The Fall of Skywalker

The second weekend numbers are in for the last film in the Rey saga.

And they are bad.

Average per screen take last Friday was at $20,000. as of this writing it’s at $4,600. Weekend total is at $70 million domestic. Bringing the worldwide gross to $700 million total. This is against a film with a budget that is guestimated at $300. Disney has not released an official budget nor will they until required by corporate law.

The rule thumb is that a film has to make double it’s budget in the domestic market before it turns a profit. FBO is painfully Byzantine due to local laws, exchange rights and various foreign taxes both above and below board. Rise of Skywalker is not at $600 million domestically and at this point it doesn’t look like it will make it.

It’s too early to begin the official finger pointing but the unofficial finger pointing is underway. The Woketards are insisting that it only lost money because ROS was nowhere near as Woke as The Last Jedi. They are absolutely refusing to accept any credit for killing the OG franchise. Of course no one else will either.

As I’ve said before, I kind of feel sorry for J.J. Abrams. The narrative disaster he was left trying to salvage was a complete disaster. With no evil overlord, he had three choices available. One, introduce a new overlord for a single movie. Two, resurrect Snoke. Three, resurrect Palpatine. I suppose there was the possibility of trying something original but that wasn’t going to happen with the bosses at Fort Micky looking keenly over everyone’s shoulders.

Faced with those horrible choices he went with the one that was safest. From a business standpoint.

True resurrecting Ole’ Palpy was going to completely negate Darth Vader’s entire story of fall and redemption. But those movies weren’t making money any more, anyway. So no loss there.

The rumor is that Kray Kray Kay Kay is now done at Lucasfilm. Expect her to be promoted to a new job with no responsibilities in the next six months. The obvious choice of replacement would be Jon Faverau given the massive success of the Mandalorian.

However according to inside sources that now have some credibility. Iger doesn’t want to replace a woman with a man, no matter how much money that man has made for Disney. Michelle Rejwan is rumored to have the inside track.

Glad to see that Disney isn’t remotely considering changing direction.

The sooner Lucasfilm crashes and burns the better.

21 thoughts on “The Fall of Skywalker

  1. I think you could have moved forward with Kylo Ren as the evil overlord, but you’d need to spend time in the third movie building him up as a threatening villain again. He was scary enough in TFA up until he took off the mask.

    It still doesn’t solve the “what should this movie even be about?” problem that Roundhead created, though.

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    1. Evil overlords are supposed to be all powerful. The audience has to feel, bone deep that the EO is simply too mighty for the hero to take. It has to look like the odds are unfairly stacked against the protagonist.

      Kylo had already been beaten twice.

      He just couldn’t be taken seriously as a threat to Rey..

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      1. That’s why one of the first things I’d have him do would be to beat Rey to within an inch of her life, to the point where she’s questioning why she’s bothering with all this Jedi crap when he’s clearly so much more powerful. Reveal later that he found Sheev’s Sith Holocron with Snoke’s stuff and has been training with it.

        Of course, that would never fly in our modren world. Oh well.

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  2. Everyone likes to blame TLJ for making Star Wars unsalvageable, but what could you really do with the setup from Force Awakens?

    I maintain that with the universe set up the way it is, with the characters provided, it was nearly impossible to tell any good story for a trilogy. TFA is what really ruined the Star Wars universe — that’s what established that all the original characters became terrible, pathetic failures the second ROTJ ended, and that the New Republic barely existed.

    You’d have to go full reverse starting at the beginning of episode 8 just to being to dig yourself out of the giant hole Abrams left the trilogy in. Just because Rian Johnson did a terrible job doesn’t mean that there was much there for other people to work with.

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    1. Exactly. It’s obvious that Abrams wanted Luke to be the new Obi-wan, and the only way to get him to that point was to ruin his character by having him run and hide like a bitch after one setback. Han ends up arguably worse than where he started in ANH, and Leia doesn’t come out smelling like roses either.

