Neil Calloway argues that everyone should relax when it comes to films set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to something as successful as the MCU is paved with thousands of franchises that crashed and burned before they got off the ground.
We may be heading that way with Star Wars; it’s certainly at the lowest point for the franchise since the prequels. From being three films that people liked, the special editions of the original trilogy, then the prequels, and now the sequels and the anthology movies have turned a phenomenon into a behemoth that is seemingly out of control and was thought of as unstoppable.
As successful as franchises are, less is often more and for every new film the magic is diluted; characters that, rightly or wrongly, rub fans the wrong way, plot lines that don’t go the way audiences want, it all adds up to diminishing returns, as we’ve seen with Solo‘s so far lacklustre box office.
All this could be solved, however, if everyone just relaxed. It’s only a movie. It’s a space western with quasi-religious elements. It’s not something to live your life by, no matter how cool and edgy you think you are when you smugly put “Jedi” as your religion on a census form. A film taking a turn you don’t like might be a cause for disappointment, but don’t abuse an actor because of it. A character not being white, or a female who isn’t in chains and a bikini should not be taken as a personal affront. It’s not real, guys, and hounding women off social media is not a good look and won’t get you laid. Ever.
As well as sad and lonely manboy fans relaxing and not throwing tantrums when a movie turns out differently to how they expected, Disney/LucasFilm need to calm down too. Pumping out films left right and centre and sacking directors at the drop of a light saber is not good business sense. You have to expect some rough with the merchandising cash. Successful films tend to appear organically over time – when they’re forced to hit a release date before a script is written they tend to fall on their faces. If someone comes up with a good script about Bib Fortuna then great, make a movie of it, but let’s not force unwanted films on the public.
I like Star Wars as much as the next person – I got a Blue Harvest T-shirt for my last birthday – but panicked sackings and hyperbolic outbursts about films you don’t like won’t help the franchise. Low expectations are the way forward.
Neil Calloway is a pub quiz extraordinaire and Top Gun obsessive. Check back here every Sunday for future instalments.