Blame the directors?
I do partially blame Rian Johnson*, but you can’t blame Colin Trevorrow, Josh Trank, or Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
I also don’t blame Gareth Edwards, but I do blame J.J. Abrams.
And Kathleen Kennedy is definitely to blame.
Is Ron Howard to blame?
So what exactly is going on?
Following the rumor that the Star Wars spinoffs have been canceled, now it’s said that Disney will no longer be “experimenting with new or unusual filmmakers and will go back to proven veteran talent who they know can handle a big budget Star Wars production in an effort to prevent future production chaos, drama, and firings” (via starwarsnewsnet.com).
Apparently from that statement we are to believe that the reason Han Solo failed is because of “new or unusual filmmakers,” which points to Phil Lord and Chris Miller having been fired from the flick; however, the reason I can’t place the blame on Phil Lord and Chris Miller is because we never got to see their end product. Ron Howard came on board and did whatever he did to change things, do we blame Ron Howard?
“New or unusual filmmakers” could also point to Colin Trevorrow having been removed from directing Star Wars: Episode IX, but by all indications, Trevorrow’s Episode IX was pretty awesome, and Mark Hamill even liked the direction. Trevorrow was also responsible for Jurassic World, so he is definitely “proven.”
So how about Josh Trank? Following Fantastic Four there have been all kinds of rumors about his behavior, which is the reason said why he was off a Star Wars spinoff movie, but guess what? By all indications, what Fox Studios did with Fantastic Four wasn’t Trank’s vision, so regardless whatever his behavior was, I can’t blame him.
Now it’s Gareth Edwards turn. Should we blame him? Again, Gareth Edwards wasn’t allowed to finish Rogue One, so we don’t know how his version would have turned out, but I don’t blame him.
Is Rian Johnson considered a “new or unusual filmmaker?” Let’s hope so. His wannabe Marvel movie, Stars Wars: The Last Jedi, was atrocious, and he is supposed to be developing a new Star War trilogy following Episode IX. Rian Johnson doesn’t have any big hits (he did direct Looper), so the “new or unusual filmmaker” description seems to fit. Adios.
What about J.J. Abrams? I do blame him for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he is a seasoned director, but perhaps Abrams fits into the “unusual” mold as the guy has never directed anything original (and Super 8 wasn’t any good). Bye-bye.
That leaves Kathleen Kennedy.
What we are seeing is a classic case of spin being put out through the Hollywood trade sites that is pointing the blame at everything but the real problem (Marvel Comics is notorious for this and often blames the fans): It’s said Han Solo failed because it didn’t come out in December, that it was too close to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Well, Marvel has released a bunch of movies in a row, and they’ve been blockbusters. It’s also said the marketing for Han Solo was poor, which could be in part true; however, the reviews weren’t that good for the film, so maybe Disney just wanted the movie released and over with.
Now there are rumors that are blaming the directors (sigh) and rumors that state Disney is focusing strictly on Episode IX and a new trilogy instead of the spinoffs (why? because work on the spinoffs somehow interfered with work on the new trilogy? or vice versa? lol).
Disney has released four Star Wars movies that haven’t been any good, but we are supposed to blame the directors, marketing, release dates, work on spinoffs, etc? Hey, while we are at it, let’s blame the kitchen sink.
If I had to guess, it seems as if Disney Lucasfilm was trying to copy what Kevin Feige does with Marvel Studios, which is get unproven talent at a low cost. Marvel Studios has never and doesn’t have any big-name directors (and probably never will), but it has the one thing that Lucasfilm doesn’t. Kevin Feige. Bingo!
The problem with Disney Star Wars is not the directors, release dates, marketing, or the kitchen sink, it appears to be those in charge.
* I only partially blame Rian Johnson because Disney and Kathleen Kennedy allowed him to go forward with The Last Jedi. When it comes down to it, the blame should be placed on the execs in charge making the decisions. Is someone trying to save their job?