Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Recasting Han was a factor but it's evident that was truly one of many that led to Solo tanking at the box office. I also know a magazine article will only use a fraction of the material provided during an interview but if the writer only focused on one thing, you have to assume that part of the discussion stood out enough where they would take note to build a piece around it.

It also stands to reason that editorials like this are often written under the auspices of a previously established history. Vanity Fair has been writing favorable articles about Star Wars for decades so its not out of the realm of possibility that Kennedy could have intentionally harped on that aspect to mask her own failure at the firing debacle. Granted I'm also theorizing here, but it's worth considering the alternative too. I'd honestly say that both your thoughts and mine on this aspect are conjecture at best. I'm not really upset about any of this, but more perplexed by it than anything else.

As for watching Solo, I don't doubt that it's a fun heist type movie and I do enjoy Howard's work. I just have no inclination to watch it. Not out of spite but out of serious indifference. I just find it interesting that Kennedy's reasoning for the success or failure of any of the film projects she oversees typically miss the mark. Then again so many of the people at the top of these studios are often out of touch with their audiences, so that's nothing new and I really shouldn't be surprised by now.

The streaming material and it's reception really doesn't factor into any of this because I'm just talking about the theatrical films.
 
Last edited:

Solo4114

Master Member
So, on the Solo stuff, her comments were printed more fully in one of the other Vanity Fair articles, which is also worth a read. It does end up growing organically out of some other discussions and I do think that, the way they see it, recasting is just...not an option at this point. She doesn't bring Solo up, the interviewer does, and kind of says "So, is your reason for thinking recasting doesn't work because of what happened with Solo?" And she kind of muses it over and says "Yeah, that's part of it."

I do think recasting was risky. It always is with iconic roles that are so intertwined with one actor's performance. Unless you're constantly changing actors (e.g. James Bond, Doctor Who), it's difficult to re-cast and not have inevitable "Not as good as the original" comparisons. But I think what went wrong with Solo is a lot more than that. I think she'd probably admit that budget-wise, Solo underperformed because of her blunder. She's gotta know that. But I think that in terms of how audiences responded, they probably were either unaware of it, or didn't care about the switch in directors and reshoots. I'm talking broad, general audiences here, not just Star Wars fans who follow this stuff.

All I can say for Solo is that actually indifference is probably the perfect mindset to watch the film with. It's basically how I went into it. The thing I most appreciated was expanding upon different aspects of the galaxy and concepts within the Star Wars universe. The Han Solo backstory stuff is, you know, fine, whatever. I'd watch more, but I'd be watching less to see this one guy's specific adventures, and more to see more of these aspects of the Star Wars galaxy. They could spin off a Lando series in that same vein and I'd be down for it just as much (maybe more). Or they could have new characters -- which is really what I think you need -- and I'd love that. I'm less in it for Han Solo, and more in it for Star Wars: The Setting.

Part of the reason I liked Rian Johnson's approach to TLJ was that it broke the established formula some. The producers could have ditched the trilogy format. Or they could have altered the "these all have the same beats/the films rhyme" mantra. The underlying concepts of what the Force is could have been shifted. There were just a LOT of places they could've gone, and themes they could've explored...but then the film got major backlash and they retreated to a "safe space" of reiterating the past, and we got this weird film that is ROTS. ROTS is at once emotionally satisfying, and maddeningly poorly constructed. I tend to think that the satisfying bits come more because of nostalgia and meta-textual stuff than they do anything about the story of the film itself, which is pretty slapdash.

But I also think that Johnson understands that if all you do with Star Wars is reiterate what's already been done, the whole thing will stagnate and wither away. If you want to keep things fresh, you have to let the story evolve and change. Not just by introducing new characters, but by introducing new ideas and new settings and new approaches to telling the story. This is one of the things that hardcore fans are notoriously AWFUL at, and it's not limited to Star Wars fans. It's ALL fans. Fans are, by their nature, focused on what already exists. As such, they think almost exclusively in terms of reiterating what they've already experienced; they don't think beyond that scope usually.

When Ghostbusters 3 was still in development hell, you'd see the same crap get posted over and over again. "The Ghostbusters franchise out, and we introduce a new franchise with these actors, and then they find a big problem and the old guys come out of retirement to help them and hand over the reins." BORING BORING BORING. There is NOTHING interesting about that story. And yet, it'd be the same thing posted year after year, with the only difference being which 3 comic actors were currently in the spotlight to end up as the suggestions du jour. "Oh, it should be Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jim Carrey." "Oh, it should be Will Ferrel, and John C. Reilly, and Owen Wilson." On and on it went...

