Star Wars ended when Lucas sold out. Hey, it was awesome, he is awesome, can’t say I’d not sell out my treasured ideas for $500M.
But whatever Disney did-! I mean, I have my share of disappointment, frustration and failure no matter what – it’s part of life. But I’d not dare dream aspiring to the level of raw failure Disney did with Lucas’s Star Wars.
They got sold kinda cheap a property that was a moneymaker. And all they had to do was let his willing slaves aka his employees keep things going. Want more ‘diversity’ meaning prominent women’s roles, minorities, fine – they were working that way regardless.
But what they did came down to classic “Folk Wisdom” near rule #1 “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” and “Too many cooks spoil the soup.”
It is not so much that they rammed in “Social Justice” – Star Wars was already – I hate to use the term; “Woke”…. It already had women as dynamic characters, other races, complex plots and ‘different points of view’ despite being a tribute to the Adventure Sci-Fi era.
It’s DEAD and I can’t stop Disney but I can not support it. I’ve resolved to give as little $ as possible to Star Wars merchandise. I can’t boycott Disney itself, even groups like the Amish have problems with it – but I can axe Star Wars under them. Here’s how:
1 – I only get Star Wars product up to Clone Wars and Lucas Prequels – also Marvel + Dark Horse. “Expanded Universe” they wiped out…
2 – I only buy them USED. DVDs, comic books – hello Ebay and “Used and new from…” on Amazon, etc. That way there’s rarely any $ going to Disney.
3 – I’m careful not to watch/buy/rent Disney Star Wars related projects. Yes I might subscribe to a streaming service but I don’t watch even “Free” said products. I’ve also politely (through customer service) sent messages I don’t support, won’t watch and commented when possible.
4 – I don’t “Steal” – by that I mean “Illegal Download”. Believe it or not, ‘stealing’ adds value to a product. Another bit of “Folk Wisdom” many of us have heard is about someone who tried to get rid of old junky furniture but failed to give, then put a “For Sale” sign and left for a while, they were gone… Today media companies in negotiating with advertisers (imagine Pro Wresting but its guys in business suits) mention that people that copy DVDs don’t remove that can of popular Corn Syrup drink or that people seeing it advertise the product for later sales.
5 – I spread the word – such as here
I can’t make Disney sell Mr Lucas his Star Wars back – and I’ve got a feeling if they admit they fucked it up and gave it to him the next movie will be him having grotesque sex with Jar Jar for a few hours… Just one man’s opinion but I think Lucas is sick of it all – working so hard for the “Prequels” to have the media convince the “Hipsters” it was “Cool” to hate it just like a ‘free thinker and all his fashionable friends’ – then when he scraped through telling the story nothing but hate and directed attacks on his merchandise which put toys to another level but cost as much or less in comparison as those Kenner classics… Then selling out to Disney (which I think owned said media outlets) and seeing them put out TURDS but the “Hipsters of Hate” suddenly think they should like it though the core fans hate it… Again, One Man’s Opinion, but if Disney did the right thing of selling Star Wars back to him for $1 only demanding to produce the movies and make $ from them but he has toy rights still – well he might make his own movies (like at least the novels after…) but he might go “Fuck it all! I’ll have a CG version of myself do gross sex with Jar Jar for two hours and release it as a surprise – let Disney’s media sock puppets say its Bold and Innovative…”
Frankly I only wish Mr Lucas well – I hope he makes more “THX-1138” style films with some of his $ and remaining time as he hinted he intended to – tiny films that critics will probably spew venom on but will be remembered long after as incredible stories. He doesn’t need a “Star Wars” budget to do “Star Wars” anymore with modern computer tech and will still have the best artists, actors, cinema professionals BEG to work with him.
My real issue is with the unholy RUT that modern “Mass Media” is in.
It feeds on itself, chewing up and regurgitating again and again till sweet becomes SHIT. It reminds me of one of the milder fantasies of a classic French Author… But even that is flattering it, rather I’ll use a phrase I use and others do also;
“Don’t reality TRUMP fiction!?”
Said that before a rich egotist/reality show personality ever had a sane chance at being President. I won’t go into his politics here, but really remember the Simpsons “Bart to the Future?” Gentle reader, please do not get hyped up based on whatever “Side” you might have in Politics… Even if you are for him 100% no matter what, isn’t what I said funny and TRUE?
However it’s a lesson to anyone reading this and to me as a writer/fantasist. Whatever wild worlds I might make with spaceships, Conan types, Cyberpunks be they R rated, PG/G rated or X – there’s a bunch of “Rules” that I have to follow lest they violate “Suspension of Disbelief” and they can be VERY strict. Also completely indifferent to what legit works.
Reality though is FULL of stuff that no one would DARE “Sell” even in free to read fiction. I could type all day but I’d distract. I think the best way to put it (referring to old post on past blog) is a novel “Random Acts of Senseless Violence” by Jack Womack. Was a near-future Dystopia and pretty much like is happening now. One of the few books I picked up and READ cover to cover… But in the 90s they spat on the book – almost literally.
The biggest issue they used to say it should be put down and never read is that the main “MacGuffin” (plot driver) for the character (a young girl) going from lower upper class to lower working poor was her father being a scriptwriter of renown but having no work in “Great Depression 2.0” but they didn’t dare talk about it… Movie studios/media companies were terrified and simply re-released stuff in theaters and home media. This was a few years before DVDs came out and made this cheap, so only things like Star Trek had the whole series on VHS/Laserdisc for a price and that was hefty.
Well again “Don’t reality TRUMP fiction!?”
