If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard that “Solo: a Star Wars Story” has been underperforming at the box office. In fact, it is going to lose money, the first Star Wars film to be a genuine bomb. And that’s a shame, as it is a fun movie – flawed for sure, but fun nonetheless. If you haven’t seen it yet, go ahead and do so because there are SPOILERS AHEAD! For the rest of you good readers, this post will look at the ruin that Disney has made of the Star Wars franchise.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was a great trilogy of sci-fi movies known as Star Wars. Or at least, the first two were great, and Return of the Jedi had some great moments but is probably now only the fifth best movie out of the series. Yes, the opening rescue of Han was awesome, as was the final battle on several fronts along with Vader’s face turn. But the people who call …Jedi great forget how it dragged in the middle, the Ewoks, and Han becoming a complete wus. But still, …Jedi benefited from the halo effect of its two predecessors and did a competent job of rounding out the trilogy.
Then in 1999 the prequels started, and let’s say that the fans were somewhat disappointed. Phantom Menace was a steaming pile of Sith, and on its surface Attack of the Clones was just as bad if not worse. Quick aside – Ep II was designed for DVD technology. If you watch it and skip all of the Annakin/Padme scenes it becomes a very good movie! And of course, the final act of the trilogy in Revenge of the Sith was better than Return of the Jedi. Yes, it also was flawed, but when you put the two of them side by side I give the edge to Sith because at no point in that movie did Han Solo become a bed wetting mama’s boy. For all of the flaws of Ep I & Ep II, there are parts that are a lot of fun to watch. In Ep I we finally got to see two functioning Jedi get through a fight right off the bat, the pod race, a young Obi-Wan in action, and of course, the light saber battles involving Darth Maul. Ep II had the chase across Corsucant, Obi Wan’s tracing down the clones, and the massive battle in the arena. For all of their flaws, parts of each of these movies were fun to watch – more on this in a moment.
However much you may have liked or disliked each of these movies, when you got to their end each one left you with at least some desire for more Star Wars – in their order of release:
Star Wars – If you didn’t want more you’re not an American
The Empire Strikes Back – They’re going to rescue Han, right? And how about Luke’s family problems?
The Return of the Jedi – Vader’s origin story? And what about those clone wars that got brief mention in the first movie?
The Phantom Menace – What’s going to happen with Anakin and Obi-Wan? And how about Palpatine’s rise to power?
Attack of the Clones – Clone Wars? Count me in!
Revenge of the Sith – Lucas said this was a nine chapter story – what happened after the Empire was defeated?
Feel free to argue any of these points in the comments, but why would you? Star wars fans always agree on everything! And if you truly despised Phantom Menace (or if you liked it), check out the YouTube videos by Mr. Plinkett ripping the movie apart. It’s a series of seven ten minute videos and he’s as funny as he is ruthless and detail oriented. It’s a must watch for Star Wars fans!
And that brings us to the newest Star Wars films after Disney bought the rights. There was so much hope, between J.J. Abrams coming in, Lucas (and his painful dialog) being out, and of course the return of the major characters for the original trilogy. Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened to great fanfare and anticipation!
What we got was another story. Some Star Wars fans raved about it, happy to see the beloved franchise back. I wasn’t one of them. The first time I saw it I thought it was OK. Then after the initial thrill wore off my view of it shifted downward to tired remake of the original to now I see it as just a rip-off of the original movie.
My first warning that the movie was hot garbage came in the opening moments when an actor with Max Von Sydow’s chops as a villain (The Fugitive, Minority Report, Flash Gordon, Strange Brew) is squandered on a throwaway character who gets killed in the opening scene. The movie introduces a few new characters, and I’ll refer to them here by the same vernacular when I used Episode 8 as just one example of how Hollywood is sending the message that women are incapable of being leaders. We were introduced to a few bland characters named Flyboy, Face-Turned Imperial, and Mary Sue. Their purpose seemed to be to fight against The First Order, a reincarnation of The Empire whose rebirth isn’t even remotely explained. The F.O is led by the likes of Captain Brienne, Grand Moff Ginger, Smoke, and Kylo-Stimpy. Kylo-Stimpy is apparently Han & Leia’s son, and while being tutored by Luke, Kylo killed the entire new Jedi Order that Luke was leading, also for reasons that don’t get explained.