Fans always think they want more of what they already had. But they don't. Instead, they savage films when they come out and give them exactly that: just some embiggened version of the last film. And then when the third film inevitably whipsaws in the other direction, they hate that, too, because it's "too different." Fans really have no idea what they want, or at least no ability to articulate what it is. Which is why making a good, successful (not the same thing) sequel is so goddamn difficult.
 

batguy

Sr Member
I don't think it was wrong or weak for Disney to retreat to safety after TLJ. That movie wasn't terrible but it should have been either the first or the 3rd movie in that series. It had no business being the 2nd of a trilogy.

In the bigger picture it's Kennedy's fault for making a trilogy without having the storyline firmed-up ahead of time. I find that utterly inexcusable.
 

Joek3rr

Master Member
RDT_20220526_1450197728232196004872154.png


They made her lekku longer. Wow I can't believe how much more like Ahoska she looks with that one change.
 

HeartBlade

Sr Member
I don't think it was wrong or weak for Disney to retreat to safety after TLJ. That movie wasn't terrible but it should have been either the first or the 3rd movie in that series. It had no business being the 2nd of a trilogy.

In the bigger picture it's Kennedy's fault for making a trilogy without having the storyline firmed-up ahead of time. I find that utterly inexcusable.

This 100%. I personally find alot of issues with TLJ but can understand if people just enjoy it as a movie. But as the middle movie in a trilogy story, it is objectively terrible. There are characterizations that dont link with the previous movie (mainly the sudden shift from Kylo being conflicted with "too much light in him" with this guy is so evil I must kill him in his sleep.

Rey's parentage is not a plot point.
It is kind of important given the fact that she was able to best a Skywalker (a the descendent of the one and thus implied to be incredibly powerful in the force) with no training. For TFA, just getting lucky and her getting owned in the second fight against an uninjured and focused Kylo would have made sense but that didnt happen either.


To be fair, the article doesn't really get into the other stuff, and we don't know what else Kennedy actually said. I've been interviewed for articles before (within my professional area, that is), and the quotes of what I say usually only cover about 10-30% of what I actually discussed in the interview. The rest paraphrases what I said, and doesn't always provide the full context of my comments.
As Psab said, Kennedy may believe that there are other factors but seems to want to push the "recasting" (which you can easily argue is not really her fault) as the main reason why Solo failed. There is a big emphasis on "recasting" as a lesson learnt in the article, Kennedy talking about not making a Luke series without Hamill, happy that McGregor and Christiansen are returning, mentioning Ford in Indy 5, etc.

They absolutely do. They need to get past Skywalkers and all of that. I mean, I'd be totally happy if they showed Rey and what becomes of her, but that's precisely because I don't see her as a "Skywalker" in spite of the end of the last film.
Agreed but family is still a core part of Star Wars.

Star Wars is a family drama or has family has one of the central conflicts. Its like having Star Trek without Starfleet. It can work but its going to still be tricky.

This is, in my opinion, the smartest move they could make. That and moving away from "trilogies."

Film is a very specific style of storytelling in that it has to be, by its nature, bounded in the scope of what it tells and how it tells that story. You have around 90-150 minutes to play with, and that is not an easy task. Maintaining pacing, while also telling a full, compelling story with believable characters in that amount of time is difficult to do, which is why we forget so many mediocre films that we see (and why we remember the classics we love and the bad films we hate). Trilogies suffer from the same "bounded storytelling" problems. You're hemmed in by the format itself.

By contrast, television and longer-form storytelling generally allows for much richer, more detailed, more developed stories, worlds, and characters to be presented to an audience, and I for one am LOVING the Star Wars transition to television. It's the best thing that's happened to the franchise in probably 30 years.
True and with streaming becoming more mainstream, tv is far better for long narrative. Lucas also foresaw this, hence why he proposed a tv show after the prequels that never got made.