      As for the First Order, I think it could have worked if their backstory was that of various Imperial warlord fleets who eventually united under Snoke, and then offered to restore law and order to star systems if they’d just let them run the place in exchange. The backdrop would be that they galaxy had become a lawless wasteland in the wake of the Alliance’s victory, due to no one having any fear of the New Republic and them also having no idea how to run a government (to paraphrase Tywin Lannister, they think that winning and ruling are the same thing). Over the course of the movie it would be made clear that the Republic couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything to stop this, and then the First Order would gradually reveal themselves as worse than the Empire ever was by using their fleet and Starkiller Base to destroy the equivalent of ten Alderaans. It would have been a perfect parallel to Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazis.

      Instead, the First Order just IS.

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      1. I think Leia got it the worst, actually. Obviously she and Han were both total failures but what’s striking to me about the TFA setup is that the First Order is said to have risen “in [Luke’s] absence,” which only started fairly recently (10 years tops, I think). The New Republic (if it’s even called that now) didn’t seem to know much about it, so it doesn’t appear to be a consolidation of previous Empire territory.

        What’s crazy to me is that everyone in Star Wars has FTL travel, so that means to be part of the new Empire you basically have to choose it — they mostly can’t keep you there. We see even on the Tatooine knockoff planet there are various ships at the junk yard that have hyperdrives. That means the New Republic was apparently so incompetent that people willingly chose the new Empire over it, something that never happened in the OT, or even the prequels.

        JJ doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t have an East Germany/West Germany split in Star Wars because you can’t effectively restrict travel between them. You can choose to leave the Empire whenever you want, which makes it not much of a totalitarian regime.

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      2. Yes, that would have made sense. I think the problem is that the creators have always projected themselves on the plucky Rebels fighting against the Empire, going back to when they were scraping together budgets to make films. To portray those Rebels as having won and then become corrupt and failed to make things better would have said too much about the people who are now executives getting paid millions by the biggest Empire in their industry. So they did what they do in their own minds when they still think of themselves as the counterculture: just say the Rebels are always the Rebels fighting against a shadowy threat no matter how many times they might win.

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    2. The whole third trilogy was doomed from the start when Kathleen Kennedy was put in charge of something she thought was too big to fail. Given how delighted she was with the Last Jedi, it’s fair to say that Roundhead Rian delivered exactly what she wanted. A film that did it’s best the wipe out the entire mythos. She wanted a completely blank slate so she could have a platform for Social Justice Star Wars.

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      1. My theory is that Rian Johnson looked at her track record with directors, looked at the potential paycheck, and acted to please her at all costs. I’m thinking he took every off-hand comment she ever made (anti-capitalism, anti-war profiteering, pro-animal rights) and jammed all of it into the movie to guarantee that she wouldn’t can him before he got that sweet, sweet Disney money.

        Basically he made the movie to appeal specifically to her prejudices and bugaboos, with Admiral Gender Studies as a stand-in for KK herself. Whether or not he’s capable of making a great Star Wars movie, it doesn’t benefit him to do so if KK fires him and reshoots half of it before he can cash in.

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    3. I agree. The rot started with KK and all of the bad choices snowballed from there. Giving JJ any sort of say on the story, beyond superficial items, was a mistake. We all know his multitude of flaws. RJ was given free rein or was following KK’s dictates on the second film of a trilogy that had no plan. Now JJ tries to salvage a trilogy that he threw into the reactor pit at the beginning.

      Roundhead might have been able to save it had he taken Mary Sue and had her join Kylo on the dark side. Then Finn, Poe, and Luke have to stop them. Of course, we know KK would never have allowed that.

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      1. I strongly suspect Roundhead was being a good little yes-man-toady.

        There is a fashion in Hollywood right now for hiring nobodies with only one or two directing credits for high value properties. This is done because it’s known full well they won’t stand up to the bosses.

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      2. Two other stupid things that the Mouse did were 1) throwing out Lucas’s treatments and Michael Arndt’s VII script based on them, which I blame on Abrams since he was put in charge of the story after it happened and seemed giddy about having the OT characters more involved, and 2) only having 2 years between movies instead of 3 like the two previous trilogies. It’s hard to get the creative juices flowing when getting the movie out on time overrides all other concerns. They were doomed to fail in the same way that video games rushed out in time for the holidays are doomed to fail.

