If you study any ancient society—or any society at all for that matter, scientists and historians always find a way to rationalize their successes or failures on a few key elements. They will proclaim a civilization may have been successful because of their proximity to water, or key trade routes. Or fertile soil, access to natural resources, abundance of food—those types of things. The truly great societies are often judged by the artists they produced and the literature they performed. In a lot of ways entire societies are judged based on the written works produced by their cultures, such as in England with William Shakespeare, or Ireland’s James Joyce. But we don’t really have enough history yet to properly understand how our modern age of great art and entertainment will recoil through the ages, because most of it is so new. American movies for instance are underplayed in their importance to how they shape world culture—because they essentially have only been around for a century, so the effects on people as a whole are still being determined. But I have a pretty good idea how those results will be determined as judged by time and it is for that reason that I am so excited when a new film comes out that I know will be a game changer in the way that art shapes society. That is why I am so excited for this new Solo: A Star Wars Story as it is being produced by Disney. Something very different is going on with this one and if it turns out the way I’m thinking, there will be shock waves percolating through the industry as a whole that will favor the political trajectory of the modern Donald Trump age—and that’s a really good thing. To get a good idea of what I’m talking about read this fine movie review about Solo: A Star Wars Story in Forbes. I don’t think I could have written a better one.
Over that same century that movies came to be as a form of new art and entertainment liberals under the umbrella of progressivism made their move to spread tyrannical socialism to every corner of the world. Movies didn’t always reflect this socialism because the cultures they were speaking to had emerged before the progressive move to take over the world essentially. Westerns specifically were a group of movies that told stories of Americans yearning for freedom at any cost and the values that could be inflicted on large tracts of unpopulated land with the barrel of a gun pointed at a bad guy, and on the backs of that concept, Hollywood was essentially born. It was westerns that propelled the film industry into being such an important artistic endeavor that became the envy of the world. Not only had America created this interesting artistic machine known as Hollywood that mass-produced art and entertainment in such an excessive capitalist fashion. But it could do so in seemingly infinite quantities quickly spreading the culture of a free North America to every part of the world that had electricity.
Progressives saw this power and sought to take it over starting before World War II but really beginning to succeed in the late 1960s. But some of the best films of that time still came from filmmakers who made movies in the traditional way of Hollywood before the liberal invasion and it was those films that carried Hollywood into the modern age financially. Star Wars is a great example of the type of America that used to show up in the movies of its culture—B movies made quickly and cheaply for Saturday Morning Matinee entertainment. George Lucas was often derided by his peers in the film industry for wanting to make such old-fashioned throwbacks to the old westerns and science fiction films of his own youth—yet the Hollywood liberals built and industry around the commercial success of those movies and the history of all that is well-known.
Fast forward to my excitement in 2012 when I found out that there were going to be more Star Wars movies because Disney had bought the franchise from George Lucas for $4 billion dollars and I had high hopes. I also had my concerns which I expressed to everyone who would listen, including the key people at Lucasfilm. I did not like The Force Awakens not just because they had killed the character of Han Solo, but because they had cheapened that very popular fan favorite into a much weaker progressive character as was reflective of the attempt by Hollywood to follow a more progressive political agenda for which they sought to take over the entertainment industry in the first place. But I kept my mind open because I knew they were planning to make a Han Solo movie in the future so I stayed on the ship awaiting the results of that to figure out if I would continue to support the artistic efforts of Star Wars in the future—or relegate that it had died with the Disney acquisition. Thankfully I am quite happy to say, the financial viability of Star Wars as a business has won out and the filmmakers at Lucasfilm and Disney have come to terms with what works and what doesn’t in that particular universe of storytelling—which is essentially the values of the traditional westerns in America, and they have unleashed all that into this new Han Solo movie.
