Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Future of a Franchise

And now, we present to you another exciting blog post from the self-proclaimed Internet famous Josiah Dyck! Staying hip and relevant, he has decided to talk about one of the biggest movie series in the history of the film industry. If you haven't heard of it, you've been hiding under a rock in Antarctica for the past four centuries. It's known as . . .

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Wait a minute: you're telling me this was no surprise to you? The post preview shows this picture? Curse you, spoilery previews!

All joking aside, we were recently given an official full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode of the third top-grossing franchise of the world (bested only by the Marvel Cinematic Universe and J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World). Let me tell you, I am HYPED for this new film. If you haven't seen the trailer, well, stop wasting time and--if I may be so bold as to reference Nike's motto and the Shia LaBeouf meme--just do it! Of course, you may be trying to keep the movie as spoiler-free as possible, and I respect that, in which case you should not just do it.

For those of you who haven't yet watched the trailer, or would just like to see it again, I've taken the liberty to add it to my post. Get ready for some spinal shivers.


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Now I've seen that some people think this going to be a carbon copy of The Empire Strikes Back. (Did you catch the totally intentional pun in there?) After all, The Force Awakens had a similar plot structure to A New Hope. One person even said he would quit watching the franchise if this happens. I, however, have a theory about that, and to do that, we need a bit of history.

In May of 2011, George Lucas, head of the Lucasfilm company, met with the CEO of Walt Disney, Bob Iger. Debating retirement, Lucas was looking to sell the company and its massive Star Wars franchise. 2012 rolled around (you know, the year where the world was scheduled to end because of the good ol' Mayan calendar), and Disney announced that it was indeed buying Lucasfilm for the grand sum of over four billion dollars. (This info comes courtesy of a quick visit to Wikipedia.)

Now we hadn't gotten a proper Star Wars episode since Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005. The prequel trilogy had gotten a lot of hate, so I'm sure there was some nervous anticipation when Episode 7 was slated for a 2015 release. This is where my theory comes in.

I know Walt Disney is a massive company. I mean, they can shell out over four billion for a company and its immensely popular film series--so popular it has everything from books to TV shows to toys to video games. Who doesn't know characters like Darth Vader or Yoda these days? So while I'm sure Disney can afford to lose money, they definitely don't want. No sane person in the film industry says, "Let's spend thousands upon thousands of hours and dollars to write, film, and edit a movie that'll bomb in the box office!" Disney was walking on eggshells. The Force Awakens would make or break the trust diehard fans had in them.

They needed a safe solution, something that would show they knew how to handle the Star Wars universe. So what do they do? They create a film that's new, but hearkens back to A New Hope in order to bring back the nostalgia and heighten the appreciation for the latest addition to the franchise. It's a smart thing to do, really. And if you think that they shouldn't have used this method, consider that A New Hope is the 68th top-grossing film of all time, and The Force Awakens is the 3rd.

So they've made a hugely successful movie and have earned the trust of the fans. Now what? This is where things get riskier. They need to dive into some new water. They have to create an original movie to test just how loyal people are. Thus, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story appeared last year, bridging the gap between Episodes 3 and 4. While not as popular as its predecessor, it ended up being the 22nd top-grossing film, which is still really good.

Where does that leave us? Well, Disney has proven that they can handle the Star Wars franchise just fine. Honestly, I don't think we have anything to worry about concerning The Last Jedi, provided Disney doesn't make Finn and Poe a couple. The movie is in good hands, so we can rest assured that it'll turn out great in the end.

Already some have compared it to Episode 5 after seeing the trailer, saying that Luke training Rey is like Yoda training Luke. Even if it has similar plot points, who cares? I don't! I'll probably love the movie either way.

In a video adults reacting to the new trailer, one guy put it very well. He said that while you have people who saw the original trilogy when it came out watching the sequel trilogy, you also have a new audience who didn't grow up with the first episodes. He believed that it was like passing the nostalgia down to the next generation, saying that it was his childhood and it could now be their childhood too.

I quite agree with that point. Disney wants to capture a new audience by giving them things that were great with the old movies, while building upon the foundation of the franchise and creating compelling characters we love and hate. With all the technology at their disposal, they're making these films look better than ever, which certainly doesn't hurt. In the end, Disney is shaping the series to be the best that it can be, and as a Star Wars fan, I'll be following every step of the way.

As for my thoughts on Disney's approach to the franchise, you can take it or leave it. It's just a theory--a film theory! (And no, I was sadly not sponsored by MatPat or The Film Theorists to say that.)

(Also, a quick sidenote: I promised to be showing off my new phone's camera for this week's post, but I worked a lot of overtime and wasn't able to finish up the post. I want it to be as good as it can be, so you'll have to wait just a little longer before you see what I have in store for you. Thanks for understanding!)

What did you guys think of the new trailer? Are you a diehard fan, a casual viewer, or a disinterested individual? Do you agree or disagree with my theory? Where do you hope these movies to go next? Let's talk Star Wars and get hyped together!

12 comments:

  1. I'm a diehard, and I am honestly thrilled with the way the new trailer looks. Your theory makes a lot of sense, honestly, and I've thought that too, for a long time. People who are comparing the two are whiny and ungrateful (IMHO.) The only thing I'm not crazy about in the new trailer is that the visuals are weird. Like, really weird. What is with all the red?

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    1. Same! *high fives* Ah, so I'm not the only one with this theory. Maybe that means it's correct? XD This is true. They should just be grateful they're even getting another Star Wars film! XD Are you talking about that room that looks all red? Not sure what that's about, either. It stood out weirdly the first time I saw the trailer. I guess we'll find out when we see the movie. :P

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  2. I'm a pretty diehard Star Wars fan (Phantom Menace was the first movie I ever saw in theaters). I also thought they did the safe thing with The Force Awakens. While it wasn't my favorite in the saga, I think it also provides a strong set-up for a solid sequel.

    The trailer looks promising to me. I think it will have a darker tone, similar to Empire Strikes Back, but that's typical for a second installment in a trilogy. I'm cautiously hopeful. (I have to say I agree with the people who say Rogue One was like a well-funded fan film, even though it has my favorite X-Wing sequence out of the saga. I'm hoping we keep the much more classic Star Wars feel in The Last Jedi).

    Nice post!

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    1. What do you think of the prequel trilogy, anyway? I know most people seem to hate it, but I'm curious to hear your opinion. I actually haven't seen any of the old Star Wars movies, but I LOVE TFA. ^_^

      I'm actually looking forward to it being darker. Is that weird? XD (While I can see where that sentiment is coming from, I think a war movie installment in the Star Wars franchise really works. It also helped fix some of A New Hope's plotholes, like how the Death Star is rigged to blow.)

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  3. I love Star Wars, although I don't consider myself diehard. I was raised on the original trilogy, like my mother before me- so I'll be happy if these newest Star Wars films echo the oldest ones.

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    1. Nice! Then hopefully the sequel trilogy will continue to pass on the legacy of the old movies. :D

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  5. I love the Star wars trilogy. I cant wait to see it in theaters!

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  6. I've seen all the Star Wars movies and like them all. I'm really exited to see "The Last Jedi" In theaters. I don't know if I'll like it as much as the others though.
    -June

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    1. Even the prequel trilogy? That's rare. XD I think I'll like it just as much as TFA and RO. :)

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  7. I was really sad that Han Solo Died.:(
    -Joze

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    1. Well, Harrison Ford had wanted his character to die for a long time. He finally made it happen with TFA.

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