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Discussion Is it more about the money than the story now?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by budspencer, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Darth_Xeres

    Darth_Xeres Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 3, 2010
    Yes, it's about the money. Disney spent 4 billion for Lucasfilm, and they will understandably want to recoup their investment and make a profit. But making a lot of money and making quality movies are not mutually exclusive, as the Disney/Marvel relationship has proved. And with Lucasfilm in the hands of Lucas's handpicked successor, a story treatment by Lucas, the script coming from a scriptwriter nominated for an Academy Award, and a director with experience with the genre, I'm not just confident that Ep VII will be at least decent, I'm hopeful it might reach Avengers-level greatness. Some people are wary of Abrams as director for Ep VII. Well, I was wary of Joss Whedon as director for Avengers ("hey, he's only directed one movie that flopped at the box office!" was a common refrain), and he knocked it not just out of the park but into the stratosphere. The chance at least exists that Abrams will follow suit.

    Yes, even a lukwarm-to-poor Ep VII will still make big bucks at the box office. But such a movie won't break records like Avengers did, and it won't reinvigorate the franchise and create lots of new fans/convince old fans to return, which is what will be needed to make profits that aren't just good, but break-out-the-champagne great. Disney has to know this, which is why I'm convinced they'll do everything in their power to insure Ep VII and the following movies are great instead of merely good.
  2. KevinM1

    KevinM1 Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 15, 2012
    Star Wars has been milked for money ever since Lucas realized he could sell toys off of it.
    Rawne, DarthBreezy and The_Hellhammer like this.
  3. edog37

    edog37 Jedi Youngling

    Mar 20, 2005
    Hollywood is in the business of making money by telling stories. This is a money decision, no question.

    DARTHSHAME Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 19, 2003
    I agree with this and others who say that the two are linked. Lets face it, the PT had some flaws, but I do not feel it was bad as some suggest. The ST must make amends for some of the shortcomings of the PT. To do this, you have to put out a quality product. This accomplished by great storytelling and strong acting. If we are privileged to both the money will take care of itself.
  5. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Oct 3, 2003
    It was more about money than story when the PT was made, it will be no different now.
  6. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    Of course it's about the money, pretty much everything is about the money no matter what it is. It's a franchise with a built in fan base going on several generations now and I'm sure Disney thought about that when they shelled out good cash. But do I think it's only about the money? No.

    I think there are people who are in on this that care about SW and who will try and make the best movie possible. Disney has a big stake in that as well, if they make good movies it will pull more people into the fanbase and there will make them more money. So yes, it's about the money but it's also about the whole picture, story and all.
    Darth Chiznuk likes this.
  7. Zer0

    Zer0 Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012
    Of course, but I hope it's not so much about the money that the movie suffers.
    Darth Xalfrea likes this.
  8. Darth Xalfrea

    Darth Xalfrea Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 2, 2013
    And THERE it is.

    I swear, this thread seems to come off less as this "Money>Story" argument and more about all this hippieism at how Disney is the BIG BAD CORPORATION.

    Because, you know, the Muppets and Marvel are suffering because Disney is the BIG BAD CORPORATION.
    The Bops and Pfluegermeister like this.
  9. Darth Chiznuk

    Darth Chiznuk Superninja of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 31, 2012
    They are making new Star Wars movies! I will happily give them my money and thank the mouse for taking it. :p
  10. Only-One Cannoli

    Only-One Cannoli Ex-Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 20, 2003
    In the end, good product = more money. It's about both equally.
  11. BigAl6ft6

    BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 12, 2012
    It is more about money in one respect - since ROTS in 2005, you can argue that mainstream, blockbuster, franchise moviemaking, esp. considering international cash, has become a very giant thing. Billion dollar blockbusters are almost becoming commonplace. One reason to get Star Wars out of the stasis it was in is to cash in on this international moneymaking trend. the mouse gets one of the highest grossing franchises of all time, which is probably worth more now considering how much international 3D action extravaganzas can rake in nowadays.
  12. Han Burgundy

    Han Burgundy Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 28, 2013
    Art for the sake of profit is still art.

