GENISYS, the low bar for terrible franchise movies. The Last Jedi continues to be a polarizing point among small percentages of fans getting in very large debates about whether the film is a masterpiece or a piece of shit. Plus, you have Rian Johnson who continues his very strange relationship with irate fans having a good chuckle at their consternation.
Rian Johnson seems like a good guy. I have no firsthand knowledge of this, mind you, but he seems to lack a level of pretension that is often embraced by his peers. He willingly jokes around with fans and freely expresses his feelings. As a person, I can appreciate this. As someone with a cursory understanding of the movie business, this utterly baffles me. At some point I assumed Rian Johnson’s corporate overlords at Disney would have kindly asked him to stop poking the bear. And yet, he still occasionally trolls on Twitter, like today after a bunch of misguided fans with no understanding of intellectual property rights announced their intent to ‘remake’ The Last Jedi. Johnson provided us with this gem.
please please please please pleeeeeeeaaaase please actually happen please please please please please 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 https://t.co/mNpSjgovax
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 21, 2018
Yes, it’s funny. Even funnier was Seth Rogen spending time between bong hits to debate the topic with whomever is running this Twitter account.
And yet… in spite of the complete insanity behind the idea of a fan-funded Last Jedi remake, there is an element of this that should be taken seriously.
Star Wars, as a franchise, has a real perception problem. Solo is the first official Star Wars related box office THUD. The Last Jedi continues to be an abrasive topic, working its way into every conversation like coarse, hard sand. The average ticket buying member of the public didn’t think much of The Last Jedi. Yes, there are those aforementioned small percentages who think it could be the greatest Star Wars film ever made and the worst Star Wars film ever made. But there’s a very large group of people in the middle who didn’t really care about it one way or another and met the film with a collective shrug. Check the box office, and the audience reactions and the lack of interest in Solo. The Last Jedi has not been a success for Disney.
Well so what? Who cares? I’m guessing Disney and Lucasfilm does as they start to pump the brakes on new Star Wars stories and reconsider how they move forward with the franchise. This is the first smart thing they’ve done in a while.
I’ve said before, the blame for the current shitty state of the Star Wars franchise are the executives who refused to plan ahead. After spending $4 billion for Star Wars, they started a new trilogy with no clear direction. There was no three movie outline, no creative cohesion and no attempt to map things out, which feels ironic since the plot of the The Force Awakens revolved around a map. The idea that they could just make it up as they go along has proven to be a faulty strategy. Giving Rian Johnson the second film in this new trilogy and letting him discard the story elements introduced by J.J. Abrams is the silliest thing I’ve heard since someone at Warner Bros. said “Let’s have the guy who directed Sucker Punch make a Justice League movie”.
You can’t blame Rian Johnson for making the movie he wanted to make. You can, however, blame the execs that put him in the position to deviate so wildly from the foundation J.J. Abrams had laid. And now Abrams is supposed to come back in and bring this colossal mess in for a clean landing? Let’s just say I’m not confident enough to book that flight.
The reason this latest fan outburst should be taken somewhat seriously is because Disney has mangled and mishandled Star Wars, and their next steps are important ones. How do they right the ship? Is there a prayer that Star Wars: Episode IX will be any good? Do they want to continue with Rian Johnson’s new trilogy given how disinterested he seems to be with winning over fans? Can you imagine a trilogy spanning eight years with Rian Johnson trolling irate fans who hate his choices? I can. It would be EXTREMELY entertaining.
More entertaining than anything Disney Star Wars has produced. And maybe that’s why fans of Star Wars should see this as a red flag for the future of the franchise.