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Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-25 05:48pm
by Ralin
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-25 04:41pm

Let’s not pretend that a statistically significant number of moviegoers are even aware there was an EU to nuke.

The problem wasn’t throwing out the EU the problem was immediately making all the exact same mistakes, to the point that they might as well not have bothered.
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-25 05:14pm
It’s pretty clear that whatever the Lucasfilm Story Group do they follow the lead of the films not the other way around.
That attitude right there is the problem. Star Wars is a series of novels (and comics, video games, etc) far more than it is a series of movies. Most of the best material in it comes from authors like Allston, Zahn, Anderson and so on. Obviously if you throw out most of a setting's canon to try to appeal to a broader market of people who are at best familiar with the original movies from back in the 70s and 80s and take the attitude that anything that wasn't a blockbuster was a mistake you're going to have trouble telling good stories in that setting. That was the biggest issue with the prequels and it only got worse over time.
The biggest of those has always been having the whole damn galaxy revolve around the same half dozen people and their kids. In order to have a chance now, Star Wars needed to grow beyond the damn Skywalker family drama.
Why.

Star Wars started with the Skywalkers and Solos and developed from there. If you want to throw that away why not start from scratch with a new setting instead of shoe-horning it into existing stories?

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-25 06:18pm
by Vendetta
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-25 05:48pm
That attitude right there is the problem. Star Wars is a series of novels (and comics, video games, etc) far more than it is a series of movies. Most of the best material in it comes from authors like Allston, Zahn, Anderson and so on. Obviously if you throw out most of a setting's canon to try to appeal to a broader market of people who are at best familiar with the original movies from back in the 70s and 80s and take the attitude that anything that wasn't a blockbuster was a mistake you're going to have trouble telling good stories in that setting. That was the biggest issue with the prequels and it only got worse over time.
It really isn’t though. The movies have a much much wider reach than all that other media. As far as 99.999% or greater of your potential audience is concerned none of that exists. They haven’t seen it, probably haven’t even heard of it. That means that the movies will always take the lead because they have to be made with the assumption that absolutely everyone who watches them has seen nothing else.
Why.

Star Wars started with the Skywalkers and Solos and developed from there. If you want to throw that away why not start from scratch with a new setting instead of shoe-horning it into existing stories?
Because it means that you can’t grow the audience, you can only watch it shrink as people get tired of the same shit over and over but less novel than last time.

To mention Marvel again, that’s the exact problem their comics have. They keep spinning the same yarns with the same characters and barely do anything new for long. As a result they spent years circling the plug hole of bankruptcy, flogging off the rights to the family jewels and squeezing a dwindling audience with gimmick covers and new issue 1s for collector bait before a media conglomerate finally ate them.

Star Wars hit Peak Skywalker long ago, there’s no more narrative to be extracted from that field.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-25 06:49pm
by MKSheppard
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-25 05:14pm
It’s pretty clear that whatever the Lucasfilm Story Group do they follow the lead of the films not the other way around.
Then what's the point of a shared universe?

Imagine what things would be like if each marvel capeshit movie was it's own universe, like pre-Iron Man?

It seems to me that the new Disney EU and the Story Group exist solely to unfuck things the Movie side of things keep doing.

EDIT: that's not to say the other half of the unit hasn't been keeping things up -- Iden Versio and the single player story of Battlefront II would be OK without the tired and cliche lulz moments they keep throwing into it.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-25 07:36pm
by Vendetta
MKSheppard wrote:
2019-12-25 06:49pm
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-25 05:14pm
It’s pretty clear that whatever the Lucasfilm Story Group do they follow the lead of the films not the other way around.
Then what's the point of a shared universe?

For Star Wars it’s to farm money off of exactly the sort of nerd who gets very excited about fiddly continuity.

They make sure the niche stuff for nerds is consistent because nerds will notice whilst the movies (and now theme park because mouse gonna mouse) make the big bucks from an audience that is much larger and doesn’t give a shit about canon consistency.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 12:25am
by Elfdart
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-25 06:18pm
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-25 05:48pm
That attitude right there is the problem. Star Wars is a series of novels (and comics, video games, etc) far more than it is a series of movies. Most of the best material in it comes from authors like Allston, Zahn, Anderson and so on. Obviously if you throw out most of a setting's canon to try to appeal to a broader market of people who are at best familiar with the original movies from back in the 70s and 80s and take the attitude that anything that wasn't a blockbuster was a mistake you're going to have trouble telling good stories in that setting. That was the biggest issue with the prequels and it only got worse over time.
It really isn’t though. The movies have a much much wider reach than all that other media. As far as 99.999% or greater of your potential audience is concerned none of that exists. They haven’t seen it, probably haven’t even heard of it. That means that the movies will always take the lead because they have to be made with the assumption that absolutely everyone who watches them has seen nothing else.
Why.

