‘The Black Panther’ Was Racist, Toward White People: Roseanne’s cancellation to fullfil Disney’s political objectives

https://twitter.com/overmanwarrior/status/1001959361470754816

So what was wrong with Roseanne Barr saying about the Obama administration activist Valerie Jarrett if “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj?” For that Tweet ABC owned by the Disney Company cancelled the top-rated show. I’m not seeing the problem with the hard-hitting comedian saying such a thing, Valerie Jarrett isn’t a black woman or anything—she’s fair game in the public realm, she was born after all in Shiraz, Iran. Many other comedians, even those employed by Disney in some way or another have said much worse about President Trump and white men in general. So why isn’t there allowed a banter back and forth—because in the context of things, that’s all Roseanne was doing.

I watched The Black Panther the other day not knowing much about the character or the movie other than it did very good business and I was shocked at some of the lines by the characters which were obvious put downs toward the white actors. Was that supposed to be funny? What if the white characters said something like, “you black people are all alike,” or something to that effect, how would that have gone over? Likely there would have been riots in the streets and massive protests at the box office. Even though I am pulling for Disney to do well with the new Solo Star Wars movie I couldn’t help but notice the political activism in the film, the very deliberate white guy kissing a black girl, or Han Solo arguing with an Imperial officer that they were attacking the home world of their enemy and that they were in the wrong. Does every movie these days have to have some kind of social commentary?

https://twitter.com/overmanwarrior/status/1001620657233387520

Can’t people just tell a story? Largely the film is good fun and avoids some of the political pitfalls that have contaminated the other three Star Wars films from the Disney era, but when you do see it the radicalism is quite jarring. At the end of the Black Panther the heroes go to the United Nations and agree to share their awesome technology with the rest of the world. That’s fine for a fantasy story, but there is nothing politically factual about the story of the Kingdom of Wakanda having all this technical power. And the United Nations is not a governing body of any influence, so much of the premise of The Black Panther is purely political, in that they are trying to create a philosophic reality by tossing out the facts of the matter.

I enjoyed The Black Panther mostly, and I root for Disney to do well most of the time. I like Star Wars, I enjoy their theme parks, I’m even looking forward to the new Incredibles 2 coming up. But they are just entertainment options at best these days, and nothing to take too seriously, until they make themselves political. And Disney is certainly guilty of that. I understand they are a company with globalist aims because that’s where the new markets are, but in doing so they are spitting in the eye of Walt Disney himself who was a very stout American patriot. If Disney were alive today he’d be a Trump supporter and likely a leader in the Tea Party movement. Bob Iger on the other hand thinks serious of being a Democratic nominee for President of the United States—is not the same type of person. Iger is pushing liberal politics into the Disney brand, and that has worked for a while so long as they didn’t cross the line. But over the last four or five years the line is being crossed constantly and the only way they’ve managed to get away with it is because there are no other media platforms out there who can really compete with them.

Obviously, the Disney Company was looking for the first opportunity to get Roseanne’s show off the air. While it was making a lot of money for the company the profits from Infinity War alone nearly erase the losses from cancelling Roseanne’s show, and for Bob Iger, feeding the political platform of the other side was something he couldn’t let happen on his watch. The message couldn’t be clearer, it is alright if liberals make fun of conservatives even crossing the lines of racism calling Trump a monkey and all types of terrible names. But if someone calls a liberal a name—especially if she’s female, then all hell will break loose. That is if people care about the Hell that is breaking loose. Honestly for me, I can take it or leave it. I watched one episode of the new Roseanne Barr show and couldn’t handle it. It was just too slow and stuck for me. It certainly wasn’t a conservative show as it was being sold. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, so I didn’t watch another episode. They were all too negative to me, so it’s no skin off my back for the show to be cancelled. I’ll cheer for Star Wars to do well, and I like the efforts of the Marvel movies, but more and more Disney is losing people like me to their radicalism—and in the long-term, they are making a mistake because its people like me who will support them in the future. Not Valarie Jarrett, who is a well-known progressive radical who invited some rebuke from someone with enough guts to do it—because that’s the nature of the world we are living in today.

What is really going on with Disney and liberals in general with this whole two-faced duality they have going on is that as liberals they want to believe that there is a Wakanda out there, which is an obvious rip off from Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged. But also as liberals, they have no way of knowing how to get there. They just say that it exists and expect audiences to accept that reality without understanding the foundation of the philosophy. They associate liberalism with skin color and advanced technology and everyone is just supposed to go along with it until someone like Roseanne comes along and makes them look at the world of Donald Trump that they are so desperate to ignore.

https://twitter.com/overmanwarrior/status/1001597600548687879

Back to the Han Solo reference from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Donald Trump is probably the least war hungry President America has ever had. By the end of his term many of the wars around the world will be coming to an end and that should make Disney and the liberals behind the company very happy. Donald Trump literally is like Han Solo in the new film asking why America is in all these foreign wars. He wants out. But liberals can’t handle that reality, so they choose to ignore it, and when someone like Roseanne gives them an excuse to turn away from the truth, they are more than willing to do it—even if it cuts off their own noses to spite their face.

I wouldn’t have called Valarie Jarrett an ape from the Muslim brotherhood because I have a lot more descriptive terminology to use because I have an extensive vocabulary to draw from, but many people I know of all shapes sizes, sexes and races think the same way about Valerie Jarrett, they just don’t have the intellectual means to express it beyond frustrated terminology, which is why Roseanne had a number one show. Disney can turn their eyes away from that reality, but they can’t outrun the truth. While they are doing well as a company presently, that won’t last forever. There are only so many Infinity War movies out there that they can make as they are quickly turning off conservatives in America with their radicalism. I’ve been one of their biggest fans over the years and they are turning me off, especially after watching The Black Panther. The political activism couldn’t be more obvious. And not having Roseanne on the air won’t have any impact on how people feel. It just means that they go deeper into hiding making them a phantom menace toward future political endeavors. Democrats can’t win by ignoring the facts—they have to come to terms with reality and that is obviously something they aren’t willing to do.

The situation is so bad that I had to send Ron Howard a Tweet today reminding him to keep his liberal mouth shut so that he didn’t further hurt Solo: A Star Wars Story in a very critical week where the film can make some money. I’m not interested in helping Ron Howard, Kathy Kennedy or Bob Iger and their political ideologies, I’m trying to help Star Wars. The American domestic market is still half of all box office totals and it’s not smart to only try to appeal to half the American nation. Like it or not, half the nation voted for Donald Trump and his approval ratings show it. Wasn’t it Michael Jordon who famously said, “Republicans buy tennis shoes too.” The old Star Wars movies didn’t have roots in current politics, so they were films that spoke to higher concepts. They were obviously anti-Nazi, but that was about it. The big problem with liberals is that they are participating this activism in an attempt to erase their own history with radicalism, because it was liberals who were the racists supporting slavery, and it was liberals who took over the German political machine and invented the Nazi. It wasn’t conservatives. So they hope that by overreacting to every little thing, like Roseanne Barr Tweeting about Valarie Jarrett in the same way that other comedians from the political left do toward Republicans like Trump—that they can erase history. But guess what, they can’t. Most of America knows the truth and pandering to demographic groups like Disney has been doing cannot justify liberalism as it is. Because what it always was have been the source of racism and terror. Just like the secret city of Wakanda in The Black Panther Disney can’t just say something is good without showing how, what, why, when and where, and when they attempt to history is always there with a grim reminder that it’s not on their side. Valerie Jarrett is not one of the good people, she’s at best a villain—she will never be a Disney princess. And cancelling Roseanne won’t erase that factual reality.

