…that escalated quickly.
I know, I’ve got a little time on my hands to hypothesise wildly . Sorry
Just to be facetious, you could also make the same arguement in reverse, that they’ll eschew as many “classic” elements as possible following The Last Jedi being a success in a way Solo wasn’t. Lando might have the same appearance as Admiral Akbar did in TLJ but Disney let it leak to entice that loud guy on twitter who is scared of women…
Perhaps he’s been given an expanded role in order to take on some of what was written for Carrie Fisher in Episode IX. Given that they are pretty much out of legacy characters to use at this point, maybe they felt giving some of that material to a familiar face was the right way to go.
More casting news:
TLJ may have been financially successful, but it also got a whole lot of flack from the fans for crapping on the audience by subverting the usual villain trope (killing Snoke). I imagine that will factor into Disney’s decision as to how they use TLJ as a model for IX
Hiring J.J. makes me think they want to allay fans vitriol with a more ‘Force Awakens’ rehash of all the safe tropes, rather than eschewing those classic elements.
And the fact that they’re mooting Williams return adds to the play it safe Commercial > Art/originality approach, desperately appealing to the fans by embracing a classic element - a safe bet in Disney’s eyes after the reaction to him in Solo.
I think they’ll want IX to win fans back rather than risk alienating more of them. A shame - without risk a sequel is a bore. After all Solo has been justifiably accused of playing too safe; inevitable when safe-hands Howard is hired and now on IX they’ve sacked another director and hired safe-hands J.J.
From angry people on twitter which you will find for ANY opinion you want (MY LOCAL PIZZA PLACE DOESN’T HAVE OLIVES #mychildhoodmurderededed)
I can garuntee you they’ll not give a toss about them - The Last Jedi was financially successful, incredibly well reviewed and had 4 Oscar nominations.
Also do you think that guy on twitter will not got to see a new Star Wars film, even if just to write his “hot take” on it?
Lando Calrissian was a great addition to the cast in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. But in RETURN OF THE JEDI he already was just a rebel soldier, getting no chance to develop as a character or even keep his duplicitous ways.
He has no connection to the Skywalker family, and Episode IX will deal with the last surviving Skywalker. It would have been great to have Leia, his mother, confront her son. But there’s no way Abrams will substitute her with Lando.
Also, Mr. Williams is not the kind of actor who could pull this off, and being over 80 years old he will hardly step in for a large supporting part either.
I expect him to do a nice cameo. No big script revisions necessary. In fact, I believe they always wanted to get him on board and wrote in Lando in a way that his lines could have been given to another character if he had refused to come back.
When there’s probably a long line of successful directors ready to sell their gran for a shot at directing the final part of the skywalker saga, getting J.J. back tells me they want to play it safe.
I’ll bet that negative fan response whatever it’s medium was a shock for the Disney shareholders and the directive for IX will be to ‘get it right this time’. Surely if a trend were to begin by having equally vitriolic critism for IX they’d fear sliding profits.
At work I’ve seen the desision making criteria in all aspects of production completely mutate since the emergence of Twitter into something new with nothing to do with program making and instead forever geared to react to Twitter response. It’s crazy but that’s the situation - a Twitter trend will change a shows direction regardless of how it breaks the story.
The kind of consumer tv I cut and the Star Wars franchise couldn’t be farther divorced, but I’d imagine that Twitter has had an equally destructive influence in the way Hollywood movies are produced. I think the suits pulling the SW strings will read fan/twitter descent and future profits as one and the same in the long view and act accordingly, eg. hiring safe-hands J.J.
And that says everything you need to know about Hollywood.
I’d agree that JJ was a safe pair of hands, but I think his choice as replacing of Trevorrow was more, he was already producer with a relationship with Kennedy, so asking him to do it allowed them to keep the tent pole release date they had.
Also JJ got his job on Star Wars by making a pair of films that anger that kind of fan, so Kennedy clearly doesn’t care about them so much as her directors ability to follow her vision of Star Wars. This is Kathleen Kennedy’s Star Wars, make no mistake. You make a film she’s happy with, she commissions more off you (JJ, Johnson, the makers of Star Wars Rebels) you go against her, you get replaced (everyone else)
I would agree that some in the business do chase Money at the expense of all else and do REALLY stupid things to do it (Isaac Perlmutter raise your hand) but then you have the “This my film, you’re just making it for me” style. Kennedy is firmly the latter (as were Cubby and Saltzman now I think about it)
STAR WARS is no longer the result of a personal vision, it is geared as a commodity to appeal to the biggest audience possible.
In that regard they will have noticed the fan response to THE LAST JEDI and SOLO, and it probably became clear that what Episode IX needs is less experiments. I expect a film like RETURN OF THE JEDI, a kind of greatest hits-package, catering to the fans of the old films, offering all the bits fans were speculating on after TFA (for example: Kylo Ren´s other trainees).
And since I always thought it was a wasted opportunity not to show Luke and Han together again…
If there was any way to get Harrison Ford to sign on again, at least for a small part of the film, I would do that. We only saw Han being stabbed and falling into the abyss. One could easily explain that he survived and was rescued. If he, together with Luke coming back as a force ghost like Yoda etc., could come back to confront Ben… I’m pretty sure that surprise would make audiences applaud wildly.
And before anyone says: that’s ludicrous, bringing people back from death… I only say “The Avengers” and “Game of Thrones”. Works like crazy there.
Or indeed Star Wars itself with Obi-wan and Yoda.
As an aside - three writers had a chat and populace “being the way” won because of what a studio MIGHT say. Is there a more perfect metaphor for our job?