I think RJ's decision to not have Rey be a Kenobi was incredibly smart. I think the decision to have her be a Palpatine who then says she's a Skywalker is one of the dumbest aspects of ROTS. As for Sidious having kids...honestly....whatever. That whole thing is just incredibly short-sighted and slapped together. I can't explain it, and I don't care to excuse it, but I also don't care about it because it's just one of the many things wrong with that jumble of a film.
I wouldnt say its incredibly smart. I dont mind the idea that Rey is a nobody since all jedi are nobodies (no descendants) and even nobody jedi can still become very powerful (Obi Wan isnt exactly strong with the force and his win over Anakin was due to his experience and really staying calm and not taking too many risks. Its been stated that Anakin not only has more force proficiency but is also a better fighter). However, there needs to be an explanation on why Rey is able to even stand up to, let alone beat, Kylo Ren twice despite her being a total newb and Kylo Ren having significant training as well as force potential.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
This 100%. I personally find alot of issues with TLJ but can understand if people just enjoy it as a movie. But as the middle movie in a trilogy story, it is objectively terrible. There are characterizations that dont link with the previous movie (mainly the sudden shift from Kylo being conflicted with "too much light in him" with this guy is so evil I must kill him in his sleep.
The issue, as I see it, is less that it's the middle story of a trilogy, and more that it's a RADICAL tonal and focal shift away from what came before. And that's compounded by how the 3rd film whipsawed back to the style/tone/approach of the first film, which (in my opinion) was a major mistake.

I could explain the Kylo Ren thing, but I don't really think there's a point. If it didn't work for you, it didn't work for you. We've all explained our positions ad infinitum here by now.

Anyway, my point is really that I think you could've done a whole series of films (not a trilogy) that were along the lines of what Rian did. And I think if Disney had anything approaching artistic stones, they could've continued in that vein after TLJ regardless of what TFA did. But I actually think they made the trilogy worse by having JJ lead off, having RJ follow up, and then JJ finish it. The whole thing is really, really uneven, to the point where it looks almost like an argument between writer-directors played out on film. And JJ "won" the argument by virtue of it being a trilogy and him having drawn the odd-numbered films. I still think TLJ is a better-told, more interesting, more artistic story than either of JJ's entries are. But his entries are just meant to be roller-coaster rides that rely heavily on metatextual audience knowledge. They have fundamentally different "points" to them and to why you'd make them. As rollercaster rides, JJ's films are terrific. As stories, they're a bit wobbly. RJ, on the other hand, is making, like, an anti-rollercoaster film. Or perhaps an anti-blockbuster blockbuster, which I think is a big part of why people bounced off of it so hard.

It is kind of important given the fact that she was able to best a Skywalker (a the descendent of the one and thus implied to be incredibly powerful in the force) with no training. For TFA, just getting lucky and her getting owned in the second fight against an uninjured and focused Kylo would have made sense but that didnt happen either.
It's not, though. Or rather, her parentage isn't. Not that specifically. Parentage as an explanation for "Why/how can she do all this?" is a weak, shorthand explanation for it. "Why's Rey so powerful? Because she's a Kenobiwalkpatiner." You could have also explained it with "She's been chosen by the Force," and it would've been just as valid an explanation.

More importantly, the answers to the "why/how" questions aren't really plot points. In other words, answering these questions isn't necessary to actually move the story along, and failing to answer them aren't "plot holes" because there's a difference between story and plot. Now, you can turn "And then Rey finds out who her parents were, which spurs her to action" into a plot point, but the actual identity of the parents is immaterial to the plot that we got.

Example: in TLJ, before we knew she was a Palpatine, the actual identity of Rey's parents does not matter. What matters is what Rey thinks their identity is and then what she does with that information and how it affects her. Rey "discovers" her parents were nobodies (in truth, Kylo just tells her what she already believes, and the cave shows her only herself). She doesn't get a quick, easy "You're the chosen one because of your parents" answer. If anything, her "answer" is that she's nobody....and faced with that information, she takes up the mantle of hero not because she's destined to by virtue of bloodline, but because she can, and she knows it's necessary to do. The content of the information is not important because of its actual content. The content is important because of its impact on Rey. Ergo, the actual identity of her parents isn't a plot point; it's just a metatextual mystery that the audience has gotten invested in because the director of the first film lampshaded it for them to pay attention to.
As Psab said, Kennedy may believe that there are other factors but seems to want to push the "recasting" (which you can easily argue is not really her fault) as the main reason why Solo failed. There is a big emphasis on "recasting" as a lesson learnt in the article, Kennedy talking about not making a Luke series without Hamill, happy that McGregor and Christiansen are returning, mentioning Ford in Indy 5, etc.
I mean, I think she's right inasmuch as audiences aren't really willing to accept these characters changing actor identities. Some films you can do that, others you can't. I think at this point, the actors and the characters can't be separated, at least for these roles. They're iconic.