Rich Hoffman

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Lost Chicken Nuggets and Killing Ants: How the UAW are parasitic attackers of Tesla Motors Inc.

I’m usually pretty considerate about all life, even little insects. If I see a little spider in the corner of my house or a little beetle caught in my swimming pool I fetch them up and take them outside someplace safe so they can live for about five more minutes, because I consider all life precious. But I had a situation today, I was working at my computer area and it looks like one of my grandkids had dropped a chicken nugget under a table where it was hard to see and ants were crawling all around the area I work. If it were just one ant or two, I would have taken them outside, but when it became hundreds, I had no choice but to kill them and smash them into oblivion so that their little friends got the message, they didn’t want to set up shop in that location because that would end their lives. I found the old nugget and threw it out, but it would take a while for the ants to get the message, and I didn’t have a while to let them crawl all over my stuff. So I killed them all. And as I was doing it I thought of the story where Elon Musk was being attacked in a similar way by the United Auto Workers at his Tesla plants.

One thing I don’t agree with Donald Trump on his was love of union workers. As a New York business guy, he has learned to deal with them—and as a good negotiator he knows how to talk their language. Trump is willing to work with them, I’m not. I think labor unions should be illegal because of their roots into socialism. They have no place in an American economy. They are the idiots who have dramatically limited the amount of productive work each American now thinks they must commit to in order to make a living and those ideas have made the value of American workers to not be competitive in a world that is more than willing to work more than forty hours a week and into the weekends The opportunity cost of the American labor unions has been enormous, and now they are doing to Elon Musk what they have done to so many American companies, they are trying to move in and take over the management of his company, and he’s not happy about it.

Because Musk didn’t just lay down and let the UAW attack his company like all those vile ants I was talking about attacking that chicken nugget, UAW president Dennis Williams led his organization to do what all progressive Democrats do, they used thuggish tactics to attempt to change the behavior of the company. In the case of Tesla the company provides their employees stock options which have the potential of being a lot more valuable than just cash on a weekly pay check. It’s a chance for those workers to become truly wealthy. But that’s not what the union wants, they want membership dues so they can convert that cash to political activism—and when Musk pushed back on their premise, the UAW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. That is like those ants filing a complaint that they had a right to occupy my work space and that I couldn’t just wipe them out so I could get back to work—because they wanted that stupid chicken nugget that had fallen on the ground by my grandchildren. The thing wasn’t even supposed to be there in the first place.

The assumption was that collective masses of people in a labor union are valuable just because they exist, but to a business owner, they aren’t. Once a business owner loses management of their company to a bunch of loser labor union members who try to run everything on a vote, companies quickly have two things happen to them, they must raise their prices to pay for the collective bargaining of those employees, or they go out of business to companies who don’t have to deal with those restrictions. Musk said as much in a Tweet recently where he warned workers that it was the UAW that destroyed over 200,000 jobs at General Motors and Chrysler. The government had to sweep in and bail out the automakers because they were too big to fail. The mentality of the labor unions is to latch themselves to industry and milk everything dry until there isn’t anything left causing any company that didn’t want to go out of business to pick up their enterprise and move it to some other country with less labor union influence.

Labor unions are a creation of the Karl Marx philosophy of public ownership of everything, which was outlined clearly in the pathetic book The Communist Manifesto. Such people do not take into account the value of what management does for a company, in the risks that are taken that justify larger pay checks for the front of the house. Everyone is not equal in such an arrangement, once a labor union takes over a company like Tesla, then its all over for the innovation such companies provide. Once everything takes a vote from the same people who would rather spend their time smoking joints at lunch and looking at pornography on their phones, nothing good happens again, so Musk is smart to fight back against the UAW.

Not everyone is cut out for management, believe it or not, the ambitious people who typically run companies think about other things than the usual needs of biological flesh pleasures and filling their fat stomachs with food—and that makes them better positioned to decide what work hours will be, who the company does business with, and what the value of pay for employees will be based on market conditions. The UAW destroys the companies they move into—just like the ants wanting to eat that left-over chicken nugget that my grandkids dropped, the UAW sees a new company that is making new things and they want to suck off it until everything is gone. Of course, they think things will go on forever, because they don’t understand market conditions, they don’t read about the industry they are in and are constantly making decisions as the captain of the ship to keep everything pointed in the right direction, workers just want to know when they get paid and to make sure that everything is fair. Lazy workers get paid the same as productive workers, smart people get paid the same as dumb people—dumb being defined by people addicted to substances—food, alcohol, cigarettes, or even drugs who don’t take the time to develop their minds toward the needs of strategy and imaginative growth potential.

Unionized workers don’t make America great, they are parasites looking for opportunity off the backs of those who take chances and start businesses and do all the really hard work of making something from nothing. If Musk hadn’t created the Tesla car company to begin with the UAW workers would have nothing to try to loot from, there would be no chicken nugget to consume as the parasites I described in the ants flooding my computer desk. They only care about money when there isn’t any to loot off any more unlike the entrepreneur who has to go to the bank and put their life on the line to get the startup capital to put the whole show on. But they look at Elon Musk and figure that he’s a rich billionaire and that they are entitled to some of his money just because they exist, and that is the real danger.

Elon Musk has been able to do neat things with the money he has made relatively free of labor union disputes, because much of what he has built arrived faster than the normal business cycles. It takes labor unions a while to realize when a chicken nugget has fallen on the ground because they are busy thinking about everything else in life but work. But once they do hear that someone like Tesla is doing something they might be able to latch on to then they arrive like insects to take everything over and destroy the vision that came from the risk takers—people like Elon Musk. The real damage comes when legal fights start consuming the life of Musk from parasites like the UAW instead of him trying to figure out how to colonize Mars, or how to build Hyperloops under major American cities to alleviate ground traffic—the opportunity cost to our nation is enormous.

The average labor union employee just wants to get paid each week so they can purchase their vanities, deposit their sexual needs into some other person, and buy clothes off the bargain rack at Wal-Mart and that’s fine if that’s all they want out of life. But when they start seeking to have an impact on the opportunity cost of new American businesses, like Tesla, that is already propped up by the government for its seed money, the UAW is taking a shot at all of us, not just Elon Musk. And I personally find each and every one of them offensive, parasitic, and destructive to the American economy. They sure aren’t patriots—just bottom feeders.