    That's always been my view. Disney wants to make oodles of money making more Star Wars movies. And I'm going to enjoy the hell out of watching them do it.
    Pfluegermeister and Vthuil like this.
  13. LunarMoth

    LunarMoth Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2012
    Lets talk about money in the world of art for a minute......

    When a punk band is poor, they are cool. But when they are too cool, lots of people buy their album. Then they have money and are somehow not cool anymore.

    Metallica sold out becasue they sold millions of records. They got money for selling milions of records. Then people said there were not cool anymore.

    The point is, just becasue something becomes popular enough to generate obscene amounts of money, does not mean that moving forward with it is because of that money.

    If this was a "cash grab", Disney would have gone the reboot route with Star Wars instead of moving forward with the legacy. It didnt do that becasue they are smarter than that, and know it would have been a short term venture.
  14. George Roper

    George Roper Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 31, 2012
    Give Disney some credits.
  15. janstett

    janstett Jedi Master star 3

    May 29, 2004
    Yeah because Lucas never did anything for money

    So naive. He was the first one to realize the power of merchandising (T-shirts, toys, etc) and kept the rights for himself (but he was just trying to get his vision on screen, LOL) and even with ANH made more money on merchandise than the films took in. Behold the truth of Lucas' empire:


    1/6 of Star Wars' revenue comes from the box office. A full 1/2 comes from hawking toys.
  16. Pfluegermeister

    Pfluegermeister Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 30, 2003
    I would also like to ask people exactly what's so wrong about being all about the money in the first place. Good luck getting along in life without any. The quest for income has done well by my wife and family, because they don't starve to death as long as I bring some in. It's done well for my home, because I get to live in it as long as I bring some in. It's done well for my ability even to talk on this forum, because my income keeps the internet service up and running, and my computer functional. Money comes with its problems, but show me a method of living that isn't perfect; it's still far easier and more civilized to be able to eat through the use of legal tender than it is to go out and literally risk my life every day to hunt for my food. All corporations have done is simply to accept this realization and make use of the principle to ensure that a much larger collective of people than just myself (i.e., the employees and the stockholders) gets to eat and live somewhere.

    And by the way, the corporate structure has allowed for the very problem people seem to be concerned so much about. A company generally understands that if no one likes their product, no one will buy it, and they will have made an investment in that product for nothing, thrown money down a rat hole. A product generally has to be actually good if it's going to get you to spend your money on it. I've observed Disney's every action so far, and there's simply no indication that they don't realize this when it comes to Star Wars. They've hired bulletproof people to work on them; why else hire Kasdan, a franchise writing vet, or Abrams, a safe and obvious director choice? Why else hire Arndt, a man with established credits, honors, and, based on his interviews, an obvious understanding of what, dramatically speaking, makes Star Wars good? If anything, those are the actions of a company determined that the film not suffer for lack of something, whether it be story or anything else.

    Let's face it, people: Star Wars has had an ungainly and nonetheless most effective relationship with commerce since, well, since the early-bird empty-box action figure deal in Christmas 1977. Why are we so naive that we want to just ignore this and pretend it plays no part in things? Why are we so haughty and arrogant that we pretend it's so horrible that commerce plays a role in art? The Sistine Chapel was not painted for free; Pope Urban II commissioned Michaelangelo Buonarroti to do so and paid him according to a contract which the artist had a hand in negotiating. Was that more about the money than the art? Was the artistic vision of the work in any way compromised? Or, as is now universally accepted, is it one of the finest works of art of its time, or any time? I'm sorry, but I don't believe one of the pearls of High Renaissance art was made to suffer simply because Michaelangelo was paid to make it.
    The Bops and Darth Xalfrea like this.
  17. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    For George, it was obviously more about his legacy with Star Wars than money (in the end) - Star Wars gave him what Bogart famously called '*** You money' and when he sold it to Disney, he had more riders in the contract than a prison rodeo - and what did he do with most of it? Not only did he give a chunk of change to charity, but he put forward his plans for an Art Museum =P~
    Darth Chiznuk likes this.
  18. Bazinga'd