The actual interview (which appears in the other article, I think, in full) shows the context of the discussion. Basically, my point is that I don't know that Kennedy is necessarily trying to deflect from her own role, as much as that's just where the conversation went. It could've been softball questions for her, or just the bias of the interviewer. I can't imagine she doesn't know she s*** the bed with her directing decision and what that did to the film's profitability. That was a goddamn disaster, and the fact that Solo apparently made money on its budget is pretty impressive, in my opinion. I don't know that they doubled their expenses, but they must've increased them SIGNIFICANTLY by reshooting 70% of the film and rewriting it and hiring a second director who I'm sure did NOT come cheap.
Agreed but family is still a core part of Star Wars.

Star Wars is a family drama or has family has one of the central conflicts. Its like having Star Trek without Starfleet. It can work but its going to still be tricky.
The first Star Wars films have family drama as part of it, yeah. But family isn't really important to the films in the sense of bloodlines and such. Makeshift families are just as important. I'd say that those kinds of human relationships generally are important because without those, your characters are less interesting. You can still do a good film, tell a good story, but it helps to have those human connections to make the characters interesting and more relatable.
True and with streaming becoming more mainstream, tv is far better for long narrative. Lucas also foresaw this, hence why he proposed a tv show after the prequels that never got made.
For years now, I've been convinced that the format of film is really only good for telling circumscribed, specific stories, and I actually prefer the longer form storytelling of TV shows precisely because they can play out much more like novels. I still love film, but for storytelling, TV's where it's at for me. So I'm personally thrilled at the notion of Star Wars becoming a more long-form story. Hell, it goes back to the original DNA of Star Wars in the form of Flash Gordon serials.
I wouldnt say its incredibly smart. I dont mind the idea that Rey is a nobody since all jedi are nobodies (no descendants) and even nobody jedi can still become very powerful (Obi Wan isnt exactly strong with the force and his win over Anakin was due to his experience and really staying calm and not taking too many risks. Its been stated that Anakin not only has more force proficiency but is also a better fighter). However, there needs to be an explanation on why Rey is able to even stand up to, let alone beat, Kylo Ren twice despite her being a total newb and Kylo Ren having significant training as well as force potential.
I don't think there needs to be, but it helps. It's something the audience fixates on, but it's not essential. As I said above, it could just be "The living Force has chosen her as its avatar. She's a vergence" and that would've been enough. Her parentage doesn't have to be the answer. I do think you kind of need some answer if only to swat away the critics, but the answer doesn't have to have anything to do with who her parents are. Anakin's parentage is never explained, either, and nobody seems to bat an eye at him being super ultra mega ooper powerful.
 

Joek3rr

Master Member
However, there needs to be an explanation on why Rey is able to even stand up to, let alone beat, Kylo Ren twice despite her being a total newb and Kylo Ren having significant training as well as force potential.
That's explained in the next film.

"I killed Han Solo. When the moment came, I didn't hesitate!"

"And look at you. The deed split your spirit to the bone. You were unbalanced, bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber! YOU FAILED!!!"

Kylo's, emotional imbalance, combined with Rey just letting herself go, and opening up the Force is how he is defeated. Prior to that Rey spends a good majority of the fight running away from Kylo. And when they have their rematch in TROS, and this time she's the one unbalanced. Kylo's superior skill takes the day, and Rey is one in retreat the whole time. Kylo flat out defeats her, Rey is only able to stab him because he's distracted by his mother.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This doesn't surprise me to be honest. The entire plot of Kenobi leaked a few weeks ago. The entire plot of 9 leaked months in advance.
 

blewis17

Master Member
That's explained in the next film.

"I killed Han Solo. When the moment came, I didn't hesitate!"

"And look at you. The deed split your spirit to the bone. You were unbalanced, bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber! YOU FAILED!!!"

Kylo's, emotional imbalance, combined with Rey just letting herself go, and opening up the Force is how he is defeated. Prior to that Rey spends a good majority of the fight running away from Kylo. And when they have their rematch in TROS, and this time she's the one unbalanced. Kylo's superior skill takes the day, and Rey is one in retreat the whole time. Kylo flat out defeats her, Rey is only able to stab him because he's distracted by his mother.

Love the lie that Kylo told Sonke. Because Kylo DID hesitate when he killed his father.
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top