Maybe I’ll buy a Tesla today.  I love that they are a non-union plant in California!!!!  That status should be rewarded by the marketplace.

Rich Hoffman

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Box office discussion–what it means to everyone–and nobody cares about China

Box office numbers are often a good thermometer into what the world is thinking, and I pay attention to them closely, and sadly the new Star Wars movie Solo: A Star Wars Story is falling well short of the kind of numbers its going to need to make. I found it interesting to see how many news outlets were already writing stories on Friday about how dismal the box office numbers were for the new Star Wars movie, like The Hollywood Reporter for instance. Their story was that Solo was bombing big time in China. Well, since when was China the market decider for films, they are communists, more aligned with the villains in these stories? Solo: A Star Wars Story is all about freedom and I’m sure the “state” wasn’t all that happy with the film, and that whether or not people saw the film or even advertised it so that their billion people had access to it is probably a big factor. Asians especially in China are not big on the Star Wars films, but that’s OK, they haven’t been a big part of the box office numbers all this time—who really needs them now? Solo isn’t any different, yet The Hollywood Reporter was almost as happy as a kid on Christmas Day to learn that China was not supporting the new Star Wars picture. There’s a lot going on with this one which justifies a good long discussion.  (CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW OF THE FILM)

First of all, I don’t think the poor box office numbers so far reflect that Solo: A Star Wars Story is a bad movie. If you took the box office numbers of Infinity War and Deadpool 2 and released Solo: A Star Wars Story on a light release month, such as April I think this Star Wars movie would be on track easily to achieve a billion dollars at the box office, but with some competition out there, it would appear there is only so much money on the table to divide up between all the movies, and that’s not a bad thing for theater owners. I often say that Hollywood has let down all the personal investments that theater owners have to shoulder with less than stout productions that drive their concessions. That certainly isn’t the problem currently, there are a lot of movies released right now, and coming up as the summer unfolds which should help theater owners sell lots of popcorn. Hollywood owes them for always being available to display the Hollywood product to the public. That same public has a lot to do on Memorial Day weekend, that’s when the pools open in the states and people typically have things to do outside. In America Memorial Day weekend was pretty nice except for some flash flooding in the eastern part of the country. Everywhere else it was sunny and hot—and people spent time outside. May 25th may have been a traditional release date for Star Wars, but it’s no longer a great weekend for opening a movie because it’s the gateway to summer and people are often doing a lot of things that involve going outside.

Additionally, there are problems for Star Wars to overcome, the entertainment media is trying to do with Lucasfilm and Disney what the general media is trying to do with President Trump, and that is torpedo anything that they do that’s good, because everyone else is struggling to compete. Disney is going to make a lot of money this summer between the Marvel films and Pixar’s Incredibles 2—many in the entertainment business are very happy to see a Star Wars movie get bad press, because it’s a shot at Disney as a media company they are competing with. It’s like how the rest of the NFL teams around the country enjoy it when the New England Patriots lose a game, or Tom Brady throws an occasional interception. The trade media rushes out to talk about how Tom Brady is too old and is losing it. But the very next week Brady will throw for 400 yards and have a quarterback rating over 100 and the Patriots will win by 24 points over whoever they are playing. Disney and its tent pole of Star Wars is a big presence in the marketplace and the second handers love to see trouble happening in the Star Wars universe.

But then there is the very legitimate problem that I have talked about before and that is the mistake that Kathleen Kennedy and her story group at Lucasfilm has made in throwing out the extended universe of Star Wars and pushing very progressive themes in these new Star Wars movies cramming PC culture down the throats of the fans who clearly don’t want those elements in these movies. To me the Lucasfilm efforts with Solo: A Star Wars Story went a long way to fixing those problems with the fan base where some still want to enjoy new instalments, while others want to boycott the films in hopes that Disney will fire Kathleen Kennedy for messing with the elements that made Star Wars great to begin with. Nobody cared that Princess Leia was a bit of a feminist in the original A New Hope. George Lucas tried to make people happy by putting a black guy in the stories with the character of Lando. But in general, the heroes were white people, especially men and Kennedy has been very active to change that. But while doing so she literally destroyed two of the most popular female characters that fans loved, Jaina Solo, Han’s very strong daughter, and the wife of Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade. Fans who read the books went on a lot of journeys with those characters over two decades and suddenly fans were told that those people didn’t exist in Star Wars anymore, and that has caused a lot of consternation. When The Last Jedi failed to reveal who the parents of Rey were—many people were hoping that she was actually Jaina which would at least explain why she is flying around in Han Solo’s precious Millennium Falcon—a lot of fans stepped away from Star Wars at that point and now this second film in only a year has hit theaters and people are ambivalent about it. The Last Jedi was a very progressive movie that really split the fanbase, from not revealing the parentage of Rey, to the killing of Luke and the obvious progressive messages of feminism and sacrifice where everyone was blowing themselves up instead of taking the fight to the enemy, it’s that which made it so the fans stepped away from Solo: A Star Wars Story.

I have been enjoying the new Star Wars stuff the best I could. I have not been a fan of what Lucasfilm has done. I was a big fan of the Star Wars EU and I think Lucasfilm could have easily have just picked up these stories where the books left off and would have done something really special. However, I think the value of the movies and all the merchandise that is coming from the franchise does far more good than bad. I think Lucasfilm and Disney made a major mistake with Star Wars and that they are trying to remedy that now. For me Solo: A Star Wars Story was a huge step in that direction—of making things right with the fans. But its obvious that the fans are going to make Disney and ultimately Lucasfilm earn back that respect which is where things are today. There was a boycott of this latest Han Solo movie and it had an impact on the final ticket sales. As the word is getting out, because Solo: A Star Wars Story is pretty good—I think its one of the best and is certainly on par with the original films somewhere in quality of story telling between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But the film is more fun like A New Hope was. I like the prequel films but can admit that Solo: A Star Wars Story is better than those films and it is certainly better than The Force Awakens. But these new young actors are making a name for themselves, the young Alden Ehrenreich is earning his respect from the fans little by little. Many fans have been sitting on the fence with Solo: A Star Wars Story because they weren’t sure how to feel about a new actor taking over for the legendary Harrison Ford. If this latest Star Wars film does anything it shows fans that its possible to have a younger actor playing an old favorite, and because of that I think Solo: A Star Wars Story will have good legs into the future of the franchise, and people will come back to the films and forgive Lucasfilm and Disney for their mistakes with the first three films made since the acquisition in 2012.

