This has been going on for some time now. Back in April 2018, as part of my research to develop The Phases of the Geeker Gate, I read multiple SJW “think” pieces on the topic of Star Wars and the supposed “toxic fanbase.” In a blog post entitled, 20 Points That Slumming Through SJW “Think” Pieces Teaches Us, I wrote the following:
5. THEY’RE UNDER THE DELUSION THAT DISNEY SAVED STAR WARS
Many of them seem to feel that the Star Wars franchise was going nowhere until Disney purchased it. They feel this despite a highly successful Clone War stelevision series on the air, and the Sequel Trilogy already being developed by Lucasfilm prior to the Disney purchase.
Not to mention a wildly successful Expanded Universe that was publishing material regularly. But if you’ve stupidly let the past die, then you wouldn’t be aware of any of that.
Well, SJWs have a strange and unique quality about them, where they do not disappoint while simultaneously disappointing us all at once. Behold an article by Julia Dzurillay at showbizcheatsheet.com entitled, Why Some Fans Think Disney Saved ‘Star Wars’. Surprise!
In it she writes:
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is just around the corner. Still, fans have mixed opinions about the sequel trilogy. Some fans think that Disney added life back into the Star Wars Universe. Thanks to Disney’s touch, Star Wars has become its own immersive experience, with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. An original Star Wars television series premieres on Disney Plus. Here is why some Star Wars fans think Disney saved the franchise.
On October 30, 2012, Star Wars changed forever, when Disney acquired the franchise for $4.05 billion. As one of the biggest companies in the film industry, Disney created their own extension of this universe, complete with multiple television shows.
Since it acquired Lucasfilm, Disney created their own Star Wars-based television series, Star Wars Rebels, which aired on Disney XD. Disney also created a sequel trilogy to the original Star Wars movies. The first movie in the trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, premiered in 2015. It quickly became one of the highest grossing Star Wars films of all time.
Thanks to Disney’s new streaming service, Disney Plus, some of Star Wars’ television shows and movies will be available for streaming. That includes an original television series about bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe, entitled The Mandalorian. Disney Plus premieres in November 2019.
One wonders why Disney would pay a hefty $4.05 Billion for a franchise in need of saving. The Condorman franchise needs saving. Anyone want to pay $4 Billion for it?
Disney can create all it likes. The real question is, how many will consume what they create?
As with all sequels, the box office for The Force Awakens was representative of the interest in the franchise that the previous installments generated. If you liked Episode I through VI, you were more likely to want to see more in Episode VII. This makes the box office for Episode IX terribly interesting because for the first time for a Star Wars feature, people weren’t returning for repeat viewings after the opening weekend of Episode VIII. And in fact, The Last Jedi now holds the largest sequel to sequel box office drop in cinematic history. If folks didn’t like what they saw in Episode VII, will they return for Episode IX? Only time will tell.
Not everyone loves the sequel trilogy. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Star Wars movies welcomed their first female Asian lead character, portrayed by Kelly Marie Tran. After the movie premiered, the actress was bullied by Star Wars fans to a point where she deleted her social media platforms.
So the Narrative is shifting from “toxic fanbase” to “mixed opinions?” Is the media attempting to soften the blow for the box office failure of Episode IX that is sure to come?
Do we really need to discredit the Kelly Marie Tran Instagram Incident yet again? For goodness sake, her social media isn’t even deleted. As of this writing, her Instagram account is still up and only closed to the public.
“Whether it’s just for fun, by accident, or for research (especially research because I’m supposed to be goal oriented) I always get distracted by The Last Jedi and can’t stop watching it wherever I may land in it,” said one Twitter user. “And I never fail to utter at some point ‘god, I love this movie.’”
“Man, I used to hate The Last Jedi. I really disliked it, but over the past year and a half hearing people talk about its themes and admiring its visuals, cinematography, music, etc., I’ve come to really love it. It’s probably my 2nd favorite behind ROTS now. It IS Star Wars,” said another Twitter user.
You gotta love that last statement, it’s classic SJW stuff. It’s clearly a fabricated statement that’s meant to encourage those who hated TLJ to re-evaluate their position and/or prove that TLJ is an unfairly maligned masterpiece. It’s idiot activism.
With Disney and Lucasfilm’s partnership, fans can experience Star Wars in real life. In Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Star Wars plays a significant role. Kids could enroll in the Jedi Training Academy; fans could catch a flight with C-3PO on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. That’s all about to change.
Starting August 29, 2019, Star Wars fans can step into the world of Star Wars at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This is an interactive, immersive experience, complete with dining options and a new ride, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is currently open in Disneyland Park in California.
The theme park that doesn’t feature any original trilogy characters or environments, despite the fact that those are the biggest sellers in the area of merchandise.
But here’s the most important question of all:
If Star Wars is in fact saved, then who exactly is it saved for?
Well, turns out that it’s saved for the disinterested. Thomas at Jedi Temple Archives reports:
Every now and then I check the number of views for The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer on YouTube. And something interesting can be observed. As of now (nearing end of June 2019) the teaser has almost 29 million views on the official YouTube Star Wars Channel. However, the official first teaser for The Last Jedi is at 44 million views. Now, the TLJ teaser has been online for much longer, so it’s to be expected to have more views. But 15 million more views? Who watches teasers once first trailers are available? So how many of these 44 million views for the The Last Jedi teaser are from the time it was first released? Is it possible that interest for The Rise of Skywalker is so much smaller than for The Last Jedi? So I went to Google Trends and looked at how various Star Wars related searches have been trending worldwide on Google for the past five years, and then I compared that with other franchises. The results may spell trouble for The Rise of Skywalker. Click through for some charts and an analysis!
So how does Star Wars fare? And especially, how does The Rise of Skywalker fare? If Google Trends is to be believed then there may not be a Rise, but rather a Fall come December. But let’s look at the various graphs I prepared and then we’ll discuss what it could mean, if anything at all. For this I examined worldwide trends, so not just the USA, since Star Wars is a global movie franchise. I looked back 5 years, this includes all of the Disney era movies.
These Google Trends graphs are easy to understand. The maximum is 100, whenever a line reaches “100” it means this was the period where the search term reached its maximum popularity/interest on Google, i.e. people searched for it more than before or after.
It may be no surprise that interest in TLJ peaked around its release date. But what is of much more importance here is the comparison of the popularity when the first teaser was revealed. Please click the graphic to see it better, but TROS only reaches about 50% of the popularity TLJ had on Google when its first teaser/title were revealed. This more or less aligns with the much lower number of views for the teaser on YouTube, 29 million for TROS vs. 44 million for TLJ. Or 34% fewer views.
It’s interesting that both TFA (red line) and TLJ (yellow line) were trending about as much on Google Search when the first proper trailer was released, but overall TLJ only ever reached 75% of TFAs popularity on Google. TROS (blue line) is barely visible here, but we only have the teaser so far.
The rest of the article is certainly worth reading.
Most people scoff when I predict that Episode IX will do Solo box office numbers. But it’s increasingly looking like that’s where it’s heading.
So if Star Wars was saved by Disney, then it was saved for people who are no longer interested because of what Disney has done with it. It’s like that age-old question; if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
If Episode IX is released to the public, and no one is interested in seeing it, does it matter? No, it most certainly will not.
Even Daisy Ridley doesn’t seem all that interested, judging by her recent Good Morning America interview. If she can barely be bothered to talk about it prior to release, then where would that leave the general audience?