    Bazinga'd Hand of the Mod Squad and Enforcer of the Realm star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 1, 2012
    Ideally its about the story. Realistically, its about the money.
  19. Pfluegermeister

    Pfluegermeister Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 30, 2003
    No, ideally and realistically, it's about both at the same time. If you accept the premise that art and commerce are in fact separate and mutually exclusive, then yes, the "ideally" would go to one and the "realistically" to the other. But I don't even accept the premise, which seems to have become so popular these days, that one cancels out the other: art is a human endeavor and therefore subject to the conditions of human society, and therefore the equation is simple: good quality product (the story) will sell better (the money) than a bad quality product. And if you want to continue making good art AND survive in any economy, but particularly this one, it's common sense to first sell the good art you have already made.

    I'm an artist myself; I've been in the profession for nearly twenty years. I still do the fine arts pieces I want on my own time and no corporation in the world has tried to stop me. Money does not govern my fine art, and when it governs my commercial art, it's usually worked to my benefit - because that means I can pay a bill (or several at once), or my rent, or whatever else is necessary to keep the artist functioning and the art rolling off the drafting table smoothly.

    I've never subscribed to the idea that art is some sort of monastic profession that has no room for the more mundane concerns of life. This sense of elitism that says art belongs above and apart from money, or any other aspect of society, is just that: an affected sense of arrogance, self-importance and naivete, practiced by arrogant, self-important and naive people who insist on biting the hand that feeds them. But when push comes to shove and their stomachs are growling, they'll still need and even want money. If people aren't too proud to possess money for something as basic as simple sustenance, an essential must-have thing for human survival, then why should they suddenly become too proud to factor commerce into what are (in terms of basic survival must-haves) entirely optional non-essentials like art? It's just ludicrous.
    Vthuil likes this.
  20. Han Burgundy

    Han Burgundy Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 28, 2013
    Interesting article posted today that I really think applies to this topic:

    "The deal fit perfectly into Iger’s plan for Disney. He wants to secure the company’s creative and competitive future at a time when consumers are inundated with choices, thanks to a proliferation of cable television networks and the ubiquity of the Internet. “It’s a less forgiving world than it’s ever been,” he says. “Things have to be really great to do well.” Part of Iger’s strategy is to acquire companies that could be described as mini-Disneys such as Pixar and Marvel—reservoirs of franchise-worthy characters that can drive all of Disney’s businesses, from movies and television shows to theme parks, toys, and beyond. Lucas’s needs were more emotional. At 68, he was ready to retire and escape from the imaginary world he created—but he didn’t want anybody to desecrate it."

    "Things have to be really great to do well" -Disney CEO

    I think that says a lot. Iger recognizes that, especially in this economy, they best way to make money is to provide experiences that the consumer believes are worth having. And a big part of that is telling a good story.

    Episode 7 could still be a masterpiece, or it could be a 2-hour toy commercial. But at least we know the mentality of those responsible. Take from this what you will.
    Ryus and Pfluegermeister like this.
  21. fishtailsam

    fishtailsam Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2003
    Seeing as Star Wars has only ever existed to fund Skywalker Ranch, I'd say it's always been about the money.

  22. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Oct 3, 2003
    A film does not have to be high quality to make money, look at bay's Transformer movies for example. Star Wars as a name will make money, the movies being good could lead to more money sure but so could a two hour space dogfight movie.
  23. The Hellhammer

    The Hellhammer Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 4, 2012
    That would be an awesome movie.
  24. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Oct 3, 2003
    Yeah, like giant robots doing nothing but smashing stuff for nearly 3 hours was a great movie....

    Films need substance to go with style
  25. The Hellhammer

    The Hellhammer Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 4, 2012
    I was hardly being serious.

    EDIT - But in all honesty, one sentence doesn't make that obvious, so yeah, my bad.