Alden Ehrenreich is a smart young actor with a good head on his shoulders, and he likes playing Han Solo in Star Wars. He’s good for the franchise and understands that taking less money for the opportunity to do more films like this makes good business sense because it could place him in Hollywood as the next big demand actor—like Harrison Ford was. With all that under consideration I think Disney certainly put the cards down on the table with this one holding nothing back promotionally. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they spent $500 million on the movie and are worried at this point of making that money back, which I think they will. But they spent the money expecting a billion in return and that could cool them on launching the other projects that are in the pipeline. Hopefully they let Lucasfilm go forward with the budgets on those new films, the Kenobi film, the Boba Fett film, the Rian series, and of course at least two more movies about the young Han Solo—as well as a whole bunch of other films not yet released. It’s not too late to make these films into the kind of successes that were experienced with Marvel—but getting the fan base back on board is the key.

To win back the audience, and this is just my advice, do with it whatever you want Lucasfilm, you have to get Mara Jade and Jaina Solo into Episode Nine as its being directed now with J.J. Abrams. Everyone gets what they want if that happens, Kennedy gets her strong female leads, Luke has a reason for being so distressed in The Last Jedi, and Rey gets a name and a reason for having the Falcon with Chewie as her co-pilot. A new trilogy featuring Jaina could even take things further 30 years after Episode Nine—the possibilities are endless. It took Marvel ten films to build up the kind of anticipation that was seen in Infinity War, Star Wars could do something very similar, but they’ll have to earn back the fans, and Solo: A Star Wars Story was a big first step. Hopefully Disney doesn’t get cold feet after they study these box office results and consider whether fans will support two Star Wars movies in the same year. They will, and they will support three or four a year if Disney will make them and be very profitable with $200 million budgets. But it will take more movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story to earn back that fan trust, not more movies like The Last Jedi or even The Force Awakens. The nostalgia wore off and now reality is there for Star Wars films, going forward, people want to see new ground that pays respect to what they know from the original EU—and fans don’t want to be preached to with gay characters, or black characters, or women. They just want to see a story set in a galaxy far, far away that will endure for centuries—and not fall out of favor with whatever new political movements come in the next few decades. Star Wars fans want their traditions, and they want the long view—and its their money that Disney wants, so it’s up to the giant entertainment company to give it to them.

I think I’ve listened to the new Han Solo theme from the John Powell soundtrack back to back for a solid four days now and I love it, it’s so full of optimism. It reminds me of how it was when Christopher Nolan’s Dark Night series started back in 2008, with a movie that many people didn’t think was needed because at that point Batman had been done so many times. The Nolan trilogy built up a nice audience and earned a reputation by the fans that they trusted and supported. Those films each went on to make over a billion dollars each. Iron Man the first Avenger film also came out that year with a fantastic performance by Robert Downey Jr. The film only grossed around $500 million globally much like I think this new Han Solo movie will make, but it became the glue that built up those next nine Marvel films. Disney purchased Marvel shortly after that film’s release and the rest is now history, and has been very successful. It has allowed Disney to make obscure films like The Black Panther, which I thought was pretty good—which would have never been made unless there was a need for the ever-expanding universe. Star Wars could do better, but the fan base will have to be built and listening to that soundtrack of Solo: A Star Wars Story that new Han Solo theme could serve as a nice light in the darkness for all the Disney executives timid about the next stage of the adventure. The best thing to do would be to support the effort and not panic, there is a lot of good that came out of Solo, and it hints at how things truly could be now that it looks like Lucasfilm is starting to figure out how to make these Star Wars movies without the guidance of George Lucas. The John Williams contribution is absolutely brilliant and I hope that everyone involved can use it to launch something really special, because the opportunity is certainly there.

Rich Hoffman
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Yes, North Korea Still Wants to Meet with Trump: The art of emptiness and fullness

I continue to be astounded how stupid some people are about the ways of the world. The so-called “experts” actually thought that what President Trump did on Thursday of this past week was reckless and even irrational. While those same people thought that all the ways we got there was just as reckless and irrational, but once there were willing to make their careers around riding the coattails of history and suddenly Trump was ruining it for them. Hey, like I told everyone, the North Korea deal was never in jeopardy. That’s why I felt I could take a few days and enjoy the new Han Solo movie, because the summit on June 12th was never in danger. The events of Donald Trump’s negotiations do not surprise me—I expect these kinds of things to go on, and honestly, I think everyone at every level of government should do the same. When a school board is negotiating with a hostile teacher’s union, this is how it should look. I was at a Sam’s Club the other day looking at their book section, and guess what? They had a copy of The Art of War that anybody could purchase—right next to the macaroni and cheese, and hot dogs. Anybody who reads that book would know exactly what was going on this past week between Kim Jong Un and President Trump. It certainly isn’t rocket science. Yet few people did understand and that is pretty sad.

Our experts taught all that institutional nonsense over the years have turned out to be pretty worthless. I mean, I understood from the beginning how dumb they were, but it is still shocking to see how poorly they are performing under the pressure of President Trump. All these top jobs in government from the experts on foreign policy to the bumbling idiots at the highest level of our intelligence agencies are just as comically stupid as any cartoon caricature could imagine. For people who are paid all these six figure salaries it would appear that most of them are completely worthless. I think I have heard more stupidity over the last week than I’ve ever heard in my life in regard to bad analysis. At first pundits were upset that Trump had been so reckless with Kim Jong Un, but after the Trump administration had brought North Korea to the table suddenly everyone thought Trump was an idiot in how he handled every juncture of the situation. They mistakenly thought that Trump was going into the negotiations ready to cave so he could get a Nobel Peace Prize. Everyone’s world seemed to fall apart on Thursday of this past week when Trump said he was withdrawing the United States from the deal with North Korea. I wasn’t surprised, and I had no fears that North Korea wouldn’t be coming to the negotiating table. So why did everyone else?

Here is how you can know the winner and loser in every situation. The book, The Art of War is a strategy guide from the East, but it follows some very basic common sense about human beings and understanding those basics you can usually tell who will win and lose just about every situation. Everything is about emptiness and fullness. Those who are empty are always going to lose to those who are full. Troops not fed well, who are on the low ground will not be able to beat troops not hungry who loom over them on the high ground if all other things are equal—numbers of troops, cultural heritage, and intelligence levels. Winning in the arts of war mean that those skilled in such battles know how to empty others and fill themselves.

Communism and socialism have not worked, the philosophies of Karl Marx are complete failures in every corner of the world. I was not surprised that the Venezuelan government let go of Joshua Holt yesterday. The young kid only 26 years of age went to that impoverished country in the summer of 2016 to marry a woman there and was thrown in jail under false pretenses hoping to use the American as leverage against the Obama administration. Now that the bus driver Maduro has won re-election through serious voter tampering, he’s looking to cut a similar deal as Kim Jong Un is getting ready to make with Trump—financial assistance, American investment into the economy of their regimes—they are desperate for money in Venezuela so they let go of Holt hoping to open negotiations because they are at wit’s end in that country due to the socialism that has ruined their country there. The economies of North Korea and Venezuela are poor because of their commitment to Karl Marx, so when dealing with the real world, they have nothing to barter with except threats. When threats are made against a much stronger adversary, physical violence has no effect, so these tyrants running these countries have no place to go but to the negotiating table to ask forgiveness to those more powerful than them. Power as it is defined in human culture is not in the weapons one has, but in the amount of money. Those without money are always going to lose against those who have it.

