Discussion in 'Literature' started by TypoCelchu, Oct 30, 2012.
I don't go much of anywhere online other than here.
Well, speaking about Star Wars, count me as one who's worried about this movie-a-year plan. It feels like putting the cart before the horse. It seems less "We've got all these great stories dying to be told on film, so there'll be a new movie every year!" and more "We want a movie every year. Let's come up with story ideas quick so we can meet that quota."
edit: I mean, I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as much as the next nerd, but I don't think they'll ever be remembered as examples of great, enduring filmmaking. They're just disposable bits of fun meant to be chewed on a couple of times before moving onto the next flashy installment.
I guess there's nothing inherently inferior about that, but it seems to me that Star Wars was a bit more dignified in its way, strange thing though it is to say about a film series that included Jar Jar Binks.
The Marvel method works as befitting the periodical, serial nature of the medium it came from. The Star Wars film franchise certainly hasn't been like that, but the spin-off media certainly has. It's moving the flicks more into step with that style. And I will damn skippy watch Star Wars movies until the day I die, regardless of if it reaches a quarterly release strategy. "The Clone Wars" really jumped between genres in it's individual arcs while keeping it in a Star Wars framework, I would like to see the movies do that.
A lot of this is just me being afraid of change, I suppose. Maybe this is the only way Star Wars can stay alive and truly thrive for future generations. But I guarantee that there will come a day when Star Wars "dies". It's inevitable. This new era probably means that day will come later rather than sooner, but who knows what effect this fast-living, hard-charging lifestyle will have had on the prettiness of its corpse when all is said and done? And does any of this even really matter as long as we all had a few more extra laughs along the way? What exactly was the point of all these Star Wars, anyway?
These are the kinds of questions important people will certainly be asking.
I personally think a Star Wars film a year is going overboard, and I say this as devout, hardcore fan. Admittedly, there was a point in my life, when I was much younger, where such an idea would have really excited me, but now as an adult, and as one who has studied film and anthropology (among other things), the idea (dare I say) almost disgusts me?
That above sentence may be on to something...I imagine some of you may have similar sentiments as well...
The only other comparison I can suggest to this whole concept, is the James Bond series, and even then, it's not really the same. Throughout it's 50+ years of cinematic history, the James Bond series has been a global phenomenon. Some of the films are great, others ok, and some are downright silly or border self-parody. Each film represents a particular cinematic style, reflective of the era it was filmed in, and reflective of the political and social issues of the time. While the past few years have slightly varied, on average, EON has put out a James Bond film about every 2 years.
Again, the series, in terms of concept, themes, etc, are quite different, but it's about the only thing that comes to mind. I guess for the sake of discussion we could toss in Toho's Godzilla series, too, but it has nowhere the same global mass appeal as does James Bond or Star Wars.
I'm also a huge Bond fan (both cinematic and literary), and it's never bothered me the frequency (or the changes in actors) that EON has produced throughout the past few decades. Would I mind Star Wars becoming a yearly tradition at the cinema? Yes and no. Being a Star Wars fan, it's hard not to get excited, but, overall, it's just something that doesn't sit well with me right now.
The thing about superhero movies that they've been hot since about 2000. But they're eventually going to run out of steam. Robert Downey, Jr. is eventually going to stop playing Iron Man -- probably sometime in or around Phase Three -- and what happens then? Does Iron Man remain a strong ongoing franchise? If Avengers 4 comes out in 2021, after ten years of two Marvel movies a year, for a total of about twenty-three movies -- the total output of the most prolific major film franchise in history, the James Bond series, over the course of fifty years -- the question isn't if people will be burned out, it will be how burned out they are. Fads just don't last indefinitely, especially not when they're overexposed and milked like crazy for long stretches.
Speaking of James Bond, the Bond series averaged a film every other year for forty years. The series kicked off with three good films, and then sucked for about twenty years -- in those twenty-one years, they only made about three good films. Then they had a good three-film run and went back to sucking for the rest of the forty years I'm talking about. In the decade after that, the pace slowed significantly due to studio issues, and three good films came out. There is no guarantee that that quality will continue beyond the Craig run. Most of the Bond films have not had huge box office returns -- they make good, reliable money, but not top-ten-that-year money, because the public loves Bond but, absent the intermittent flashes of quality sparking increased interest, the public is largely over Bond movies as something special. I love Bond, but is that what we want Star Wars to be? Are you prepared for a Star Wars movie to be a flop?