Star Wars started with the Skywalkers and Solos and developed from there. If you want to throw that away why not start from scratch with a new setting instead of shoe-horning it into existing stories?
Because it means that you can’t grow the audience, you can only watch it shrink as people get tired of the same shit over and over but less novel than last time.

To mention Marvel again, that’s the exact problem their comics have. They keep spinning the same yarns with the same characters and barely do anything new for long. As a result they spent years circling the plug hole of bankruptcy, flogging off the rights to the family jewels and squeezing a dwindling audience with gimmick covers and new issue 1s for collector bait before a media conglomerate finally ate them.

Star Wars hit Peak Skywalker long ago, there’s no more narrative to be extracted from that field.
The notion that the movies should follow the merchandizing is so ridiculous that I thought Ralin was being sarcastic, but then Shep seconded him and now I'm in stitches. I mean, the toy Millennium Falcon I had as a kid only had room in the cockpit for two, and only one AA-gun. Worse still, it didn't have the hidden auto-blaster from TESB. So the movies were wrong!
:lol:

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 12:31am
by Darth Yan
Expanding past the movies isn’t a bad thing and some of the eu ideas were good (hell the double blades lightsaber was an eu thing)

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 12:46am
by Ralin
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 12:25am

The notion that the movies should follow the merchandizing is so ridiculous that I thought Ralin was being sarcastic,
I didn't say anything about merchandising. I mean the novels and such where most of the Star Wars story was told. There's nothing wrong with being a casual fan, but randomly jettisoning most of the setting because the general public is...supposedly too stupid to read books or something? Is pointless and makes for worse story-telling overall.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 01:29am
by Elfdart
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 12:46am
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 12:25am

The notion that the movies should follow the merchandizing is so ridiculous that I thought Ralin was being sarcastic,
I didn't say anything about merchandising. I mean the novels and such where most of the Star Wars story was told. There's nothing wrong with being a casual fan, but randomly jettisoning most of the setting because the general public is...supposedly too stupid to read books or something? Is pointless and makes for worse story-telling overall.
Spin-off novels are part of the merchandizing. Don't kid yourself.

Back on subject:
Kathleen Kennedy is in a bad position through no fault of her own. The one person who really could ride herd on the setting was George Lucas, but after the way he was treated by Bob Iger, he's gone for good. After Abrams and his hangers-on pissed on the prequels, Johnson pissed on TFA and from what I've heard, Abrams just returned the favor, bringing in the Marvel Studios guy to restore some sort of order is like closing the barn door after the barn has burned down. The Big Sausage Pizza franchise has better continuity. And don't get me started on how obnoxious the Gen-X fans have been for over 20 years.

I think her devotion to the franchise and to her longtime friend is admirable and probably the main reason she puts up with the bullshit. Whoever takes her place is going to have the same problems -and worse.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 02:04am
by Ralin
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 01:29am

Spin-off novels are part of the merchandizing. Don't kid yourself.
Nope. In fact, they're a much bigger part of the franchise than the movies.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 02:13am
by Darth Yan
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 01:29am
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 12:46am
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 12:25am

The notion that the movies should follow the merchandizing is so ridiculous that I thought Ralin was being sarcastic,
I didn't say anything about merchandising. I mean the novels and such where most of the Star Wars story was told. There's nothing wrong with being a casual fan, but randomly jettisoning most of the setting because the general public is...supposedly too stupid to read books or something? Is pointless and makes for worse story-telling overall.
Spin-off novels are part of the merchandizing. Don't kid yourself.

Back on subject:
Kathleen Kennedy is in a bad position through no fault of her own. The one person who really could ride herd on the setting was George Lucas, but after the way he was treated by Bob Iger, he's gone for good. After Abrams and his hangers-on pissed on the prequels, Johnson pissed on TFA and from what I've heard, Abrams just returned the favor, bringing in the Marvel Studios guy to restore some sort of order is like closing the barn door after the barn has burned down. The Big Sausage Pizza franchise has better continuity. And don't get me started on how obnoxious the Gen-X fans have been for over 20 years.