The goal of the Obama administration was to loot the wealth of America and give it away to socialist countries so that the world would be equalized. Finally, socialism was going to work in the world once all the super powers had been destroyed. Only what they neglected to consider as “experts” were the philosophic premise of a place like North America which has been and continues to function from the foundation of capitalism. The American people would see all this going on and change it. As we were being robbed by our government we made a change in our elections and started voting for people who would stand up for the kind of economy that was the backbone of our nation. We didn’t look for a “moral character” the way that experts thought the game of elections in America worked, we voted for someone who understood the power of emptiness and fullness so that they’d represent us on the world stage with those basic skills to protect our nation from ruthless overlords around the world who were all empty but trying to appear frighteningly full. It’s been a few years now and the word is out in every country, America is no longer being led by a ruling class of college professors and socialist sympathizers disguising their intentions of spreading Marxism by weakening America, but is instead being run by a business guy who understands how to play the game of emptiness and fullness.

Because America is essentially the only nation left on earth that is a capitalist country beating these other countries is easy—because none of them have anything of any value due to their commitments to socialism and communism—and I include China in that assessment. China is not the powerhouse that they’ve been made out to be, they are largely an economy dependent on American purchases. Without the strength of the American dollar and the markets from that capitalist land, the Chinese are in trouble financially. Don’t let anybody fool you dear reader. While they have been helpful in bringing North Korea to the table, it wasn’t out of the goodness of their hearts. Trump knows how to play the emptiness and fullness game, which is why we hired him in the last election to go out into the world and play to win for America for a change. Everyone should understand at least the basics of the game, and none of what is happening now should come as a surprise. Yet it does, which is astonishing. Either those “experts” are really pretty stupid, or, they are playing dumb because they really always wanted America to fail to these hostile agents—and if that is the case, then there is some ass kicking that is coming deservedly to them for what they’ve tried to do to harm us all. Hopefully for their sakes, they were just stupid.

Rich Hoffman
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“Chicken in the Pot”: A brilliant ‘Solo’ soundtrack by John Powell

I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story two times in the first 24 hours of its release–it was a day that I’ve long looked forward to. (SEE MY REVIEW HERE)  As I’ve established many times Star Wars for me is an intellectual vacation destination. Some people like to go to the beach and lay out on the sand under a powerful sun to relax, others like to visit other countries and sip mixed drinks from their hotel bar. Personally, I enjoy visiting that galaxy far far away in the movies, music and video games that have sprung from the mythology of Star Wars. There is so much imagination in that vast entertainment option that I find my mind can rest there and enjoy the world they have created. Real life has plenty of challenges and as readers know who read here often, I have a grip on reality that is far more intense than what the average person cares to endure, so I don’t mind sharing some of my little secrets for dealing with excessive amounts of stress, and Star Wars does it for me, especially on the creative side of things. When a new movie comes out on Blu-Ray I enjoy the making of the movies far more than the actual stories because that’s what I most enjoy in Star Wars is the vast creativity those projects generate. And among all the elements that are positive from Star Wars movies is the music, so when a new film hits that I like a lot I usually get the soundtrack at the very first opportunity. It is my favorite part of any good movie I enjoy is listing to the soundtrack of the film, and that is certainly no exception with Solo: A Star Wars Story. John Powell did a great job with it and I have found myself particularly obsessed with one particular part of that musical track, a song called “Chicken in the Pot.” It is the weirdest bit of music that I’ve heard in many years and I just love it.

I loved Solo: A Star Wars Story the first time, but I found the second time even more enjoyable. On that second time I was listening to the soundtrack in the car on the way to the theater and that track 8 song came on and it reminded me of the original cantina song from the original A New Hope soundtrack that has been used so many times over the years for everything that exhibits weirdness in these films. But this was different even for a Star Wars movie, the sound is clearly classic almost Frank Sinatraish only with an eerie female chorus of varying pitches singing in an alien language. Further, in the actual movie when that scene is up our heroes are about to meet the gangster Dryden Vos at his luxury barge and there are lots of exotic people at the bar where these singers are performing. One is a woman of some alien species singing with this strange little guy providing base in a jar of liquid. It was a really unique scene I thought that was spectacularly environmental. It was so weird that it took me a couple of viewings to register it, and I was so happy it ended up on the soundtrack. That is just the kind of music that a place like the new Disney World Galaxy’s Edge is going to need for the fans who participate in their new Star Wars experience next year. John Powell pulled that one out of somewhere to create a new level of creative brilliance.

What makes music like that work is the context, its rooted in our classic Hollywood musicals, but it is certainly distinctly alien. It also nearly sounds like the music is being played backwards which is a hint into the character of the main villain Dryden Vos who appears quite pleasant when he first meets people but if you peel back just a few layers of his behavior he is absolutely brutal—in the calmest fashion possible—a strange mix of contrasts. What’s bold about this new Solo: A Star Wars story is that they are exploring how all these crime syndicates function in the great mythology of the greater Star Wars galaxy, such as the Crimson Dawn and the Pike Syndicate. Its like stepping away from the politics of a film like All the President’s Men and getting to know the details of The Godfather, or even Scarface, which gets into the details of the boots on the ground thugs that are often used for the greater advantages of the top-level politics. The plots are compelling because they are rooted in reality. In the case of Star Wars Dryden Vos is kind of regional player. Everyone is afraid of him, but he’s very quick to suggest that he’s just another small fish in a very big pond. In that scene where we meet Dryden for the first time it’s that music that introduces him. Nothing is as it seems, but yet it’s all right there in front of you.

This is now the second Star Wars film that does not have John Williams scoring it, although he did play a part of the John Powell soundtrack, which is obvious. I was worried about this part of the Solo film experience, but now that I’ve had a chance to listen to the soundtrack a few hundred times over the last 48 hours I am quite happy with it. Music is what sells these stories to our subconscious and we are truly in new territory here with these movies. Very few people really think about what it takes to make a film but it’s always on my mind with regard to projects like this. Hollywood as a whole is a dying culture yet there are people working in it that are brilliant in what they do, like the people who work at Industrial Light and Magic, all the musicians that score all these big movies—people like John Powell out there who are bringing the classics of tomorrow alive today within the context of the film industry. I admire filmmakers in how they employ thousands of people who on something like a Star Wars movie are the best in the business, from the unsung producers who set up everything on these complicated shoots to the people like Powell who get to put their name on a major part of the creative process. I look at each one of these as a small miracle of capitalism that they even happen. If they are financially successful, then more people get to work on a new movie, and I really hope Solo: A Star Wars Story is successful financially so that our culture can get more of these movies. If we get more movies than I get more soundtracks that make daring music like John Powell did in Solo: A Star Wars Story, specifically the track “Chicken in the Pot.” I could listen to that all day long, and if there are many more of these Star Wars movies, there will be quite a collection of unusual music that will emerge from them.