The old characters’ treatment isn’t much better. Luke has disappeared, and only appears at the end, Han seems to have picked up right where his weak Return of the Jedi self left off, and Leia isn’t much better. She might have done something in that movie, but aside from force feeling Han’s completely meaningless death and barely reacting, I can’t think of anything else that she did offhand. R2 and C3PO are in the movie as well as window dressing, as is Chewie. In the end the good guys destroy the Death Star clone and Mary Sue finds where Luke went into hiding. Just like his mentor, Yoda, Luke went the coward’s route and went into hiding when the galaxy needed him most.
The only positive that came from this movie was how it combined Kylo Stimpy’s and Vader’s respective downfalls as poster children for the importance of two-parent households for raising children. If you look back on recent history, the overwhelming majority of mass shooters have come from single parent homes. Despite the mass murder and misery that Vader and Stimpy would inflict on the galaxy, at no point do we get any overbearing messages about the need for “Star Destroyer-free zones” or “Sensible light saber control.” Very subtle Star Wars, but brilliant nonetheless.
The Last Jedi would have no problem holding the title of Worst Star Wars Film had Ep. 7 not been such a perfect disaster. The tragedy of 8 is that it had some truly fun moments. I’m one of the few people who disliked this movie that didn’t have a problem with the humor in it – I thought it was done well. The opening scene where Flyboy was messing with Grand Moff Ginger gave me high hopes for the movie. In that same scene I loved the unintentional homage to the classic movie “Mallrats” when the bomber pilot was trying to “force” the release bay remote just like Silent Bob trying to reach the incriminating VCR tape (jump to the 1:32 mark) – as the bomber pilot struggled you could almost hear Brody frantically calling, “NOW, Silent Bob! NOW, Silent Bob!” as Lafours and his security detail closed in on our Garden State protagonists.
Where was I? Ah yeah, the humor – I liked Luke messing with Mary Sue by waving a palm frond in her face, and at the end after Kylo-Sytimpy’s ordered laser barrage of Luke how Grand Moff Ginger quipped, “Do you think you got him?” These touches of humor got blasted because the movie was garbage. where had Ep. 8 been a good movie they would have been praised. In addition to the humorous moments, Ep. 8 had a few flashes of brilliance. The various perspectives of how Luke was about to kill Kylo-Stimpy was intriguing. Mary Sue and Kylo Stimpy having their “Cyber-Force” virtual date was cool, too.
And, um, that was about it. If you want to read my take on why Ep 8 was horrible my views are mostly summed up in my post from last month where I used the movie as the biggest of my three examples of how Hollywood is telling us that women are incompetent as leaders. For a great look at how Ep. 8 was more SJW garbage than an actual, you know, Star Wars movie, check out Bronn Tennant’s post, The Last Jedi is the first successful leftist porno. Unlike Mr. Plinkett’s sarcastic and hilarious evisceration of Phantom Menace, this post is a detailed, scathing, and cold sober takedown of how SJW politics ruined Ep. 8. The last mention I’ll give before we move on to Solo comes via the always great Bill Whittle. In his two hour Star Wars episode of his Stratosphere Lounge show he made the excellent observation, “Rose Tico makes Jar-Jar Binks look like Boba Fett.”
And that brings us to Solo. Or as a number of conservative critics are calling it thanks to Youtuber ComicArtistPro Secrets, “Soylo”. This movie had everything stacked against it – two terrible Star Wars movies continuing the series along with Kathleen Kennedy having to fire her director as it was nearing completion and having to bring in Ron Howard to clean up the mess. Real Star Wars fans went into this movie almost looking forward to hating it, and then something funny happened – the movie wasn’t bad. No, Solo wasn’t great, but unlike Ep. 7 which wasn’t even so much a remake as it was a Star Wars-like ripoff that convinced a few aging stars to cash in for a paycheck or Ep. 8, which was a gigantic middle finger to the Star Wars franchise in general and all of its fans, Solo was a fun movie to watch.
As I keep saying, was flawed. I’ll kick off this portion by pointing out one of my personal peeves that I mentioned in my previous critique of Ep. 8 – the mandatory gay and/or interracial relationship. No, it wasn’t a detriment nor does this bother me in general, but it gets tiresome when it’s a mandatory checkbox for every piece of sci-fi / fantasy movie that comes out of Hollywood. Woody Harrelson’s wife’s death would end up having far more meaning in a throwaway sidebar prequel than Han Solo’s actual worthless death in Ep. 7. Lando’s tears over his dead droid companion had me struggling not to laugh out loud and not shout at the movie screen, “IT’S A F***ING ROBOT! GO DOWN TO MICROCENTER AND GET SOME REPLACEMENT PARTS!” And of course, as the marauders reveal themselves as the roots of The Rebel Alliance, when the masks come off of course the leader is a young girl. Because of course.
