Discussion Disney, Star Wars and the "Industry".

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Spoilers Allowed' started by Ganger, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    I finally got around to watching The Avengers the other day and it got me thinking . . . a lot.

    Superhero movies today are a nostalgic product that make a lot of money and because of that every major studio is milking every superhero (both famous and obscure). Decisions are made through business models and demographic studies and that's cool, it's been happening for decades now.
    Most of these movies feel flat now and even when you hear the term "superhero movie" you know exactly what you are going to get, it has become redundant. Besides, these movies are adaptations of a pre-existing thing, so expensive proffessionals are hired to make that pre-existing thing into a profit, it works just like any other business with few risks being taken.

    Star Wars has always been the exact opposite of that model. It has always been a passion project and Lucas was a damn genius to take his vision to the screen and make it the greatest thing ever. Star Wars broke every record and of course, every rule. Even with the highly questioned PT, Lucas took chances and didn't take into account what "people wanted". He worked through his vision and through his team which he formed from scratch since 1976. When TPM came out in 1999, Lucas didn't release the film because sci fi films were doing ok back then, he did so because it was (in his mind) technologically viable. Star Wars has always broken the rules, always.

    But now . . . Star Wars is owned by the biggest studio which is calling the shots about how many films are going to be released from 2015 to 2xxx, who's going to write them, who's directing, when they are suppose to come out, etc. It's no longer a passion project and it's now following the rules of a major studio that has systematically made films blander and crowd pleasing.

    Personally, I don't want this film to be "as good as The Avengers", when people use that movie as a reference on how Disney made things work for Marvel, it doesn't make me feel comfortable about Star Wars' fate. On the contrary, The Avengers is a cash cow, not a passion project and IMO a mediocre film like every other superhero movie out there.

    All of this worries me a little. . . . . how do you feel?
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  2. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    No matter how bad the future of Star Wars is, I will always have my OT DVD's to watch. Let the pieces fall where they may. If the ST is good, so much the better.
  3. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    Yes! I'm not one of those "Lucas raped my childhood" fans at all. I make fun of the PT a lot, but I still enjoy my Laser Disc rips with my 70s hi fi system cranked up. Tie Fighters roar though my room like it's nobody's business and nothing can take that away from me, of course.

    But I do worry about the future :(
  4. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think you're overstating how out of the box Star Wars was under Lucas. What is the EU if not a publishing branded product of a pre-existing thing designed to turn a profit and take very little risks? What about the video games and all the toys?

    Lucas isn't Jim Jarmusch. He's a filmmaker and businessman.

    He built a multi-billiondollar production company based almost entirely off of two titles, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. And he milked those two brands for decades.

    I'm excited about the future. Two years ago all we had to look forward to was more EU, more video games, and maybe more Clone Wars. More product.

    But no movies beyond 3D reissues.

    You don't consider that a business plan using preexisting material designed to turn a profit? That was milking the brand.

    At least with Disney's business plan we're getting new movies, the heart and soul of what Star Wars is. Everything else pivots from that core. That's the way it's always been and always should be.

    And remember, Lucas sold to Disney with the idea of doing more movies. So he wanted to do more movies. He just personally didn't want to carry the burden of spending the next decade of his life doing another set of films. But watch the Lucasfilm videos where he talks about the sell and new films. He wanted to see those films made. He wanted it to carry on.

    He never would have sold it if he didn't want to see Star Wars return to return to it's rightful place, the cinemas.

    So as I see it, this is a fulfillment of Lucas' wishes. He just realizes SW is his legacy and it will continue on past him and past us.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Dec 20, 2013
  5. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    Speaking in long terms, the saga we know will be just nine movies among many. My prime concern is that they finish the sequel trilogy on a high note. I do not worry what'll happen after that.
  6. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    @ShaneP I agree. In many ways I think of Lucas as a businessman more than a filmmaker. But when it comes to sitting in the director's chair and embarking on a creative project, his vision is his main concern. He has the money and time to do so because of being such a succesful businessman! It sounds like a paradox but it really isn't. The business side of it has always been a by-product of the movies Lucas has wanted to make freely.

    I worry about the drive towards these movies, about creative freedom, about the passion put into it even though I think is damn cool for Lucas to pass the torch, I really do!

    You talk about Disney's plan as a manifesto of what Star Wars really is, but is it really that? When Disney says "We're gonna have a movie per year", I don't exactly jump in my seat and go "YAY!", I worry because creative decisions are being made without a story, without focus, without spirit. It feels like the business side is taking over.
  7. Darth Punk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2013
    star 4
    Do Lucas raped my childhood fans actually exist?
  8. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
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  9. Jetedonne Pur-Pureus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2013
    star 4
    Yeah, my guess is that beyond nine the films won't have as much to do with the three trilogies that came before them, at least not storyline-wise. This newest trilogy seems like the final hurrah for the George Lucas inspired material that we've come to know thus far.