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  3. I was thinking about the Vader angle, and I wonder, does Palpatine being alive really completely negate Vader’s redemption arc? I mean yeah, he failed to kill Palpatine (unless they make this Palpatine a clone like in some of the expanded universe books), but was that really the primary point of his sacrifice?

    He still turned from the Dark Side, sacrificing his own life to save his son, thereby permitting the Rebellion to destroy the Empire he and his former master had built, and he still repented of the evil he had done… I don’t know if that makes Palpatine’s survival less of a punch in the gut, but it was bugging me. I’ll probably have to wait until I can see the movie without paying Disney anything; then I’ll know just how much it actually pisses me off.

    Off topic: I’ve been thinking about starting The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and I wondered if your “recommends with confidence” still held?

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      1. @Cataline

        Cool, that sounds like good news! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

        Good health and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

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    1. I thought I was the only one thinking that. Vader’s sacrifice redeemed him because he did it, not because of the result. Having Palpatine survive the destruction of the Death Star (or whatever handwave people come up with to explain his presence) is stupid and lazy, but it doesn’t change what Vader did. If a soldier throws himself on a grenade to save his brothers, and then they’re all killed by artillery fire the next day, that doesn’t negate his heroism.

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      1. It doesn’t, but it is horrible for the type of story Star Wars is. Bringing Palpatine back negates the sense of victory from ROTJ. The Empire wasn’t really defeated. Palpatine lives. His forces grow stronger. It would be like taking LotR, having another film, and saying that Frodo and Sam didn’t really destroy the one ring.

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  4. Bibliotheca Servare December 30, 2019 at 7:13 am
    but was that really the primary point of his sacrifice?

    Luke is his son. is it REALLY that much of a sacrifice to turn on the Emperor in order to save your own flesh and blood? or is it too be expected?

    remember, just due to his involvement with the Death Star, Vader is responsible for billions of deaths. and he’s also responsible for the deaths of hundreds / thousands of the deaths of his brother Jedi. i’m pretty sure a last second, death bed face turn doesn’t make up for that. especially when you’re doing it for self interest and to benefit your family.

    also, it was the primary point of the in-story Jedi prophecy about him. which, ROTJ actually shows to have come true. Luke had lost, it was Anakin / Vader who killed the Emperor.

    also, another point of stupidity regarding the Emperor’s death;
    1 – Force users can sense other Force users
    2 – Force users can sense traumatic deaths

    so you have THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE USER IN THE GALAXY NOT DYING NOT BEING SENSED BY THE 2ND AND 3RD MOST POWERFUL FORCE USERS IN EXISTENCE.

    i mean, you could make a case that the Emperor could fake his death to Luke. but Anakin was fathered by the Force itself on a virgin AND had long experience dealing with and recognizing Palpatine’s “signature” as Vader.

    you’re going to tell me Vader got spoofed?

    you’re going to tell me Vader knew and never bothered to let Luke know, before or after he died?

    stupid.

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    1. @Robert

      Yeah, I can’t disagree with any of those points.

      Anakin *knew* Palpatine; it wouldn’t have been like hiding from a Jedi council that had little to no familiarity with Palpatine’s Force presence, and no reason (other than incredibly consistent and unchanging historical patterns) to suspect that the Sith may have returned. Yeah, no.

      Shoot, now that I think about it, the Sith Lord Vader killing his master, Palpatine, and turning to the Light Side of the force was a perfect reaction/inversion of the standard Sith tale, wherein the master is killed by the student, and the student takes the Master’s place! Damn, I feel slow.

      And damn does that make me more pissed off about what they did with this film.

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  5. Listening to Jar Jar Exec, “Meesa see bling thing drop by five from me wants to very bad. Who be blame for bad-bad thing? Vaaaader do it, bad Sith man. No get Emperor dead, no care. All dem Sky ones bad!” They are hosed, and the Palpatine plot trick added urine sprinkles on the sh%tcake. Sounds like an acid bath beyond “Ishtar” proportions (send or third worst movie filmed) .

    Anspach and Cole have an entire galaxy of money waiting out there.

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