Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.
*STAR WARS THOUGHTS: KK's POOR DECISIONS AND BAD RESULTS. *
GAME OF THRONES GUYS DOING STAR WARS
The creators of Game of Thrones making Star Wars movies is a TERRIBLE idea if you want them to have the same qualities that made Game of Thrones the best show on TV: the intricate plot and political schemes from well written characters in a realistic fictional world. That was the result of them faithfully following the plot of the novels on which the series is based. The later seasons NOT based on the published novels have been poorly made, with terrible plot-lines, numerous inconsistencies, and characters acting out of character, and much dumber then they should be in order to advance the plot.
If the Game of Thrones creators were hired to make a literal war movie, that might be a different story: the battles on the show have only gotten better as the series progressed. Mostly. But I have zero confidence in their script writing, and you shouldn't either. After all, one of the Game of Thrones show runners wrote Troy, and had a hand in that awful Wolverine script where they sewed Deadpool's fucking mouth shut.
HAN SOLO MOVIE SUCKED AND SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER
In the largest disturbance yet in Disney's otherwise lucrative reign over "Star Wars," the Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" opened well below expectations with a franchise-low $83.3 million in ticket sales over the three-day weekend in North American theaters.
I think because Rogue One was able to make over one billion despite being a sub-standard film (I gave it a 6/10) and not having a plot the hardcore fan base wanted (the retrieval of the Death Star plans) it is perfectly reasonable to expect Han Solo to also make one billion, as the name Star Wars seems to be such a massive box office draw. Han Solo didn't make one billion, i the lowest earning of all the new Star Wars films to date, despite being centered on such an iconic character.
Having seen an illegal PirateBay version of Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, I can officially state that this movie was FUCKING TERRIBLE
ROGUE ONE ALSO SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
The battle scenes in Rogue One feel like what a 5-year-old thinks a war would be like, complete with soldiers clutching their shoulders as they fall to the ground, and men screaming "NOOOOO!" when their best friends are blown up by enemy forces.
Despite what the filmmakers would like you to believe, this is not a movie for adults. This is baby's first war movie, and that's fine - as long as you're a baby.
THE COLOSSAL FAILURE OF HER SEQUEL TRILOGY
Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, seems to prefer treating each film in the new trilogy separately, rather than as a single narrative. Thus, the first film was led by director JJ Abrams, but the next film in the trilogy fell to Rian Johnson. Johnson's decision to scrap many of the narrative threads spun by Abrams proved to be one of the most controversial aspects of The Last Jedi.
When crafting a film that will, virtually of necessity, have considerable cultural importance, changing leadership willy-nilly with little thought to past entries is a recipe for disaster. The original Star Wars films were, for better or worse, guided by a single vision. For investors, thinking about narrative and vision may be a somewhat esoteric subject. But it matters a great deal when those narratives are the bedrock of incredibly valuable IP.
A common argument dismissing concerns about The Last Jedi is, "The prequels were awful but the IP survived anyway". Well, the prequels WERE a bit lame, but in a very different way. Their sins were ones of execution, most obviously dialogue and performances. Everything felt stiff, and the romance thread between Anakin and Padme felt very unconvincing. Yet at no point was the core story ever problematic. You could take the core scripts of the prequels, apply a little polish, reshoot some key scenes, and end up with a perfectly respectable trilogy. You can't really do that with episodes 7 and 8 because the problems run through the scripts at a conceptual level. The plots don't make sense as sequel stories to the first six chapters.
The single biggest problem is that they retcon the SW narrative universe as one in which good and evil take turns running the galaxy in a never-ending cycle. This is expedient for the setup of Force Awakens, and gets embraced as the core of the plot to Last Jedi. Yet this does not actually correspond with the SW galaxy at all. Palpatine's rise to power should be seen as the Great Aberration after thousands of years of peace safeguarded by the Jedi. Episode VI was intended to be the point at which the Republic was restored and the aberration is over. Yet this is potentially problematic for making a rip-roaring sequel to Return of the Jedi. Any plausible story needs to start out in a restored Republic with a new Jedi order in existence. But where do you go from there? Have a story of a new threat growing within the Republic? Imperial loyalists? A new Sith threat? Dark Jedi? Could work, but the feel would probably be rather similar to the prequels. And the prequels are a slightly peculiar beast. They aren't really about "star wars" very much. Rather, it's an action-packed mystery story about an invisible threat subverting the Republic from within. Quite ambitious and unusual, but very different in feel from the original trilogy.
So how DO you get back to the feel of the OT? Well, as in the joke about the Irishman giving directions, "I wouldn't start from here". So Abrams doesn't. He simply retcons it and hopes you won't really notice or care, because you're enjoying the action, the snappy dialogue and the jokes. The setup for TFA makes very little sense as a continuation of the Star Wars story, because it snaps us back to the functional analogue of the beginning of Episode IV with almost no explanation. The victory in Return of the Jedi was essentially all for nothing. Jakku seems like a worse place to live than anywhere under the Empire (with the possible exception of Alderaan; would have sucked to live there). Luke's Jedi academy was a failure and he's a broken man. Somehow the Empire live on with greater weaponry than they ever had before. For the first time in Star Wars, there is no joined-up thinking. This doesn't feel like a story written by people thinking about lore, mechanics and continuity. This feels like a story written by people who understand what Star Wars looks like on the surface but none of its internals and complexities. This is a film designed by a focus group. Lucas's prequels felt clunky but authentic. The sequels feel snappy and vibrant but inauthentic. They don't really fit the SW universe.
And that's a big problem. Last Jedi is an over-correction to some of the issues that TFA had. TFA felt like it was designed specifically to retread old ground with old tropes. (This was arguably the first time the series had ever done this; "Jedi" obviously gives us a second Death Star but the plot is very different from that of the original "Star Wars"). Last Jedi wants to go SO far in the other direction that it throws the baby out with the bathwater. It feels like it's designed to be everything that Star Wars fans DIDN'T want, almost for its own sake, to make a point. You can call this bold, but you can also call it arrogant and self-indulgent. It would be forgivable if Johnson set up a whole slew of interesting new plot threads and ideas, but he doesn't. In fact, he seems to abandon his iconoclastic mission during the scene aboard Supremacy where Ren simply reverts to type, being an oddly motiveless angry kid, and we get an utterly traditional showdown battle. And then nothing is set up for the final chapter. No interesting questions, no cliffhangers, nothing unresolved. Other than the aforementioned question of what on earth Kylo Ren actually wants. Are we rooting for him to die? To be saved? What's at stake? What's motivating me to see Episode IX?
Finally: Star Wars is a somewhat formulaic franchise. The formula is what makes it successful. It would certainly be bold and subversive for Coca-Cola to start shipping apple juice in their cans, but we should not necessarily applaud them for doing so. And if I were Coca-Cola I would be very wary of dismissing the complaints of Coke fans as coming from people who don't understand bold visionary moves.