‘Solo’: Making ‘Star Wars’ Great Again

A lot of my readers are millionaires and are people used to having net assets due to long time investment portfolios, so they are rather perplexed why I am making so much over this new Han Solo movie titled Solo: A Star Wars Story. I think it’s one of the most important things going on today in the world, not just because I love Star Wars, and the character of Han Solo—but because culturally it says a lot about our society in general. I think there are many things that are very important about this upcoming movie that are epic not just in the film itself but in the reaction to it that so many sectors of society have invested. With that said, the film is for children. It’s intended to inspire kids from the ages of 5 to 12 and make it so that their families can go see the movie with them. It’s a family film that expands generations, adults who loved these movies as kids can now take their own kids to see a movie that they can all relate to, and that is the miracle of Star Wars in its purest form. As of this writing I haven’t yet seen the picture, but I know what I’m getting in to. I am delighted that Kathy Kennedy and Bob Iger at Disney greenlit this movie and that all those San Francisco progressives that work at Lucasfilm went against their modern political instincts to make a movie about a white guy who is a strong alpha male who shoots guns, has no reverence for the law and likes to fly starships insanely fast. Han Solo is everything that progressive society is trying to eliminate culturally, so I think it says a lot that Lucasfilm and Disney decided to make this particular movie because it’s what the fans have always wanted—its what the story of Star Wars demands and they went with it, and it took a lot of guts. The fact that these filmmakers made this movie about this kind of character goes a long way to fixing problems I had with both Lucasfilm and Disney—and I admire them for extending that branch. I could easily think that based on what I know about the movie that they made it just for me. But that would be a bridge too far—they made it for kids—a new generation of fans that they want to appeal to the Star Wars brand, and they fully intend to make a lot of money while they do it—which is the name of the game. Personally, I am delighted about this movie in every way possible from the money it will make to the product it delivers.

But I warned about this a long time ago on a radio show I did for 1600 WAAM in Ann Arbor, Michigan when after The Force Awakens came out where I was concerned that Bob Iger and Kathy Kennedy were going to divide the Star Wars fan base by eliminating the extended universe, the many books and comics that had been made to continue the storyline over the last thirty years. Then there was the incident where Kathy Kennedy said she didn’t care about the male fans of the Star Wars fan base to a New York Times reporter, which didn’t go over well. Additionally, she allowed The Last Jedi to be a very progressive film that was bordering on Cloud Atlas in sentiment which was only saved by the score of John Williams and the great visual effects of Industrial Light and Magic. The fans were mad at Kathy Kennedy after The Last Jedi because she had betrayed them and now they are on a mission to destroy her at Lucasfilm, wanting to boycott this new Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story to force Disney to fire her.

I am rather shocked at the vitriol over this film—the activists are really the same type of people who make up the Antifa protestors in politics, they have hit the Rotten Tomatoes site trying very hard to put up bad scores to hurt the film financially at the box office. Right before the release of the film the “want to see it” score was hovering at around 40% which is really low for any film, especially a Star Wars movie. That says there are enough activists out there mad that their ideas for Star Wars have been destroyed and they are throwing a fit about it. They think if they hurt the Solo film financially that it will force Disney to listen and they will get the kind of movies they want. But of course, most of these people are idiots and they have no idea how business actually works. They forget that these movies are not made to make them happy intellectually or to provide them with the voids for religion that they are seeking. In some cases Star Wars does all those things, but only on an infantile level. Most of the complaints I have been hearing about not just for The Last Jedi but Solo: A Star Wars Story is that its fans want new material to carry them deeper into the mythology. However, that’s not what Disney needs, they require a new fan base to take this whole franchise into the future and if they piss off the long-time fans, they rationalize that they are willing to do that because they need to reach the children. If the adults don’t come along for the ride, then so be it.

You can tell that most of these protestors are of the millennial age because they say all those dumb things they learned in public schools—that money, or making money is some kind of evil enterprise and that Disney should be making these movies out of the kindness of their hearts—sacrificing profit for the greater good. No, that’s not how things work in the real-world people, Star Wars movies are and have always been about making money—lots of money. They sell ideas and images in exchange for profit which they then use to expand the reach of those things. If people want to see an art film, as many critics think they do, then go to Sundance and watch all those art movies. But Star Wars is a huge commercial enterprise designed to drive many other commercial enterprises and that’s part of the fun of it. Let me explain this to everyone, even though Disney leans to the political left these days, they are not evil. They are a company designed to make money and from what I have witnessed with them, they listen to what fans want and they try to give it to them—because they want to make money. They aren’t trying to make a bunch of 30-year-olds who still live with their parents happy because their mothers over coddled them all their lives and the people they talk to at GameStop agree with them. Money and the making of it is not “evil,” as they taught you in public school. Let’s get that straight right now.

As to the industry news, many of the critics out there and newspapers they work for are all into the kind of fake news that has led a campaign against the Donald Trump presidency. In many ways if Solo: A Star Wars Story breaks the $300 million mark globally over this Memorial Day weekend in spite of all the efforts the protestors have attempted to stop it, it will truly be a moment where the Star Wars franchise will be made great again, just as Donald Trump has made it his effort to “Make America Great Again.” On election night in 2016 people elected a person that all the industry analysts projected would lose terribly to Hillary Clinton. The labor unions in the entertainment industry have their hands in everything which is why movies these days have moved in such a progressive direction. If the fans are mad at Kathy Kennedy for screwing around politically with Star Wars, the labor unions are mad at her as an executive at Lucasfilm who fired the original two directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. There is a very interesting article in Indiewire linked below that goes into more detail, but the gist is this, labor unions don’t like to see people getting fired, and when Ron Howard was brought in to fix Solo, so that it would be a profitable film, and not some comic art piece, the battle lines were drawn and Kennedy couldn’t make anybody happy. But I give her credit for putting the effort into making a profitable film that would be loved for years instead of a film critics enjoy.

http://www.indiewire.com/2018/05/solo-a-star-wars-story-phil-lord-chris-miller-original-film-1201967484/

With hindsight being 20/20 it would have been smart for Kathy Kennedy to keep the fans to her back. I think the power of her position and her feminist nature got Star Wars off to a rough start through the first three films under her control, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. But I’ll give her credit, she put her finger to the wind and made adjustments and this movie Solo: A Star Wars Story is the result, and I think its going to be great. Like I said, I feel like she made the movie just for me. But I know better than that—she made it for lots of kids around the world that want to see and live through this character a very exciting life. And I think it will be so good that it will overcome all the protests and negative press that is highly politically motivated. I remember what it was like to see movies like this back in the late 70s and early 80s. There is a good reason that nobody makes movies like this anymore—because there are parasitic fan bases that want movies to mean more to them then they really do—and they are always disappointed. It’s hard for filmmakers to sit down in a concept meeting and quiet all that noise and to make a movie like Solo: A Star Wars Story—a fun movie that doesn’t deal with changing character arcs and relish in a bunch of progressive themes such as whether or not Lando is pansexual. This movie and all movies are about the joys of capitalism and the fun that can be found in a good character that takes everyone for a nice ride for a couple of hours—and that’s what Solo is. And that excitement sells toys, amusement park experiences, and an expansion into more mythology such as books, comics and even more movies. When people ask why anybody needed a movie about Han Solo the answer is because at the heart of all Star Wars movies is Han Solo. He’s the only character who ever really had his head on straight and if Lucasfilm wanted in their wildest fantasies to make Star Wars great again—they needed to turn to Han Solo—in his pure, overly optimistic form, even if it meant pissing off everyone so that it could win everyone’s hearts all over again much to their eventual benefit.

Rich Hoffman
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