But back to that convo - I think it’s the flip of a coin whether we get a love letter or tearing up the rule book as Abrams has successfully done both (Mission Impossible and Alias for the former, Star Trek and Fringe for the latter)
The real shame of all of this, for me, is that I LOVED TLJ and all the new elements it brought to the table. I’ve been a fan since 1997, with TESB being my personal favorite, but TLJ is easily my #3 (right behind ANH). And now I’m afraid we’re in for another TFA, which I did enjoy, but brought nothing new to the table.
I may be in the minority, but I think Rian Johnson did a fantastic job, and I think most of the backlash is a result of audiences seeing things they weren’t used to. Let’s not forget: TESB was tonally and stylistically very different from ANH, adding plot elements which seemed to veer considerably from its predecessor. And I’ve read that audiences at the time were also ambivalent towards it – the difference is that was before social media.
Mark my words: in twenty or thirty years, fans will have a much more favorable attitude towards TLJ than they do now.
I think you sit in the majority and the minority are just loud. I agree whole heartedly (but then I loved Johnson’s work since Brick)
I think it depends on what Disney think it is - if Alan Horn thinks it’s a loud minority, JJ will have total free reign, but if Horn thinks it’s a trend, we’ll get Force Awakens 2. I’m actually okay either way as I loved The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and have seen Abrams pull off both styles, but I’m not in charge, we’re at the mercy of Horn and Kennedy in regards to Star Wars.
Me too. What hapenned I’m not such a fan of, but how he directed it was great. He brought a level of storytelling and wit that outstripped TFA imo.
But killing off snoke as a red herring with no effort to give him any greater context was not so much the surprise they wanted as much as a kick in the teeth for those following the story so far.
And giving Finn (arguably the stand out character in TFA) what amounts to a subplot since nothing he did seemed to further the story was another strange move and left many feeling short changed.
The epilogue shot of the boy with the broom and it’s message that anyone might have the force was joyous one that I applaud for giving young fans way into the myth going forward.
I’d love for Ryan to direct IX, I’m just not sure I want him writing it.
“the art of making a Bond movie is be exactly the same but different” - Christopher Wood
Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? The good ones earn their reward
I think we’ll be getting TFA 2 and that’s a shame.
I completely respect what J.J. did with TFA and he did it superbly; winning back audiences estranged by the prequels. Giving us the tropes as an apaology and promise to respect what audiences are judged to have loved in the originals.
Also it was an exciting, pacy narrative with entriguing new characters - particularly Snoke.
He knocked out the park.
But that was needed back then. It’s not needed now unless TPTB feel the once again need winning back. Personally I don’t think they really do, but big money usually makes safe bets. J.J. is of course convienient because he’s a producer, but that’s the very reason he’ll take no chances - he’s a company man and will tow the line and when do investors ever care adroit anything apart from the size of their return?
I think the entire Canto Bight subplot was relevant not in furthering the story, but in developing the characters.
At the start of the movie, Poe was a cocky, too-sure-of-himself maverick who believed he could solve every problem by “jumping in an X-Wing and blowing stuff up.” His actions resulted in the loss of all the Resistance bombers at the start of the movie, not to mention the loss of life as a result of his failed coup attempt-- again, he was acting rashly and irresponsibly, jumping into battle before assessing the best course of action. He needed to learn when NOT to act, when NOT to fight, when to RETREAT. (As Leia said to him, they had plenty of good fighters, but no good leaders.)
After the failure of his plan with Poe, he realized his mistake, and how he had been behaving rashly the entire time (Leia tried to teach him this at the beginning, and only succeeded in teaching him this as they were escaping to Crait to call in reinforcements).
In the final battle, as the First Order are picking off the Resistance speeders one by one, Poe tells the remaining fighters to retreat, recognizing that sometimes the best course of action is to call off an attack and regroup. He learned his lesson and grew into a leader. Character development.
Same with Finn. At the beginning of the movie, Finn was ready to desert the Resistance (escape pod), still the same guy he was in TFA, selfishly trying to save himself (and I guess Rey too), unable to commit to something greater than his own self-preservation. He didn’t care about the Resistance or their cause; he wanted to save himself.
But after his failed plan with Poe, seeing the selfishness of the profiteers on Canto Bight and how they indiscriminately sold weapons to both the good guys and the bad guys with money as their only goal, Finn became committed to the cause. Look at his anger at Benicio del Toro’s betrayal, and how he proudly calls himself “rebel scum” to Phasma.
On Crait, at the same time that Poe demonstrates his character growth by ordering the retreat, Finn demonstrates his character growth by doing the exact opposite of what he attempted at the beginning of the movie: rather than desert the Resistance, he makes the ultimate sacrifice, willing to give up his life for the cause by flying into the big laser gun. The fact that Rose stops him is immaterial; he was prepared to do it, showing that he grew and developed as a character.
Poe: rash, irresponsible maverick -> calculating, patient leader
Finn: deserter, only in it for himself -> willing to die for the cause
Audiences were thrown off because they were expecting the whole plan with the casino planet to succeed. But even though the plan failed at achieving its goal (which I also think was a nice subversion), it succeeded in developing our heroes. I’d take this any day over another plan succeeding against all odds.
Careful with the “company man”-marker. On an enterprise like that no “uncompromising artist” would get the chance to potentially ruin the stockholders´ stakes.
Still, you have to be a clever artist to pull off a film under that pressure. An idiosyncratic writer/director with a personal vision would fail miserably.
And, by the way, Rian Johnson also worked happily under these constraints. The often (unjustly) maligned Kathleen Kennedy just loved what he did, so that was his good luck.