I think her devotion to the franchise and to her longtime friend is admirable and probably the main reason she puts up with the bullshit. Whoever takes her place is going to have the same problems -and worse.

Wouldn’t go that far. The prequels and originals are mostly consistent. And the problem with Lucas was that he had ideas but he often needed someone to tell him no. When he had them we had ANH and Empire. Without them we had the prequels which while having a good story at the core also were more clunky.

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau would have been better choices

Though I agree the novels aren’t overly important compared to the films. Most people know the films.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 02:50am
by Ace Pace
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 02:04am
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 01:29am

Spin-off novels are part of the merchandizing. Don't kid yourself.
Nope. In fact, they're a much bigger part of the franchise than the movies.
How exactly do you measure their part of the franchise?

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 03:09am
by Ralin
Ace Pace wrote:
2019-12-29 02:50am

How exactly do you measure their part of the franchise?
Aside from being generally better quality? They went on for years and advanced the continuity from the original movies/novels, which let the franchise benefit from the efforts of numerous talented and creative writers.

Then Disney and to a lesser extent Lucas went "Nah, reading and keeping continuity straight is for losers" and decided to toss all that out and make movies based on their own fanfic version of the story. Some of which was good! I liked the sequel trilogy and parts of the prequels, but none of it was as good as the original continuity. It's not really Star Wars if there isn't a Hutt Death Star.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 04:03am
by Darth Yan
The original movies clobber the EU. Some books rose above the grain and books like traitor even came close but none topple ot

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 04:37am
by Vendetta
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 03:09am
Ace Pace wrote:
2019-12-29 02:50am

How exactly do you measure their part of the franchise?
Aside from being generally better quality? They went on for years and advanced the continuity from the original movies/novels, which let the franchise benefit from the efforts of numerous talented and creative writers.
How many billions of dollars did they make?

Oh, it was none.

Because they're super niche even by SF novel standards.

That's why the movies are not constrained by them, because nobody reads them.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 05:33am
by ray245
The box office for ROS is not doing great at the moment, and it is likely to make way less money than TLJ. This is a worrying trend for Disney, as it might suggest there is no real pull for the sequel era after ROS. With the OT characters dead and buried, and the sequel era essentially lasting for a mere year, any new movies set in the sequel era is unlikely to have much pull in all honesty.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 06:32am
by Ralin
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-29 04:37am

How many billions of dollars did they make?

Oh, it was none.
And that has what to do with anything?
Because they're super niche even by SF novel standards.

That's why the movies are not constrained by them, because nobody reads them.
Uh, lots of people read them. They were published for decades. Star Wars is not a niche franchise.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 07:00am
by Vendetta
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 06:32am
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-29 04:37am

How many billions of dollars did they make?

Oh, it was none.
And that has what to do with anything?
Are you a real person?

Did you just ask why a massive megacorporation that exists to churn pop culture into dollars would ignore the thing that did not make lots of dollars in favour of the things that do make lots of dollars?

Is that what a real human asks on the verge of 2020?

Must be, bots are fucking smarter than that these days.
Because they're super niche even by SF novel standards.

That's why the movies are not constrained by them, because nobody reads them.
Uh, lots of people read them. They were published for decades. Star Wars is not a niche franchise.
No, they really don't. Most people in the actual human world are not even aware that there are any Star Wars novels. They're a niche within a niche (one particular fandom within SFF, where SFF is a relative minnow compared to the big beasts of fiction publishing genres, Crime and Romance, both of which shift roughly 3-4x the numbers SFF does as a whole).

Like I work in a nerdy environment and I only know one person who has read any of the EU. Everyone's seen Star Wars, fucking nobody reads any of the novels or comics.

The only additional Star Wars media people can be relied upon to consume is the videogames, and even then when they wanted to do their big pre-movie tie in and reveal Palpatine's broadcast to the galaxy (that they mentioned in the crawl but wasn't in the actual movie) they did it in Fortnite because that's actual popular not niche head-up-ass Star Wars fan popular.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 07:31am
by Ralin
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-29 07:00am
Are you a real person?

Did you just ask why a massive megacorporation that exists to churn pop culture into dollars would ignore the thing that did not make lots of dollars in favour of the things that do make lots of dollars?

