Solo and the new Star Wars era

The following blog post, amalgamated from a fascinating Facebook conversation I lurked through on my esteemed associate Ilya’s wall, as well as another article and discussion I nabbed from my other esteemed associate M. “Cat Protocol” A.’s wall, requires very little in the way of Star Wars familiarity but quite a bit of time and willpower to do some reading.

Apparently the Star Wars fandom is now very neatly divided over whether or not Disney / The Last Jedi / someone called Kathleen Kennedy has destroyed Star Wars forever and also retroactively into the past which as we all know is absolutely a thing that can happen.

Now of course I automatically discounted this whole idea as absolute bullshit of the lowest possible grade, because whiny little buttweasels have been crying about their favourite things being “ruined” ever since the second thing was made (ruining the first thing, which I believe was the concept of banging a rock on stuff). Although yeah, banging a rock on living things really did sort of ruin the concept of banging a rock on stuff forever, so maybe that was a bad example.

Still, fast-forward a few tens of thousands of years to the arrival and surprising flop (read with as many grains of salt as required) of Solo. The conversation has continued and the probably-not-half-but-certainly-noisy-so-that’s-something segment of the Star Wars geek community has used the movie and its reception as further proof of the franchise having been murdered back in time like Disney is some kind of balefire-wielding Asha’man in Mickey Mouse ears (you’re welcome, literally three people who just got that reference).

This article outlines why maybe the aforementioned case isn’t the case.

This article talks more about the horrible world you might find yourself falling into if you really start talking about Star Wars movies in detail, to anybody. Or talking about anything that has a grimy little fanboy base, really. It’s well worth a read. “Long-standing franchises (like Star Wars) often carry modern political baggage by nature of being made in earlier eras when men, white people, straight people, etc. were even more socially privileged, and thus overrepresented in media,” KR&I’s Rachel Aparicio, a media studies scholar, told Observer. “Newer iterations of these franchises have often responded to those critiques by being somewhat more inclusive. However, this leads to the (arguably correct) perception that modern media is responding to a social justice agenda. This has made popular culture a lightning rod for conservatives—particularly conservative, white men—who see this process as symbolic of their (perceived) lessening of social and political power.” Spot on as far as I can see.

This article is an amusing look into the festering mind of an aging Star Wars fanboy who just plain doesn’t like The Gays. And it brought another author named Chuck to my attention, and that ain’t nothin’. I will have to look into his stuff.

So. There we have it.

Now I admit to not being particularly invested in this. I have seen Deadpool 2 twice, and plan on seeing it a third time, rather than going to see Solo, although I would still like to see Solo too if the opportunity arises and that opportunity isn’t stuffed groaningly, borderline-pornographically full with Deadpool 2. So put some of the box office blame on me, if you are one of the “a vote for a third party steals votes from the main contender and aids the enemy main contender” psychology group. Seems to me that Solo just wasn’t a main contender this time. But whatever, nerds.

I can’t say why I’m not interested. The movie looks fun. I’ve been told by basically every trusted and respected source I have at my disposal that it’s worth seeing. I didn’t hate The Last Jedi. I don’t love the old Han Solo with the nostalgic yearning and adoration of an Eighties Kid. And yet … I’m just not interested in this one.

Part of it is that I have little time or money right now, and absolutely love Deadpool, so what am I gonna do – not see Deadpool 2 a bunch of times? *Geeksnort* to that laughable idea. I’m gonna do what I want, which is my right as a consumer. That leaves no time or money for runner-up summer blockbusters. It’s just that simple.

Do I think Star Wars is dying? Oh Hell no (to quote the Ghost of Summer Blockbusters Past).

Do I think the “problems” can be laid at the feet of Disney, Kennedy, The Last Jedi or shitty fanboys? Meh. Probably most of them belong somewhere there, yeah. Apportion blame as you consider appropriate. That’s all I’ve got time for today.

It didn’t seem like much effort went into Solo getting a good reception, that’s all – but I’m still burned up over John Carter so take your marketing and your hype and ship it to Barsoom using my tears as fuel.

Seems like a measured response from RussianBot-497. And SithLordLukeSkywalker, for that matter.


Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while sitting in my car in the carpark after work.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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15 Responses to Solo and the new Star Wars era

  1. Jonathan B says:

    The amount of shit that has been flung Kathy Kennedy’s way is staggering. Her credentials are fucking solid. Her first film as a producer was E.T., and she followed it up with Gremlins, Temple of Doom, Color Purple, Back to the Future, and Goonies. She was handpicked by Lucas to handle Lucasfilm after the purchase, and has produced nearly every single Spielberg film to date. I cannot for the life in me fathom the amount of hatred thrown her way, and can’t logically make sense of it other than it being a bunch of shitbird incels screeching because somethingsomethingwomen.

    • stchucky says:

      This comment had found its way into my Pending box for no reason I can see, aside from possibly reasons of name-changing in the posting handle. Anyway, needless to say I agree.

