I was in a discussion on Facebook today regarding a Polygon article about the future of Star Wars. It turned out quite lengthy so I thought I might as well share here.
I don’t see the Star Was fatigue setting in till the next trilogy of main films. Star Wars has been omnipresent in our societies since ’77, be it with or without movie on the way.
The fact that we didn’t have a Han Solo trailer till last week was actually refreshing because the echo hype chamber on Facebook was quiet for so long. Outside of, you know, clammering for the trailer like a bunch of sycophants.
Star Wars is also in a slightly more problematic position than Marvel and Pixar because it’s a singular property rather than an ‘idea factory’. Star Wars is Star Wars, it’s lightsabers, blasters, TIE fighters, force powers. Marvel is Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. You can at least con people into thinking its something different. Doctor Strange was essentially a remake of the first Iron Man movie from 2008 yet a slightly different theme made the story feel fresh again. We forget that blockbusters are not about actually having new things in them with every franchise iteration. They are about making you think that there are new elements to it.
The ‘A Star Wars story’ films so far have done the most damage to the possibility of further movies, I think. Not because Rogue One was badly received (more of a mediocre reception masquerading as overwhelmingly positive because of the RT score) or didn’t make any money (it only made slightly less of all the money than Force Awakens) but creatively: both are prequels starring familiar characters in a familiar setting concerning familiar events. It sends the message that the Star Wars world isn’t a mile wide and an inch deeper every new phase of movies like Marvel but less than a mile wide and only ever an inch deep.
Working against that subconscious statement is going to be all on the shoulders of the next sidequel they release after Solo, as well as that movie’s reception. Until we know for certain how Solo performs both critically, financially, and with the fundamentalist fanbase, as well as Disney’s moves hence, we won’t know for certain what actually will happen. Regardless of how long and wordy responses to these think pieces are. It’s more likely we will see the end of Polygon and other sides proclaiming ‘the end for X company/franchise/toe nail clipper’ before the mouse bites the dust.