- Push an agenda
- Demonize anyone who doesn’t support the agenda
- Lose fans and money
- Blame the fans for your failure
If Social Justice Warriors actually took Economics in college, this would be their four-step business model. Back in January, just one month after the release of Star Wars The Last Jedi, I wrote an editorial ‘Is It Already Over For Disney’s Star Wars?’ While many in the media were playing defense for divisive failures of that film, I along with others actually saw the writing on the wall and realized that Disney was in big trouble with their 4 billion dollar cash cow if changes weren’t made ASAP. Now with the international flop of Solo: A Star Wars Story being realized after months of behind the scenes turmoil, will Lucas Film finally admit they have a problem? Or will they double down on the rhetoric that is quickly driving fans away from the brand?
Let’s go back to the start. When Disney announced its plans for a new Star Wars Trilogy the hype was at an Everest peak. The Force Awakens rode on the back of being the first Star Wars film in 10 years to a grand total of 2 billion dollars at the box office, Star Wars was back…so we thought. A year later, the first Disney standalone film Rouge One was released and while it didn’t have the box office boom The Force awaken had, only drawing half of the box office, it was overall a well-received movie. Then The Last Jedi happened and this movie changed the game in a lot of people’s eyes and not in a good way. The film was shredded by audiences despite critics going overtime to defend it. In the course of two years, Star Wars Episodic films had dropped off nearly 700 Million dollars between each other and the honeymoon phase of the relationship has ended. People were not happy with the direction of Disney.
While angry fans were stewing on Last Jedi, Reports of turmoil from the Han Solo movie got more attention. From firing the directors halfway during production, A lead actor that can’t act, and the studio internally, giving up on the project before it’s release, fans didn’t have a bright future to look forward to, and that was BEFORE it was discovered that the film rewrote Lando Calrissian’s character to be Pansexual. The result is out and the news couldn’t be any worse for Disney. After initially claiming the film was tracking for a 170 million opening weekend on the backs of presale that were beating Black Panther…the film bombed with an abysmal 148 million dollars worldwide.
Reports stating the film needed 500 million to break even (some outlets even claiming 800 million) Solo is destined to be the lowest drawing Star Wars film in the Disney era and a outright failure. While some will blame “Star Wars Fatigue”, Disney’s other property known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown no such fatigue after 10 years of superhero movies, Marvel’s latest addition Avengers: Infinity Wars drew nearly 2 billion at the global box office, and that film came out less than 2 months after Black Panther. There is no way to spin this, in a matter of 3 years, we have already seen a sharp decline in the box office and with the fans when It comes to the Star Wars brand. The blame for this lies in one person’s hands. Kathleen Kennedy.
Kennedy has turned Star Wars into her own personal playground for her feminist agenda at the expense of the fanbase. An agenda that is very obvious if you watched ANY of the four Star Wars films in the last 4 years. Constant rants by characters against capitalism that add nothing to the story, the need to tackle ‘toxic masculinity’ through characters like Poe and Han, the blatant addition of bland female characters who serve as nothing more as celebrations of ‘inclusion’ rather than women who will stand the test of time like Leia. Kennedy obnoxious agenda is the elephant in the room that no one in the media wants to point out, and if they do, it’s only to attack the fans in defense of her. For six months, the brass at Lucasfilm and many media outlets mocked and demonized people who hated the direction of the franchise calling them “angry sexist bigots” in defense of the film. This is why The Last Jedi has a 91% with critics, but on 46% with audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. The reality is it isn’t just angry bigots who are unhappy with the films, Everyone is. Women are unhappy, black people are unhappy, Hispanics are unhappy. The media’s refusal to acknowledge an unhappy fan base, because the film promotes a message they support is part of the problem and the fact they attack the fans for 6 months shouldn’t be a surprise to why nobody was excited for Solo, some fans even choosing to boycott it because of the treatment.
Star Wars is a dark place right now because if you look at the schedule of future movies, the next Star Wars film doesn’t come out until December of 2019. Disney is going to have to sit on this failure for 18 months. Even when we get the new trailer for Episode 9 whenever that is finished, the damage has been done. Lucasfilm has already begun hyping up a potential Boba Fett movie, but after seeing what Disney has done to every legacy character, thus far, does anyone want to see that film? No. No one is going to trust another Star Wars film that Kathleen Kennedy is in charge of. Will Disney finally give her the boot?
Not likely, I predict they will at least let her ride off with the final Episode 9. However, with the way the wheels have fallen off of this franchise in just 6 short months, I can’t foresee any other way to get back in the fans good graces before the finale of the Rey vs Kylo is realized.