    • That’s an excellent riposte to the idiots, Jonathan. With her resume, it’s hard to conclude anything other than sexism or pure idiocy[1] as the reason for the hate.

      [1] Doesn’t it seem like everyone thinks they’re an expert these days, and every opinion they have is better than the nuanced, informed one? I guess it’s just not interesting to simply say “I didn’t like it.”

      I don’t think I’d like it.

      Also, possibly relevant and certainly timely to your post:

      If you wish, look at those enlightened (lmao) comments. And the dislike to like ratio. Or just know, it’s what you’d expect when someone points out sexism these days.

  2. Yeah, not sure how deep I want to dive into this rabbit hole. I had a reasonable discussion with a reactor head penetration engineer (included for your amusement) about the SW movies lately, and he didn’t like the new episodes, said Rogue One was really good and better than either 7 or 8. I haven’t seen RO yet so avoided further discussion, but he didn’t seem to be going down some insane racist or sexist reasoning. Especially considering what I DO know about RO.

    Solo flopping didn’t surprise me at all. Lots of competition in theaters, new actors, a backstory many of us thought we wanted until we got it. I heard it was highly commercialized. The trailers made me roll my eyes. I decided, personally, that Solo and Lando are best shrouded in mystery.

    But I’d be surprised if racism played a role in Solo’s failure. After all, fans LOVE Lando. At least, don’t they? They’re aware he exists. No, “but he’s black” moment a la Lethal Weapon, right?

    Anyway, I guess I didn’t have much to say but…meh to Solo. Not interested.

  3. ohilya says:

    This is perhaps some of the best writing on the topic of Solo that I have seen thus far:

    Excerpts follow.

    “In 1972, during the shooting of his second feature film, American Graffiti, George Lucas turned to his young lead actor Ron Howard and told him about the plans he had to make an exciting, Buck Rogers-riffing space opera franchise, a story of rip-roaring space adventures with scoundrels as heroes, blasters and lots of action. Forty-six years later, in a plot twist few could have seen coming, Ron Howard finally made that film.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story is certainly not the best Star Wars movie, but *it may be the purest*. This is a film about a roguish hero who sets out on a quest to pull off a heist to get the girl and it all goes a bit sideways and he learns some lessons and the audience has a huge amount of fun along the way. This is Star Wars with an alternate take on the hero’s journey, without the space wizards or magic or laser swords or prophecies, but plenty of blasters, quips and explosions. It’s also a surprising Star Wars movie: almost any nerf herder who’s seen the Empire Strike Back incarnation of Han Solo could write a version of this movie which was safer, duller and very predictable. It fell to the movie’s bizarre gestation period (including a change of directors two-thirds of the way through production) and formidable writing team (including Lawrence Kasdan making his farewell to the franchise that made his name) to turn it into a more surprising and interesting beast.

    Solo is relentless. It’s a film that lands with a massive bang – a chase through the tunnels of Corellia – and then does not let up for over two hours. Set piece after set piece rains down on the viewer, but the Kasdan team and the directors (I’m not even going to guess who directed what scenes here) keep the movie buoyant, not allowing it to get too bogged down in exposition. Dialogue sparkles and the action is very well-handled, with the fights and chases being easy to follow. There’s a surprising physicality to the film, with a reliance on actual stunts and sets rather than CGI, which is good to see.”

    This is the kind of Star Wars movie I’ve been wanting for a very long time. Less force powers and Jedi/Sith ping-ponging, more earthy, incidental, small-time stuff.

    I’ve contemplated writing a review of the movie, as I wanted to watch it again the moment it ended, but, nyeh. Other priorities present in life and all that.

    It’s a terrific film. It’s also now probably my favourite Star Wars film. It’s just such a great big bag of fun and heart-on-shoulder gleeful delight of a movie. I look forward to seeing it again this week.

    • Shades of Hatboy in that review excerpt, particularly at the end, LOL. I’ve seen very fair, polite reviewers (one of whom loves almost EVERYTHING) say it’s meh, not…what that excerpt said…so I’m sticking with that. Seriously, if Steph Cozza from Aggressive Comix (on Youtube) can’t say “this is a good movie” (in some form), it’s not a good movie.

      • ohilya says:

        You’re missing out. It’s a great big can of Grade A whoop-ass fun.

        It’s become my favourite Star Wars film, as it’s just so much fun. It has a very early 80s Lucasfilm feel to it, and is redolent of Raiders of the Lost Ark in that sense, of being a non-stop charm assault.

  4. Jonathan Bloom says:

    Kathy Kennedy has produced every Spielberg movie since E.T., which was her first job as a producer. She was handpicked by Lucas to run Lucasfilm after the transition. I don’t know where these incel fuckwads get the idea that she’s the person to pick on, but her credentials are flawless.

    • stchucky says:

      I got that impression from the assorted articles and comments. What I’ve seen of her work, it makes good sound sense for Disney to put their faith in her.

  5. Daryl says:

    Surely more than three of your followers have read Wheel of Time?

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