Is that what a real human asks on the verge of 2020?

Must be, bots are fucking smarter than that these days.
No, but for some reason you seem to think a massive megacorporation (and prequels era Lucas) seeking to make money off the Star Wars brand name should deliberately toss out most of said brand in favor of less entertaining and well thought out stories. What about changing the Clone Wars from the way it was described by Zahn and other authors makes it more profitable than, you know...actually telling a story that fits Star Wars canon?
No, they really don't. Most people in the actual human world are not even aware that there are any Star Wars novels.
Ignorance isn't an argument. Again, this is decades worth of continuity we're talking about. If casual fans aren't aware of most of the canon then including it in the movies would only get more of them interested in it and the setting.
Like I work in a nerdy environment and I only know one person who has read any of the EU. Everyone's seen Star Wars, fucking nobody reads any of the novels or comics.
You not having many co-workers who are Star Wars fans doesn't mean much of anything.
The only additional Star Wars media people can be relied upon to consume is the videogames, and even then when they wanted to do their big pre-movie tie in and reveal Palpatine's broadcast to the galaxy (that they mentioned in the crawl but wasn't in the actual movie) they did it in Fortnite because that's actual popular not niche head-up-ass Star Wars fan popular.
Again I say, what about this means that it was good story telling to toss out most of the setting?

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 08:27am
by MKSheppard
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-29 04:37am
How many billions of dollars did they make?

Oh, it was none.

Because they're super niche even by SF novel standards.

That's why the movies are not constrained by them, because nobody reads them.
:roll:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Y ... rs_of_1991

June 30 Heir to the Empire Timothy Zahn

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 08:32am
by Vendetta
Ralin wrote:
2019-12-29 07:31am
No, but for some reason you seem to think a massive megacorporation (and prequels era Lucas) seeking to make money off the Star Wars brand name should deliberately toss out most of said brand in favor of less entertaining and well thought out stories. What about changing the Clone Wars from the way it was described by Zahn and other authors makes it more profitable than, you know...actually telling a story that fits Star Wars canon?
The point is that if nobody has heard of it it isn't most of the brand. The brand is what people actually know about, that's what counts. The brand is the movies, and barely anything at all beyond that. The brand is TIE Fighters and Stormtroopers and laser swords. All your decades of continuity never happened, and that isn't because Disney decided to ignore them, it's because everyone else already ignored them when they were first presented.

Even most of the hardcore Star Wars fans who were out for midnight showings of all the movies, who watch them religiously and deck their damn houses out in iconography.

They didn't read the EU.

This is why I'm having trouble figuring out if you're real, because someone who had gone out and spoken to actual humans who really like Star Wars couldn't possibly have failed to realise that even knowing about the EU at all is not the norm among them.


The way you are thinking about Star Wars as a brand is not normal, your perspective is shared only by a very small niche. And it is completely failing to help you understand how the brand is going to be managed by people who actually do have audience metrics and can see what is popular and what is reaching an audience.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 08:39am
by Vendetta
MKSheppard wrote:
2019-12-29 08:27am
Vendetta wrote:
2019-12-29 04:37am
How many billions of dollars did they make?

Oh, it was none.

Because they're super niche even by SF novel standards.

That's why the movies are not constrained by them, because nobody reads them.
:roll:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Y ... rs_of_1991

June 30 Heir to the Empire Timothy Zahn
The NYT bestseller list is a crock of shit, they even argued, themselves, in court, that it was not supposed to be an objective presentation of how many books were sold (when they were sued because The Exorcist didn't make the list despite selling about ten million copies, they won with that defence).

The NYT bestseller list does not have a high threshold to get on it, you can make the list with as few as 5000 sales in a week in their selected stores (but about 10000 preorders plus positive media buzz is generally a better bet).

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 08:56am
by Vympel
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 01:29am

Back on subject:
Kathleen Kennedy is in a bad position through no fault of her own. The one person who really could ride herd on the setting was George Lucas, but after the way he was treated by Bob Iger, he's gone for good. After Abrams and his hangers-on pissed on the prequels, Johnson pissed on TFA and from what I've heard, Abrams just returned the favor, bringing in the Marvel Studios guy to restore some sort of order is like closing the barn door after the barn has burned down. The Big Sausage Pizza franchise has better continuity. And don't get me started on how obnoxious the Gen-X fans have been for over 20 years.