OK, I had to get that out. For whatever flaws the Solo movie had, it was fun. However imperfect it was, Solo’s rogue origin was cool to see. The opening chase scene was cool, As was his escape from the drudgery of the Imperial Infantry, along with The Kessell Run and everything in between. There were some clever shoutouts to various levels of Star Wars geekery, from referencing the many Star Wars book that have been written to subtle & not-so subtle gestures throwing back to the originals. And while some hated it, I thought that bringing back at the end of the movie the tragically underutilized Darth Maul was genius (Here is a video explaining how he got from the end of Ep 1 to Solo). If Unfortunately, Solo had to pay for the sins of its predecessors, and now has sad mark of being the first Star Wars movie to officially bomb. And that’s a damned shame. Even Director Ron Howard subtly acknowledged that Solo undeservedly got punished for the sins of Episodes 7 & 8. But as the title of this post suggests, what happened is a good thing.
The Radical Left is now having to pay a price for their endless moralizing and lecturing ruining everything that is fun in America. They’ve shoved their agenda down the throats of comic book readers, which got the response of plummeting sales. ESPN has degraded from a sports network to a Leftist megaphone that happens to cover sports. While a great deal of their subscriber loss is due to cord cutting, many actual sports fans are tuning out the lectures and finding their own sources that cover, you know, sports. On the subject of sports, the National Football League’s management has been lurching leftward, first siding with allowing rapists to lurk in womens’ restrooms to supporting a few entitled player’s disrespectful gestures during the singing of our National Anthem. Patriotic Americans fought back with their wallets, and the league now has a harsher policy for millionaires who want to throw a tantrum over how unfairly they’re treated.
And now there is Star Wars. Disney Corp (which owns Star Wars) should be worried about ruining a billion dollar franchise. They have to be at least a little bit nervous about their future – they’re the parent company that owns ESPN. While their marvel Superhero movies have been a smashing success, they are near the end of the run for the storylines of their main characters. Even worse, their early heir to the crown of their lead Superhero, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), has already taken to bashing their fans – you know, the ones who actually pay to keep her employer in business. After the atrocities that were Episodes 7 & 8, “The Fandom Menace” as ComicArtistProSecrets calls it, has struck back. The word is that there have been shake-ups at the studios, and it is strongly rumored that the chief architect of Eps 7 and 8, Kathleen “The Force Is Female” Kennedy may be on her way out.
Who knows? Maybe Disney will have their “Anti-Woke” moment and salvage Episode IX. I doubt it though, as filming has already started and rather than listen to legitimate criticism from their fans the studio has launched a Stray Voltage campaign (a technique that the Obama Administration used quite well) by having Forbes Magazine and President Trump’s personal c***holder, Steven Colbert, tell Star Wars fans that they’re horrible people for not liking their crummy movies. Yep, that’s a great business model! Or they could be smart and try some innovative thinking, like the clever idea that PJmedia’s Vodkapundit had. But being Hollywood, I’m sure that doing something smart is what they won’t do.
There’s still reason for hope – even if it didn’t live up to its potential, Solo was enjoyable. Rogue One was excellent, and I’d argue their best entry since Empire. But I’m not optimistic. For as awful as Ep. 7 was it could have been vindicated if it had been simply an awkward starting point for an excellent story in Ep. 8. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Even more disturbing about Ep 8 though, is that I’m not even mad, maybe a bit annoyed at how the Star Wars legacy is being ruined. But most disturbing about Ep. 8 was how I felt when leaving the theater. Where every other Star Wars movie had me wanting more, this one just left me with a sense of apathy. For the first time I have no interest I what happens in the next movie. Again, not angry – I just don’t care what happens in the story nor do I care what happens to any of the characters. I’m guessing that Sister Babe will want to see Ep. 9 in the theaters, but I’ll be happy waiting until it comes out on Netflix.
If the death of Solo’s origin story at the box office serves as a wake up call to Disney its death will have far more meaning than the death of Han’s actual character.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog
Image at the top of the post appears via Age of S***lords (censorship mine)