You can argue that the prequels have damaged the Star Wars brand, and that's true. At one time, Star Wars was a holy artifact -- a trilogy that told a story. It came out, it was done, it was one of the most amazing sets of films of all time and everyone loved and respected it. It was perfect -- Ewoks don't really matter. Now the prequels came out, and they weren't as good, and Star Wars as a film brand is no longer equated with perfection. But the shine isn't off it -- it's now two film trilogies telling one overarching story, the saga that it was always anticipated as eventually being. The prequels were still all massive blockbusters, and everyone wanted to see them, because everyone still loved Star Wars and Star Wars was still something absolutely unique and special. The sequels could have come along without necessarily taking the shine off either, because it's known that George had originally considered sequels, and they would still be something special, and you could have the original cast continue the saga, or whatever. But notably, Star Wars has come to screens in a unique way -- it came as a trilogy and told its story. It spent more than fifteen years out of theaters, and then along came another clearly defined trilogy, telling the first chapter of the bigger story. Now a sequel trilogy is coming after a decade out of theaters, to tell the next chapter of the bigger story. You're running the risk of too much, but if you stop there, we're not talking overexposure. We're still talking about a big, special, years-in-the-waiting event. If Star Wars just becomes something that happens every year, that's never out of theaters, that's always demanding your money for some new spinoff . . . the old brand of uniqueness, of trading on the once-in-a-lifetime quality of the OT, is all gone. It's just another franchise, down on Ant-Man's level. And the public will get tired of it, and one or more movies will flop, and it will just turn into a marketing machine rather than an expression of an artistic vision, and it will drag down the whole franchise.
You forgot all the Roger Moore ones.
I'm trying to forget all the Roger Moore ones.
That was a really great post, Havac.
There's another aspect to this. How likely is it that the new Star Wars movies will come with an actual, heartfelt message that couldn't have been transcribed from your average Hallmark card?
Is Disney going to say anything at all deep or meaningful about the role of children in correcting the mistakes made by their parents, or about the dynamics of political corruption in a republic? I mean, it's not like George was operating on a particularly high level here compared to a lot of other more sophisticated artists, but at least he was trying to say something and mean it. When's the last time Disney ever tried to impart a message into one of their films more daring than, "Good things are good. Don't do bad things."?
I like pew pew space lasers as much as the next guy but if the next trilogy is about Luke, Han, and Leia learning to let go of their children or some schmaltzy crap like that I'm gonna hurl.
I do. I couldn't care less as long as they're cool movies with awesome battles and lightsabres and what not.
No I won't
But have you ever got bored of Sith antagonists or the Warlord of the Week?
If so, then you'll get bored of Movie of the Month when they over saturate screens with lightsabers, the same way TOR's reception ultimately fell flat, despite its years of mass hype.
"Oh, more lightsaber duels? *yawn* Those are sooo last summer."
No. as long as it's well written I enjoy it. *cough* not christie golden *cough*
How can anyone ever get sick of lightsaber duels?
I never really play games so i dunno about TOR. But it looks stupid. Too many sith and jedi
Precisely. You've just answered your own question of how anyone can ever get sick of lightsaber duels.
The superhero films are for the most part all about a general "good vs evil" message (with the possible exception of Spider-Man's "With great power comes great responsibility" added in) and IMO that works. Let's keep it that way.
(And I like Sith and Jedi. I hope they throw in some Dark Jedi or "grey" Jedi for the fun of it or even some rogue Sith for the fun of it.)
I think it's important to note, too, and this is something Disney seems to have strangely not considered.... The Clone Wars movie was a box office disaster, and TPM 3D didn't bank as much as hoped. People truly aren't that interested.
Very good point,
The comparisons with annual Marvel films and the lukewarm reception of TCW and TOR actually touches on something I've thought about in the past: how Disney plans to separate their Star Wars and Marvel markets so they aren't directly competing with each other, given Star Wars: Jedi would virtually just be another superhero film, just set in space.
Which makes me wonder: maybe Disney might be smart and realise the OT's success wasn't because it was saturated in Jedi and lightsabers, but very much the opposite, and that lightsaber saturation is what has repeatedly been the mistake made by numerous EU stories, which wrongly "played it safe", thinking lightsabers guaranteed an easy sale.
So maybe, instead of Space Marvel, Disney might actually focus more on the Han Solos than the Luke Skywalkers?
That'd turn the summer Star Wars spin-offs from "just another [Jedi] superhero" flick to being about the characters who aren't superheroes, despite still existing in a superheroes world, and meaning Star Wars spin-offs are more about the little guy, and how it affects him, rather than just more lightsaber duels, which can be kept special for the next actual Episode.