That’s important because Solo: A Star Wars Story is not about social justice, or the mysticism of religions—its not about altruism and all that garbage—its much more of an Ayn Rand type of story which is what I have always said was the core value system of Star Wars. Han Solo has always been and will always be best when he reflects more a character that would be written by Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged than from Les Misérables. Star Wars fails when it tries to be reflective of European literature more than American bravado and that lesson has been reluctantly unleashed in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is all about guns, getting rich and taking care of the character’s self-interests.
Of course, the liberal aspects of Hollywood are hoping that this Solo: A Star Wars Story will fail at the box office, and for that to happen the industry will pounce on any numbers that don’t reach a billion dollars globally, or under $600 million domestically. Anything short of that and this Solo movie will be destroyed in the press much the way Donald Trump’s presidency is under constant attack because it threatens the status quo. But as I have been saying for many, many years—Star Wars is best when it is about all the things I described this upcoming movie to be as opposed to the self-sacrifice and general altruism of the Jedi and the Skywalker portions of the saga. Without Han Solo, I’d say there is no Star Wars. So to their credit, they listened at Lucasfilm and Disney has not been shy with the money and has thrown their full weight behind this movie knowing that it goes against the general strategies of the progressive community. And they had to do it because economic necessity dictated that they protect the property of Star Wars from the politics of the modern age. The last time I saw Disney market this hard for something like a western was The Lone Ranger in 2013, which was financially successful, but was considered a big bomb at the box office. If I had to bet, I’d say that is why Bob Iger has been nowhere near the early previews of Solo: A Star Wars Story. He is keeping one foot in the world of deniability. But I don’t think he’ll have to throw anybody under the bus. I think this new Star Wars movie will make everyone happy at Disney, even if it does give them a political paradox to deal with.
Progressives would love to assume that they can shape culture—which is why they wanted to take over the movie business. Films were to reflect the cultures they came from and the values expressed which is what other nations wanted to see in American movies. People get excited to see things they can’t get at home or yearn to become themselves, so they enjoyed the lofty characters of the American westerns who shot first and asked questions later, who did whatever they had to do to get rich so they could live free of the rest of the tyrannical world. Thinking of the great Sergio Leone movies from the late 1960s, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and For A Few Dollars More, the filmmakers were from Italy making westerns as they interpreted them, as a way out of the fascism that their country had just emerged from and the character emphasis wasn’t on saving the world or even a damsel in distress, it was in using a gun to get rich and live happily ever after alone and disconnected from the rules of society. That was always the allure of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean movies, that is why the Fast and Furious movies make so much money, and that is the commitment behind Solo: A Star Wars Story.
With this being the fourth Star Wars story produced by Kathy Kennedy as the new head of Lucasfilm economic necessity has dictated a more traditional approach to their films. That is a great thing because it informs what the true values of our culture are which addresses at the most epistemological level values that are conducive to a successful modern culture reflective in movies, and not where Hollywood shapes culture. The values of people are inherit and they need to form their lives around those values—that is self-interest, acceptance of capitalism as the primary driver for success and improved lives. What could be a better message in Star Wars than a black character called Lando Calrissian who loves wealth and the fine things in life and became an extraordinarily successful businessman? Solo: A Star Wars Story may be the first movie in several decades that doesn’t demonize the acquisition of wealth. I doubt the movie will do well in China for that very reason, but that’s OK. Lucasfilm made this movie and hopefully people support it the way I’ve always said they would. I can say this, I am excited for it—for all these reasons and more. I think it’s a game changer that could very well alter the way Hollywood produces films, and that is not good for the progressive elements which have taken over. Like the presidency of Donald Trump, Star Wars is rooted in old-fashioned values, and that was something that Hollywood has wanted to destroy but find that they must reconcile with if they want to live into the future. I never honestly thought I’d ever see a Hollywood product like this movie, where guns are as much of the plot as the pursuit of personal wealth and freedom. But here it is, and my hope is that people show up and support it, because it took a lot of guts to make it—and for Lucasfilm and Disney—it’s a tremendous gamble that could pay off big for them—and the rest of us.
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