    As for Disney n' all that stuff, dunno how they'll do with the newest addition to the franchise in 2015, but after watching Avengers the definitive high-point for me--among many imo--was the flawless use of screen time divvied up so perfectly between each actor, giving all of their characters' such a prominent role. If the same can be done for an ensemble driven franchise like that of Star Wars, then I'd say it all looks very promising, and equally as promising imo is the premise that if the OT actors return they should also have major roles to play in the upcoming trilogy as well, assuming a similar script formula to that of Avengers is utilized.
  10. Han Burgundy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    I was sort of with you until you started bashing Avengers, and here's why: art for the sake of profit can still be art, as long as those involved are still passionate and have a spark of genuine creativity driving them. When Joss Whedon, a massive comic book fan, was brought on to the Avengers, he didn't consider the film "just another paycheck", even if the studios did. There's real artistry behind the way that film weaves those absurdly over-the-top characters together into a group of believeable individuals. There's legitimate themes about government transparency, freedom, and self-sacrifice. Sure, there's giant explosions and a green cgi giant punching through buildings, but that's part of the fun. The film may exist for profit, but it was made with passion, and I honestly think that's why it did so well. People could pick up on that extra shade of quality that raised it above so many other blockbusters.

    Yet, I do think Episode 7 is even more of a passion project for those involved than Avengers was. When Disney signs on people like Michael Arndt and JJ Abrams, people who, despite any qualms you may have about them, are 100% passionate about their craft, I'm convinced that Disney doesn't just want to make another Star Wars, but that they want to do it right. And remember, in the middle, between the higher-ups at Disney and the hands-on workers at Lucasfilm, is Kathleen Kennedy, a legend in her field and someone who was hand picked by George Lucas to oversee the future of his creations.

    I think, if nothing else, were going to get a Star Wars film that is made with the best intentions on the part of its creators. Is it possible that we might get a film that's a little less "wierd", a little less experimental than what came before? Maybe. But I remember a film like that, a film that was straightforward, fast paced, and more focused on fun than on anything else, and it was a film that took the world by storm. That film was A New Hope.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Dec 20, 2013
  11. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    Respectfully, I feel these type of arguments are exactly what makes me worry about the future of Star Wars. Are we really so down on Star Wars that we would settle for a SW version of a generic superhero movie? I think Star Wars deserves a lot more. Superhero movies are so bland and forgettable that they even make me appreciate the effort put in the symbolism and storytelling of the PT, and I didn't even like those movies.

    I fell in love with Star Wars in 1989 because I thought it was unique and powerful. When people say they are glad Disney now's in charge because the Avengers was decent, makes me feel a little sad. Star Wars is so much more than that and this unique opportunity to bring it back to the screen may turn out to be just another blockbuster. It worries me how people embrace this possibility as something positive.
  12. Loupgarou Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2010
    star 3
    I don't actually think the 'successful generic superhero film' is a thing.
    Every generic superhero film i can think of (Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Green Lantern, The Spirit) failed at least critically and worse enough in the box office to destroy any thoughts of a sequel. Can you really find much similar between Tim Burton's Batman, Spiderman, X-Men 2, The Dark Knight, and The Avengers? They're all fairly unique visions that go their own way. Some may seem generic in retrospect but at the time were fresh.
  13. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    Damn well put!

    I still kinda disagree with you on The Avengers, and I'm not "bashing" it just for the sake of it. I really think it's a mediocre movie, of course it's better than Ang Lee's Hulk or your average superhero movie but that's a whole other discussion. I only see this a disagreement, mind you, your opinion on the matter is important to me and I do appreciate the effort put into the movie from its creators. It shows, it just doesn't "save" the movie IMO, and comparing it to the Star Wars scenario I think is wrong.

    I do think wise decisions are being made on Episode VII. I love how everybody involved is a hardcore fan and a consummate professional, I'd love to work in that environment. It also does show that Disney "cares". Actually reading your comment calmed me down a bit. ;)

    I just hope they follow this line of decisions. There's a very fine line between good and bad decisions, specially when major studios are in charge. One decision Disney made that hasn't really convinced me is the whole "a movie a year" thing. It also baffles me when fans on these boards talk about hypothetical box office numbers as a measure of success for this new movie. I want the best for Star Wars but the scenario is highly tricky.
  14. Jetedonne Pur-Pureus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2013
    star 4
    Yeah, I see what you're saying. You want Star Wars to remain its' own separate entity from that of the Avengers, and not have it be a formulaic rip-off or clone of another Disney film, just because that Disney film was successful. Totally understandable imo. That's something that I want too, but after reading on many different websites about a possible OT character's death in the upcoming films, I would honestly much rather have the Avengers' script where practically no one dies, and every character gets meaningful screen time. The thing that I hate nowadays about films, games, etc. is that tragedy seems to be the status quo, whereas no one seems to capitalize on the idea of continuity anymore. That said, Avengers did so, and my takeaway from that film is that I liked that practically no one dies, and every character is utilized properly, whilst action sequences are very well done. If nothing else, those three things are something I'd personally like to see from the upcoming Star Wars trilogy, but of course done in the style of Star Wars. Basically, imo, the Avengers reminds me of the OT in a lot of ways, due to the scope and overall feel of it.