I think we all benefit from these explosions of creativity. As I was watching this latest Star Wars movie on the two occasions within 24 hours of each other on opening day, I saw a lot of happy people buying Star Wars merchandise and enjoying themselves with their families. If that is all that came out of Star Wars, I think that would be enough. But there is more, a lot more and the platform of Star Wars gives some of our most creative people a place to experiment and sometimes those results produce something so unique, like “Chicken in the Pot.” That takes life and elevates its potential by expanding our imaginations in positive ways which advance our species in ways that are so far, immeasurable.

Rich Hoffman
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The Miracle of Capitalism: Why every country should try to be like the United States

The solution to helping others in the world is not to keep throwing money at them, or in letting them live in the United States as immigrants—its to help them make their own countries better than they are now by exporting American ideas that could help them become better. Let me tell those people a little story about life near my house this week so that they can understand why capitalism is such a wonderful thing and why they should adopt it in their own lives for the great improvements that it could bring them. In telling this story I have to start with the gun shop at the end of my street, Right 2 Arms which is located on Rt 4 in Liberty Township, Ohio that I use often, especially when I make a new gun purchase because everything about capitalism starts and ends with gun possession. It is the reminder to the government that they should tamper with the American economy as little as possible and to let the free market determine successes and failures and it is what made for a pretty remarkable day that I had recently.

I had hit one of those milestones in my life where it justified the purchase of a gun I’ve wanted for a very long time, a .50AE Desert Eagle from Magnum Research. I first decided I wanted it way back in 1988 when I was a newly married 19-year-old, and the guns have only gotten better over the years. It was something I have wanted for a whole bunch of reasons, manly the technical value of it. I’m looking for a good concealed carry gun that can deal with the unique challenges of our modern age and for me it’s just the right thing, a seven shot semi-automatic pistol that shoots like a high-powered rifle within the tight confines of a pistol frame. Why would I ever need such a thing? Well, thugs, goons, radicals and terrorists these days wear body armor and should there come a circumstance, having the ability to neutralize them is what would be the strategic objective. So when it came time to buy it, I went to the gun store at the end of my street and purchased the .50AE Desert Eagle to add to my assets.

But that wasn’t all I needed to do that day. I additionally had three trees that I needed to cut out of my yard and I had a major brake job that was pressing me on an older vehicle we have. The 12-year-old Town and Country has been a workhorse in our family since we bought it new, so I’ve kept it running nicely all that time with occasional repairs. But my dilemma was that I was concerned that the new rotors I needed to fix the brakes were just too old to be on the shelf at the O’Reilly auto parts store I go to often across from the great Elk’s Run Golf course. So after I bought my new Desert Eagle, I swung by to see if the O’Reilly guys could track down some new rotors for me to put on that old van.

Like gun stores one of my favorite places are auto parts stores. One thing about American culture that is unique in the world is their personal automobiles. The ability to own two or three vehicles per household is unique in the world and are directly attached to our insistence on personal freedom. If firearms keep politicians honest in America cars give us the freedom to use our time for whatever use we choose. We can literally go anywhere, any time of day any time we want and that is a big deal that is not common elsewhere in the world. So to have auto stores so common in the United States is a real treat because that’s how we keep our vehicles running and I love going down the aisles and looking at all the different products intended for that purpose. I go to an auto store about twice a month, I love the way they smell, I love the colors, and I like talking to the people working there who know things about cars. We always have a car in our family that needs an oil change, spark plugs replaced, or fluids topped off, and I enjoy doing the work. But I had no hope that O’Reilly’s would have the rotors I needed on the shelf in their inventory.

But guess what, I inquired about the rotors and the clerk went to his computer to check the status and I was quite shocked to find that O’Reilly’s had them. So I bought two for $40 each and left amazed that I was going to be able to get that brake job done that day instead of having to wait for an order to come in. I continue to be surprised that O’Reilly’s most always has the things I need for auto repairs—even items that given the number of different cars on the road, they seem to always have for both new and older models. The inventory control to always have that type of stock is amazing, and you would only find it in a capitalist country that has a lot of wealth to justify the personal investment by the store itself. I can’t imagine there are many Town and Country cars left that need major brake jobs as most of them are headed for the scrap heap now—not being rebuilt from the suspension outward. Yet they had them proudly on the shelf when I needed them, and it amazed me.

However, I wasn’t done for the day. The last time I used my Huskvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw was during the previous fall when I did some tree work. After I put it away that day I knew the chain was dull so the next time I used it I’d need a new chain. My philosophy on these types of tools is that I like big and mean so that they have all the force needed and then some for whatever I’m doing. My Desert Eagle is part of that philosophy. Most of the time you’d never need a semi-automatic .50 caliber magnum bullet to stop a problem, but if you do need it, it’s there. That’s the same philosophy behind my Huskvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw with a 20-inch blade. When I first bought it most everyone said that it was too big to work with, which I disagreed completely. It’s big and known to be a bit of a beast. My wife has been after me to cut out a tree stump of an old ash tree that was on our property which fell victim to the Ash Bore insects that killed it a few years ago. It was a big mature tree so it had a large stump. Just big enough for my big chainsaw with a 20-inch blade. To do that type of job, you really need a sharp chain because you have to keep the saw horizontal without hitting the ground while making the cut so once you get started you don’t want to pull out.

I literally pulled out of the parking lot of O’Reilly’s and drove a few hundred yards down Rt 4 to Tractor Supply which is another store I love going to for similar reasons as the auto stores. That’s where I was able to get everything I needed for my chainsaw job. Of course, Tractor Supply had everything I needed as they have a nice Huskvarna chainsaw section and all my blades where there along with the oil I needed. For that big chainsaw I need the 20” 72 drive chains which are the largest they carried, but I found a two pack for about $37. I was able to get home and do all my jobs within about three hours of buying all that and I still had time to enjoy my evening. Would you believe that everything I described was within one mile of each other, including the gun purchase?

Part of being a wealthy country means that there are options like this near most of our homes, and the things I described are more specialized than the average types of things that might be needed typically on a Saturday afternoon. That is the magic of capitalism—those things were all there for me when I needed them because of the free market system and because I didn’t have to waste a lot of time looking for all those items, it made my time much more productive which is always the name of the game. If my time is not wasted, it provides more opportunities for me to make money so that I can do more things like buy guns, fix cars and do landscaping in my yard. Most places around the world can’t do one of those things, let alone all three in the same day and still have time to binge watch a show on Netflix later that night. Life in America is the best and other countries would do well to adopt what we do here for their own benefit, and that all starts with embracing capitalism. To really improve the lives of people around the world, capitalism is the magic trick they all need to learn. Its something we take for granted in America because we are used to getting what we want when we want it, but on days like I have described I realize just how special all those abilities are. And I’d like to see that for everyone.

