Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now the top grossing film in history, not counting for inflation. Disney is thrilled. George Lucas is happy. J.J. Abrams is delighted. And fans are mostly ecstatic. Why? They were all a part of making a cultural icon break box office records.
Disney bought the Star Wars property from creator Lucas for $4 billion. The domestic and international box office, and its merch will likely hit $4 billion in gross sales by the end of January. Both Lucas and Disney made a great win/win deal.
Lucas is happy to personally have $4 billion to make the kind of movies he wants to make for his friends. He’s also happy because Disney guaranteed that Lucas Film Ltd. and its employees have a future. When Lucas started making the types of films he wanted to make like “Red Tails,” Lucas Film Ltd. took a financial hit due to the story being unpopular. Studio research revealed an all black cast about WWII fighter pilots would flop, so the studio limited the film’s release.
Lucas is now making whatever types of films he wants to make and showing them to his friends. He’s no longer interested in placing the stories into the theater circuit or dealing with the studios. The interest rate alone on his $4 billion suggests that he’ll never again have to make another film for popular culture. Instead he can satisfy his artistic heart by making whatever films he wants.
Abrams is delighted with “The Force Awakens.” The only requirement he put in place for the film with co-writer Lawrence Kasdan was that the film must be delightful. He purposely placed certain reminiscent scenes in the film to draw in the original fans of the Star Wars series that stopped following it after the first three episodes.
The reason fans are “mostly ecstatic” was due to the franchise’s re-launch being hampered by a weaker story, in the sense that too many scenes are from earlier films and several new scenes aren’t explained anywhere near as well as in the book. However, the fans love the film’s execution with the exception of the couple dozen miss handled plot holes. But, the fans needed to have some fun and the film delivered fun.
Star Wars has once again become a cultural phenomenon. It’s original father/son story elements stayed intact and its introduction to a new cast was successful. The next two sequels and three new Star Wars films have all been given a green light and release dates:
Dec. 16, 2016……….Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
May 26, 2017……….Star Wars: Episode VIII
May 25, 2018……….Young Han Solo Movie
2019………………….Star Wars: Episode IX
2020…………………A Boba Fett Movie
Copyright © 2016 by CJ Powers
In the first two minutes I knew it was a rehash of Episode 4, and the whole film bore out my hunch. I was so disappointed I wanted to cry. It makes total financial sense, but as art? I couldn’t be more disappointed.
Abrams actually pulled elements from 4, 5 and 6 to give fans a reminiscent feeling. For me, I had some how seen the film before – Same structure, same characters, same… The only real difference was instead of an uber bad guy, it was a wannabe bad guy. lol BTW, I wouldn’t call it art. It was all marketing glitz both in the story with planned highlighted moments and buzz techniques in the market. However, it was at least better than 1, 2, and 3.
Yeah, when I realized he had recycled all the old plots and simply inverted the relationships (or some aspect of the character like gender) I was like, “Yeah, I’m done.”
As my understanding, the original Star Wars IV did not do well in marketing however when the movie hit theaters it was word of mouth that made it famous and drew the crowds. Episode VII was nothing but marketing and now that the rush is over I’m not hearing much else on it except how they’ve hit box office records. Star Wars IV was new and innovative. We’d never seen anything like it before. I really don’t think Star Wars VII compares.