    Two completely seperate entities, one overlying similarity...they are extremely well made. In a nutshell, that's all I really want for Star Wars.
    Last edited by Jetedonne Pur-Pureus, Dec 20, 2013
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  15. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4

    The only movies there that I think have rivaled Star Wars on levels of originality and cultural impact are the Batman ones and I do think of The Dark Knight as a huge anomaly in the realm of superhero movies . . .a damn good anomaly
    Last edited by Ganger, Dec 20, 2013
  16. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    They're going to be movies. Great, good, passable, forgettable, or rage-inducingly awful... they will still only be works of art. Cripples will not get up and walk out of the cinema, leaving their wheelchairs behind. The blind will not see because of any film projected onto the screen. Yes, to a certain quorum of fandom, the OT inexplicably ascends above its flaws in a way that no other films will ever be afforded the grace to, regardless of production company motive... but even the most sincere of intentions by the filmmakers will never allow any new films to climb the pedestal that our beloved childhood series (+ Return of the Jedi :p) sit atop. We can blame the industry, George Lucas, Disney, CGI, modern audiences... even if there is nobody discernible to blame... there is a faction of fandom who are far too busy trying to pass themselves off as cynical or as amateur film scholars who will find plenty to rail against with these films. Simply because they are not 3 films which already exist and made us feel good when we were children.
  17. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6

    I'm certainly with you concerning the "one movie per year" dictate. However, it's yet to be seen if that means a drop in quality or not.

    I'm optimistic but they could stretch themselves too thin if they're not careful. But one movie a year does not automatically = stretched too thin. A string of bad movies would mean that.
  18. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    The Dark Knight and The Avengers are both great movies, and pretty much the only thing they have in common is that they are superhero movies. To me, they are by far the best superhero movies that have been made. I didn't much care for the standalone Marvel movies featuring the Avengers characters. I could go on about all this, even though I'm not a huge superhero fan per se and I've never read any of the comics, but I did that already in more detail recently when someone posted an article about how we're likely headed for superhero movie overkill (especially from The Avengers' / Marvel universe, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and their goals for an Amazing Spider-Man universe, and the Batman/Superman/Justice League universe).

    At any rate, Star Wars is just different from these examples. It always has been, and I think it will remain so, even with Disney in control of LFL now and even with their goal of more frequent SW movie releases.
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  19. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    I think we all agree on that. Let's hope Disney execs think that way as well. ;)
  20. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    ANH was fast paced and focused on fun, but I wouldn't exactly call it straightforward and it was definitely experimental. It was like nothing anyone had ever seen before, and the simple fact that it followed two robots until the main character was introduced 20 minutes in is still a bolder move than most anybody would reasonably attempt.
    Last edited by Mystery_Roach, Dec 20, 2013
  21. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    That's a very bitter take on this discussion and don't know whether to feel like a passive aggressive punch aimed at my face or not.
    Pfluegermeister likes this.
  22. Jetedonne Pur-Pureus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2013
    star 4
    Every single time I watch that movie, I still cannot believe that it actually takes over 30 minutes for Han Solo to show up for the first time, and about 20 for Luke. Somehow, the film is done in such a way that it does not feel as though that is the case at all, but instead there is this fluidity that makes it seem like every character being introduced is--in some way--as if the movie is beginning all over again. Don't know how Lucas managed that, but it's simply incredible.
  23. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    good ole smooth archetypal storytelling . . . in space! ]-}
  24. jedijax Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2013
    star 4
    To Disney, yeah, it's a money grab and a corporate industry. However, to JJ, as far as we know, it's a passion and a dream come true. So there's that side of it.

    What was great (ish) about Avengers was the way they used airtime for all the characters. The story itself was secondary. They could really do SW7 the same-have a light story that isn't too terribly deep but introduce the characters (or re-introduce). Then get into depth with Ep8 and 9.

    Now, if they have an episode 9 part 1 and episode 9 part 2, we can talk about corporate stuff a little more.
  25. Krueger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2004
    star 4
    Disney pretty much leaves Marvel to do their own thing. They hire their own writers, their own directors and so forth. They hire people who seem to genuinely care about the films they're making. They don’t hire soulless, corporate directors like Bret Ratner. That's why their choices of directors have sometimes been met with raised eyebrows, but then when you see the film you get it. No reason to think Lucasfilm won't be the same.