Because in real life as the economy slides they not only re-release whole shows on DVD and sell on streaming media they pay to RE-MAKE the same shows, again and again and again. In the book you could halfway believe they’d say re-release (showing in theaters) a favorite movie from better times to escape a while versus the mountain of risked money to hope for another big score. Disney already does this quite well with the “Disney Vault” thing, promoting with a fake shortage.
However “Big Media” seems addicted to the Prequel, the Sequel and worst the Re-Make. Making the same movies again within a decade. Only high $ effects, big name actors, the plot reduced to surface only and mild references to pretend they care about legit fans. It is why stripped bare plots of COMIC BOOKS from the 70s are so popular.
We need to end this.
The re-makes, sequels, prequels – the “Free Ride” Hollow-Wood and Big Media have.
I’m not arguing for this based on politics. On their Treacly sentiment “Virtue Signals” stapled onto old franchises and IMO doing far more for “Hate” and “Bigotry” than thousands of old school Boyz N the Hood ever could do when a beloved franchise is ruined and there’s a heavy flavor of Woke syrup dripping from the diabetic corpse…
Rather we need to tell them to WORK for a living.
Risk $ on NEW stories. Stuff not yet made into a movie!
I say 10 years we call for boycott on all movies made from existing movies. TV to movie should be very warily considered – a conversion at best. Like “Alf the Movie” after the TV show ended – well I’d not shout for a boycott though I heard it sucked. But just another V movie/tv series when it was already done? Boycott.
If – unlike in Mr Womack’s book – they INSIST on spending all that $ for a NEW product, they need a story not tried before. Here – from a friend’s personal archive for ebay shopping is a HUGE collection of “Ace Doubles” – this is what Lucas pulled from to make Star Wars in part.
Hollow-wood producers could get the movie right for a song – or rather a few thou and reasonable small % of royalties. Most were written cinematic style hoping they’d be turned into movies someday – just back then special FX were grossly expensive and there rarely was a budget for sci-fi movies – Star Wars and Star Trek were miracles that deserved a prize for how much they did with so little. Nowadays even a home computer and free software you can do stuff beyond what a major studio could dream of. It’s a matter of actors, production, distribution – the FX are a small part of it.
Granted these things might flop – but so is Star Wars and the “Woke” train in movies… Better a new project that doesn’t have to live up to “30 years of HYPE…” on top of matching tons of current concerns, desires, prejudices… Then topping it off with demands from very vocal minorities that are good at complaining but poor at paying.
And flop or score, good adaptation or bad – Authors should be with this. (or their heirs)
When it comes down to it, more people will see even a lousy movie than read the best book.
Jean M. Aul and Peter S. Beagle got into long, legal arguments with the producers. Yet their works are far more famous despite that. What was a long, bitter legal hell for a 15% plot change seems mild compared to what John Norman took in stride. His “Gor” novels were turned into “3% Gor” if I remember his estimate… I’m sure making 100% to his novels would have been VERY expensive (huge towers, giant birds, insectoids even before the XXX content) and banned everywhere. However he smiled, hadn’t quit his day job, cashed the checks. Due to refusing to get “Woke” or “Politically Correct” as they called it then he was blacklisted so his series was cancelled and his works unpublishable. He couldn’t even place ads in magazines or rely on monopolised distributors/bookstores to carry his work. Later the internet opened up the market again and those two awful (awful FUN!) movies were on cheap rental forever and introduced a new generation to Gor while his existing books sometimes went for $200. Not kidding, I worked briefly in a used bookstore and saw with my own eyes…
So – to the old school writers (or heirs) – sell the “Movie Rights” for a reasonable amount – should be at least a few thousand and small % of sales. Not profit, sales. Get a lawyer to negotiate. KEEP the book rights unless they pay much more. Especially living writers. Your crumbling Ace Double that paid the rent in the 50s once will really be nice in retirement and you’ll get a call from a publisher about re-prints and might you do a NEW novel? Furthermore might be merchandise, etc. based on what is done… Again, work nice with the producer – read previous paragraph – have them brace you for what they’ll change/what they keep. Work out “I was trying to say…” if possible – most will be glad to sneak it in even if some of the main characters change gender/race, a few plot themes are updated, etc. You can live if your main character doesn’t SMOKE, then if you aren’t screaming and strangling them over that they’ll let you work in “I wanted to show he was a hero despite being a rogue, based on some memories from my life especially during…” they’ll LOVE it.
As fans – we got to support this.
There’s lots of indie films on YouTube – some simple, clunky, some near Star Wars. We need to spread the word – re-tweet the posts, demand NEW stuff be made in these troubled times. If Hollow-Wood gets our $ its for NEW stuff that stands on its own, not a cruel “Cash grab” of memories of better times. We can turn to new, independent acts and watch high quality on our home screens…
I’ll admit personal interest – beyond being sick of sucky movies made after chewing up and spitting up earlier product; Demand for new writers. You don’t need a legit, professional writer/storyteller who can make anything epic to make “Teenage Werewolf of the 80s” part 4 or re-boot the series – you just need a Xerox machine and or a true hack who’s barely competent. Wouldn’t it be neat to have movies where the scriptwriters develop a fanbase that’ll follow them – or go with them if not paid enough? Not by any entitlement but by skill and dedication?
Just some personal musing. Doubt if I change anything with this idea “Slave Girls from Beyond the Galaxy” and/or “Caged women in the Hell Jail” will be turned into major motion picture/summer blockbusters. That’d be a real RIOT tho-!
Disclaimer – sometimes I’ll post a link that might get me $ if someone clicks through and buys something – Ebay – Amazon – I don’t collect customer data and don’t link to any site I feel is malicious. So there.