That way the trailers for Episode 8 and 9 would still feel awesome and unique, and wouldn't be diminished by the fact everyone has been seeing lightsabers every single year anyway.
I wish it to be true Zor but somehow I doubt it... if there is any hint then look at them trashing 1313 and other non-lightsaber games like Battlefront 3, First Assault etc.
Shooting is out... slashing is in.. sadly. So they go directly for more lightsabers instead of less!
I'm not familiar with the games but I do think the idea is a good one,
As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of universe to play with here and it doesn't have to be " same old, same old" unless Disney chooses to make it that. The jury will probably be out for awhile on that one.
Yeah but Disney don't care about any of that, they just wanna make the 4 Billion back with some profit ontop.
My own gut feeling is that they will wanna make sure the first film is good and that way no matter how bad the others are people will keep coming back regardless ie Pirates of the Carribean
I realized in my previous post on the previous page, when I brought up the pattern of release for James Bond films, that I completely forgot to mention the Harry Potter series. Perhaps that will be a more apt comparison. WB churned out eight of those about a year or every other year after the previous installment. Obviously, there was already a huge built in audience from the books, but the film series itself transcended that and was accepted and enjoyed by general audiences worldwide. Would people have tired out if WB had kept releasing more Potter films? (I know WB wish they could continue doing so).
I also do think at some point that the super hero genre is going to decline. It's already way too saturated for my tastes. Disney needs to be real careful how they plan and release their film slate for the next decade.
But those are the best. He's the One True Bond.
I can picture there being a market for a couple of Potter spin-offs probably... like a prequel about Tom Riddle, but beyond that... I'm unsure how long they'd be able to keep it going before people got bored. Potter's not got as big a universe to play in. Although I suppose if they wanted to be really creative, I guess they could do an ancient history film about Hogwarts origin and the four founders...dunno.
Anyway, I agree with you about superhero films having a limit before people want a rest from them. I've honestly been surprised they've lasted this long, as there's only so many well known superheroes the public really get behind, which limits things despite the number of characters that they could make a film about...
I suppose it helps with everyone having masks, so not needing to worry about the actor getting old and/or losing interest, but even reboots are harder when the existing films already had decent enough SFX.
I can't say that I am thrilled about this newest announcement. While I don't see it as necessarily boding the end of any future EU endeavors- I'm sure that Disney will still see a need to put out novels and comics to tie into the films, if nothing else- annualization may very well cause a significant drop in quality. It's a trend that has been seen in the video game world, with series like Call of Duty being shoveled out as fast as possible, regardless of quality, based on the idea that fans will snap it up no matter what (I would actually argue that so far, Assassin's Creed has been able to maintain a certain level of quality; AC3 was probably the second-best in the series). There's a decent possibility of this cooling the enthusiasm of the fanbase.
tl,dr: This announcement does not fill me with confidence.
I'm already burnt out on the EU, frankly. The dipping quality, and the sheer volume of stuff coming out. I just don't feel as interested in reading the novels. the comics are fantastic, but the novels are "meh." I shudder to think what annual film scheduling is going to do. My love affair with Star Wars is, I fear, coming to an end... especially as it becomes more and more and more and more the things that I hate. I've been feeling for a long long time that the marketing, licensing aspect of the franchise sort of runs contrary to the basic premise of the Saga and the mythos... it's just getting worse and worse.
I just cannot under all of the pesimism, especially since we have essentially no information about the Sequel Trilogy other than the following:
Episode VII targeted for 2015
One new movie a year through 2020, alternating between the "main" storyline and standalones
That is basically it. I see so much doom and gloom and people thinking that the sky is falling, but we have nothing to base that on. I can hardly go into a thread these days without seeing people claim that everything is going to go to "hell in a handbasket". This sort of attitude, IMO, speaks to the worst parts of fandom. It reminds me of all the people that were convinced back in 2006 that Legacy would doom Star Wars and ruin everything. And look how that ultimately turned out. Until we have concrete information on the future of the EU and the plot of Episode VII, it seems pointless to assume that things will end up horrible.
In both fandom and life, it is better to wait for actual facts & information before jumping to conclusions. All this negativity does is breed more negativity and feed a beast that may or may not be real. If once the official news is announced fans are upset, that is 100% in their right I would have no quibbles with it. But being negative out of paranoia does nothing to promote a healthy Lit forum OR worthwhile and meaningful discussions.
That's my take, for what its worth.