Rich Hoffman
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Solo: A Star Wars Story Review—What a GREAT movie!

Well, that was a lot of fun—a whole lot of fun. I need to see it again, but I think the new Star Wars movie Solo: A Star Wars Story is my favorite film from the franchise and is in my top ten of all time. It reminded me a lot of Raiders of the Lost Ark. In many ways it also reminded me of a kid’s version of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. And it reminded me a lot of Pirates of the Caribbean and likely that was what Disney was thinking by going with this part of the Star Wars franchise. Solo: A Star Wars Story was just pure fun technically executed to perfection. If this was the most expensive Star Wars film ever made requiring something like nine months of shooting to get right—it showed on the screen. I enjoyed the movie as an adult, but really it’s the kids who see this that are in for the biggest treat. In so many ways I thought the film was brilliant. It started with a car chase on Han Solo’s home planet of Corellia and ended with a card game where Han wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando—but what happened in between was pretty magnificent on the scale of adventurous fun and special effects achievement. Solo: A Star Wars Story is one of those movies that you come out of the theater feeling good about seeing, and it’s certainly one that will be the most fun to watch over and over again once it hits the home theater market. This for me personally is the Star Wars film that I’ve always wanted to see and it actually went a few steps further—which was refreshing.

There are movies over the years that were defined by just a few scenes, such as in Jurassic Park in 1993 where we first saw a T-Rex eat its way through the fence of its holding cell during a thick downpour of rain. Or in 1981 in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones climbs under the truck that is trying to run over him—Solo: A Star Wars Story has several moments like that in it. The two that most come to my mind is when the Millennium Falcon was caught in the gravity well of the Maul during the Kessel Run and a giant monster was trying to eat them in space. The effects and story elements were just jaw dropping beautiful. Then the second is the stand-off between Han Solo and Tobias Beckett near the end where it is recorded for all time, “Han Shot First,” without question. Put that controversy to rest forever, and I thought it was a very powerful moment in these very political times where PC seems to ruin everything. With Han Solo being such a practical, no-nonsense guy, shooting first is a logical thing to do, and it was very satisfying to see him unflinchingly do so. I think it was on par with the time that Indiana Jones shot the swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark, also written by this Solo screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

When George Lucas decided to re-edit the Han Solo scene shooting Greedo in A New Hope he was giving in to political pressure that was coming from the anti-gun crowd. Lucas wanted to make sure that Han Solo wasn’t considered a blood thirsty murderer which can sometimes be a very fine line between a sparkling hero who just shoots a villain. If everyone can’t agree that a villain is a villain one person’s hero is another person’s murderer, so George Lucas made sure that Greedo shot first in the 1997 Special Editions of his original Star Wars Trilogy. Making the decision to have Han shoot first in this film to end the life of a main character was quite a statement and now an issue that as been bouncing around among Star Wars fans for many years is settled. Han Solo will have forever be known to have shot first—which is consistent with his character. As a person who has seen hundreds of westerns over the years, I thought it was an extremely well-done scene that felt oddly good. I would go see this movie another 20 times at the theater just to watch that one scene. I put it on my scale of fantastic cinematic events in the top ten—perhaps the top five. This movie would have been good if that’s all that happened in it.

But that was only one small scene. For me the best of the Star Wars movies were sections of A New Hope and the first two-thirds of The Empire Strikes Back. I think I would put this Solo: A Star Wars Story just ahead of those two films because it gives audiences all the fun things without the emotional weight that happened at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, or even The Force Awakens. With Han Solo being one of the best characters it’s no fun to have him frozen like what happened in Empire, or to be killed like he was in Force Awakens. I understand those artistic needs in a film but what makes a prequel like Solo: A Star Wars Story fun is that you know Han is going to live and come out on top, so you can just enjoy the ride. In that way I think this is the best Star Wars film made to date because it is lacking the emotional weight of any heavy subject matter—just like the Pirate of the Caribbean movies. Star Wars has certainly contributed to heavy story telling with difficult subject matter, but the roots of the franchise were always well-set in B-movies and Saturday Morning Matinees where viewers knew the hero would live from one cliffhanger to another, but the thing they wanted to really know was how.

In that way this Solo: A Star Wars Story was more like an Indiana Jones film where we knew the hero would find some way out of whatever mess they found themselves in but learning how they’d escape was the real fun. It’s like a fun amusement park ride where it all looks dangerous and you know that when the ride ends, you’ll safely put your feet back on the ground. But during the experience, you are experiencing thrills and chills that you couldn’t get anywhere else. In a lot of ways if we as the audience didn’t know that Han Solo would survive this movie we’d not be able to deal with the suspense of going through so much in such a short period of time. The young life of Han Solo was pretty intense and for lots of emotional reasons, is best viewed in hindsight—as a prequel film. Pretty stunning stuff.

Another movie I kept thinking about during Solo: A Star Wars Story was James Cameron’s Titanic from 1997. Like Solo, it had a troubled production, cost overruns and all types of controversy, but Cameron kept his nose down and plowed through the production to what became one of the biggest box office sensations in the history of cinema. On the day of its release which I took a day off work back then to see with advanced tickets that my wife was bewildered that I wanted to see so bad, the critics were all over the picture slamming it for every little thing they could think of. When the film opened, and the word of mouth got out about it, the business exploded for the next six months which was unheard of for films even back then. People wanted that type of optimistic story set against a tragic backdrop and the big downer of course was that Jack had died. The critical appraisal and industry backlash against Lucasfilm for inserting Ron Howard into a movie that was almost done and reshooting 80% of the film with an additional 4 month schedule has all those naysayers smelling blood in the water and the real sharks out there love to take bites out of careers and torpedo films that find themselves in such a situation. But I was just a little stunned at how good Solo was even down to the musical score by John Powell in using vuvuzelas to provide emphasis and some heightened emotion. Vevuzelas are those insect sounding horns that you hear in European soccer stadiums that are constantly buzzing—those horns were used in this movie to a very stunning effect in the background that I thought was very gutsy. The entire production takes those kinds of unique risks that will go down in film history as some of the boldest by a supposedly big commercial company like Lucasfilm and distributer Disney.