I think her devotion to the franchise and to her longtime friend is admirable and probably the main reason she puts up with the bullshit. Whoever takes her place is going to have the same problems -and worse.
I've got no time at all for the narrative that Johnson "pissed on TFA". Like, Kennedy and Abrams had meetings with Johnson where they discussed his script, and they approved it. If they weren't happy with Johnson's script, that would have been the time to say so.

Even on the merits, the assertion that TLJ "pissed on" TFA is nonsensical. It's all based on "well, TFA sort of signalled that Rey's parents were special" and ... that's about it. Nevermind that this was a question that Abrams was so uninterested in, he didn't even bother with coming up with an answer (both Johnson and Trevorrow have said this, and Abrams and Terrio have implicitly admitted it in their reasoning ror changing her parentage in TROS - i.e. to "up the ante" and introduce a "present tense problem").

The only other assertion is the belief amongst sections of the fandom that TFA's plot or script was somehow consistent with Luke being off on some Top Secret Jedi Mission instead of exile, which is horseshit. It's kind of an incredible trick that Abrams pulled on TFA - hand off an issue that TLJ had to deal with and make it so that TLJ gets the 'blame' for dealing with the issue TFA itself created in a way that isn't crazy-pants fake.

Not that I give a shit, personally. Luke's arc in TLJ is great, and the mediocre and largely substance-free performance they had him give in TROS that follows it only makes it even more stark.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 09:57am
by Elfdart
ray245 wrote:
2019-12-22 02:32pm
The box office isn't doing too well. It might actually make less than a billion worldwide at the box office.
OH NO! :shock:

Unless they spent $500 million to shoot and distribute the movie, this is beyond silly, like when the Red Letter Moron claimed TPM was a failure when it earned a billion at the box office.

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 10:23am
by The Romulan Republic
Elfdart wrote:
2019-12-29 09:57am
ray245 wrote:
2019-12-22 02:32pm
The box office isn't doing too well. It might actually make less than a billion worldwide at the box office.
OH NO! :shock:

Unless they spent $500 million to shoot and distribute the movie, this is beyond silly, like when the Red Letter Moron claimed TPM was a failure when it earned a billion at the box office.
While there is something faintly ridiculous about claiming a billion dollar movie which turned a profit is a failure, and in any case popularity is not an indication of quality (ie, appeal to popularity fallacy), it is significant for a couple of reasons:

First, while box office numbers are not a measure of quality, they are the measure a lot of Disney execs and shareholders are likely to care most about. There can be little doubt that the lower box office numbers of TLJ and especially Solo were a factor in driving this about-face by Disney (albeit a poorly-considered one, given that Solo, a film seemingly designed to pander to OT fans flopped hard, while TLJ's lower numbers were roughly in-line with the pattern of the prior two trilogies, in which the second film always grossed significantly less than the first). So if Rise of Skywalker underperforms, that might make Disney reevaluate their approach (although given their track record so far, they'll probably just blame its failure on a continuing backlash to TLJ, and double-down on OT fanboy pandering).

Its particularly significant if Rise of Skywalker performs below TLJ, as the pattern in the prior trilogies was "First film is a massive box office hit, second is much less profitable, the third does better than the second but not as well as the first". The panic over TLJ's numbers, and claims that they proved the film was a failure, were therefore highly questionable, because TLJ was simply fitting the same pattern as Empire Strikes Back, and it was ludicrous of Disney to expect every film to have numbers on par with TFA's. But Rise of Skywalker performing lower than TLJ (which it grossing under a billion worldwide definitely would be) would be bucking the pattern, and a possible sign of an overall decline/loss of audience enthusiasm, rather than just the usual fluctuations within a given trilogy.

The other reason is that TLJ's lower box office numbers were (falsely) used as "proof" of the film's failure, and I'm not above a little retaliatory gloating at ROS's expense. :twisted:

Re: Kathleen Kennedy's management of the franchise

Posted: 2019-12-29 10:50am
by Patroklos
One EU reading fan’s spending is worth many times the revenue generated by the casual one screening each movie fan.

A consistent EU fan from the OT times is probably worth thousands of times what that casual fan brings in.

This is a depth vs breadth argument. Both are important.

Box office performance for franchise entries is very much impacted by the perception of the previous entry. It there is a streaky decline over three movies that’s a sign that all three are disappointing audiences, with TFA’s starting point benefiting from the hype of being new not because it was good.