One thing that really benefits Solo is the presence of some big names in the business of acting, such as Donald Glover who is presently nearly like Michael Jackson in his popularity. The kid has the number one song in the country and here he is playing Lando Calrissian in the latest Star Wars movie—and he’s having fun with it. Glover isn’t the star, Alden Ehrenreich is. Without question, this is Alden Ehrenreich’s movie and that’s big shoes to fill considering that Emilia Clark is starring in the last season of Game of Thrones filming presently and she is the star of that series which is also filled with fantastic actors—the best of the best. Talk about a tough job not just to overcome the Hollywood legend of Harrison Ford which Ehrenreich did I think quite spectacularly, but in holding his own against some really big stars sharing the screen with him. As much as people want to make this movie about Lando, as it turned out, Lando as played by Glover was the same Lando from The Empire Strikes Back, a swindler, a con artist, and a person of questionable moral authority who is on the check list of revenge for a raging Han Solo at the end of this film. It says a lot about a movie that for a change doesn’t end with a big action sequence that saves the universe from immaculate destruction, but with a card game that in its own subtle ways does save the galaxy. What if Han had not run down Lando at the end of the film to play one last time that game of sabacc. The first Death Star would have killed all the rebels in A New Hope. Princess Leia would have never have gotten away from her raging father in The Empire Strikes Back. The second Death Star from The Return of the Jedi wouldn’t have been destroyed by Lando Calrissian many years after these events in Solo. Rey would have died on Star Killer Base in The Force Awakens and she never would have found Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi. In so many ways this sabacc game at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story was a huge climax, but for a film like this in this day and age where bigger and bigger explosions leave audiences gasping just prior to exiting the theater, this movie slowed down long enough to get to the real heart of the movie, the treasure that Han Solo wanted more than anything else in life—his own starship so that he could earn his freedom finally to live life on the terms he always wanted to live it.

The tragedy of the film is that Han Solo doesn’t get to live happily ever after with his childhood love who turns out to be an agent of evil—sort of. But this isn’t the kind of heart wrenching let down that we see in Titanic and it remains to be seen if a film like Solo can drive big billion-dollar numbers without essentially being a tragedy. I think the answer is a big yes, but producers are following formulas of what has worked in the past basically starting with films like Casablanca and Citizen Kane. To end a movie on a high note is what film schools are teaching their students who then work in the industry as “paying fan service.” Well, yeah, duh. Aren’t these movies made for the fans? Who says that Han Solo has to become a mess because he has lost his girlfriend in this movie to the ambitious revenge plans of Darth Maul? Hey, Han won the ship of his dreams—who needs a woman? And that is pretty much the attitude which is very refreshing in these kinds of movies where Anakin Skywalker was drawn to become Darth Vader because of his love for his secret wife. The ability to shrug off trouble is exactly what makes Han Solo a great character and why these types of Star Wars movies are needed for the franchise. The emotions over the last three films have been too heavy-handed, Luke has died, Han Solo as an elderly figure has died, and all the members of Rogue One died. It’s nice to see a film mostly without heartache for a change that is full of fun and adventure—because most of us have enough of all that in our lives, who wants to pay money to see more of it?

As I said the best parts of Solo: A Star Wars Story are the scenes it recreates from the best parts of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back—the scenes in the cantina in the very first film, the heroics on Hoth in Empire and into the asteroid field which has never been recreated in any film since—in forty years of trying. The price of the entire movie would be worth just watching the Kessel Run, a desperate journey into the Maw of Star Wars legend where a black hole makes passage very dangerous—impossible really. To watch a bold young Han Solo cut off from an exit into the Maw by an Imperial Star Destroyer turn the Millennium Falcon around within a gravity well and to fly back into the worst part of it in order to escape is something that no modern movie can duplicate. It’s not just that there has been a 40 year build up into creating an elaborate mythology about what constitutes a “Kessel Run” but the execution of it on a movie screen is something that has just recently become technically possible—its quite something to see. Why would anybody wait to see a big firework display on the Fourth of July? Because its cool. That’s also why everyone should see Solo: A Star Wars Story at least once, because this one scene of the Kessel Run is just that cool. Luckily, that’s not the only thing worth watching but if you had to pick one thing, that would be it.

The character of Han Solo is something that is very unique, and precious to human creation, there really has never been another character in film or literature like him. You won’t find a comparable character in any Shakespeare literature or within the music of Mozart. The Greeks and Romans never came close in any of their work in creating a foundation for the kind of fearless character that Han Solo is—the boldness and self-confidence that made the character something so many people have loved now for half a century. The only literary reference out of all creative efforts by mankind over our entire history has been the work of Wofram Von Eschenbach’s Parzival in the Middle Ages with a little bit of Lancelot sprinkled in for good measure. George Lucas literally created the character of Han Solo during his racing days where souped-up cars and cruise music filled his mind. After nearly dying in a car crash and deciding to get serious with his life he ran into the work of Joseph Campbell and these stories by Eschenbach and Han Solo was born. The spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone were popular during this period so Lucas put all those strong images of maleness into the character of Han Solo from A New Hope and something really new was born which certainly does deserve its own movie—or series of movies. The character of Han Solo is beyond review for most studied people, because there is no reference for which to place context in the traditional way. Han Solo really isn’t afraid of anything. He is like Parzival in Eschenbach’s epic Arthurian legends in that he knows how to get to the Grail Castle with his hands limp against his horse trusting fate and his raw talent to take him anywhere he needs to go. Getting “there” is never the goal for Han Solo, which is why he always finds himself exactly where he needs to be where heroics are needed. Solo always trusts that he can get out of whatever trouble he finds himself in which makes seeing a movie starring a character like that extremely unusual. Usually what drives a dramatic narrative is the hopes and fears of the protagonists—but in the case of Han Solo he’s really not afraid of anything and he believes anything is possible and it is on that boundless optimism that we as viewers are transported to possibilities that are best experienced in a great movie. That puts Han Solo into a category all his own and makes a movie like this so much more special.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a movie that is special. You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy it, but if you are, then we are seeing the start of something really positive emerging creatively from the Lucasfilm group. I would place Solo as one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s up there with Raiders of the Lost Ark and even Scarface. It’s a reflection into the way movies used to be made with themes that simply have not been part of the modern theatrical experience. It’s a movie you will want to watch in the future on a home system just to feel good about something. When you are having a bad day, this is the movie you will want to put in and watch for a few hours—its fun, its optimistic and is full of adventure. Additionally, it takes the mythology of Star Wars and really begins the expansion of it in ways that build the brand under the Disney tent like nothing else could. We go places in this film that unlocks thousands of potential stories for the future. If everything we know about Star Wars came out of the first three films done forty years back in the eighties, then this film takes a step into that world to unlock more potential on a scale of 100 times what we’ve known. Simply put, there is a creative impulse to this movie that is so bold and audacious that it is formulative into everything that comes after it, even if those creative endeavors are not Star Wars related. Solo: A Star Wars Story is in a place of its own and shows theatrical leadership in ways that are not only necessary, but excessively refreshing. It is the movie to see if you are going to see one, not just once, but as many times as possible. It’s that good.

Rich Hoffman

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