Angry White Males are Sinking Disney: A bad decision to go to war with half the population over politically progressive ideas

Even if it doesn’t impact you directly dear reader, the civil war at the middle of the Star Wars debate is at the center of the most important aspects of all our lives. As everyone knows by now, the latest Star Wars movie did dreadfully bad at the box office. Solo: A Star Wars Story I thought was one of the best Star Wars movies, if not the very best one, but the fan base was and remains impossibly split on the topic and the brand has taken a hit that I don’t think it will ever recover from. That is very sad, because of all the good potential that there has been over Star Wars. I of course still enjoy it, likely for me that is mostly because of my grandchildren. I have been willing to overlook a lot of the progressive stuff that are now in the films because I wanted to be able to share those stories with my grandchildren. But with Solo: A Star Wars Story being out in the theaters for almost a month now, and its global box office hasn’t even hit $400 million yet, it’s quite obvious that the battle lines have been drawn and the brand of Star Wars has lost its power and that is really bad for retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Hasbro who have invested heavily in the franchise, but it’s ultimately a killer for Disney who bought Lucasfilm in 2012 only to do what many fans feared would happen, and that was to ruin it for everyone.

Long time readers here might recall the radio broadcasts I did back in 2015 where all this was predicted. Star Wars was never supposed to be a vehicle of progressive ideas, it was always a hot rod version of the space cowboy values of Flash Gordon. There were a lot of white male characters in the story because those were the types of actors who were easy to get on a shoe string budget and everyone made the most of it. While the original films were about ultimately the tyranny of government over individuals which is something all political sides could agree on, the scope of the entertainment enterprise was haughty enough to avoid getting too complicated with details. The target audience was young males 6-12 years of age and the formula worked. It was popular because dads could share the experience with sons and there was enough fun there for the girls if they wanted to come along and make the whole thing a good family event. But Disney and Lucasfilm together sought from the very beginning to change Star Wars into the very toxic realm of identity politics where girls took over the role of males and people of color were purposely inserted into the storylines with an activist intention directed to Star Wars fans that they would accept those types of things or they simply wouldn’t get anymore Star Wars, almost like a parental figure bribing a kid to be quiet or they wouldn’t get any chicken nuggets from a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

The big mistake Star Wars made under the Disney ownership was that they joined in the progressive attack against angry white males and specifically the value that males bring to the world. We are living in an age where boys and men are literally attacked all the time over everything, and many of them are sick of it. The election of Donald Trump has been a boomerang effect that many never counted on, but guess what, men make up half of the global population. Attacking them is probably going to have an impact on the bottom line of any business because once men get the idea that they are being punished for something, they are going to take it personally, and that is exactly what has happened to Star Wars. Girls are girls, they really don’t care about fighting and wars, they have concerns about procreation and being nurturing figures. They aren’t the people who supported Star Wars, they often went along because they were interested in the boys who were interested in Star Wars. Disney’s biggest mistake was in thinking that if they centered the Star Wars films on women that the boys would stick around for the space ships, and that is not what happened at all. The boys and men have just rejected it all together, and by the time that Lucasfilm realized the error and tried to correct it with Solo: A Star Wars Story, it was too late.

I feel bad for Kelly Marie Tran who played the most divisive role in any Star Wars film with Rose in The Last Jedi. (See my article titled, Blame Fat Asian Chicks) for my take on her role in killing Star Wars. It’s not her fault personally, she was put into that role by the producers and the effect was just explosively negative. This past week she has had to remove herself from social media because of all the harassment she is getting which has then led to many of the Star Wars alums defending her which really has only made the situation worse because it keeps feeding the narrative. And now that Solo: A Star Wars Story has lost so much money, there is even more anger at those “angry white men” who simply didn’t go to the theater to see the Disney product—the potential loses here are in the billions of dollars, which is exactly where I warned Disney they didn’t want to be if they stayed on their progressive path as indicated way back in 2012 and 2013. People would not support Star Wars if it went from a story of hope for anyone no matter what sex or color and turned into an “anybody but white males” extravaganza of pointless resistance. The metaphor for The Last Jedi couldn’t be more girlish—all the great men are dead, Han Solo and Luke specifically, and the whole movie is about women in charge running out of gas only to turn the ship around at the end and kill themselves with a big human sacrifice. At least three of the main female characters in the movie sacrificed themselves in the movie for really no other reason than they were being outmatched and dominated by their male counterparts and that was not an exciting message to inspire audiences to spend vast amounts of money on the experience. The Rose character was dropped into the Star Wars story to obviously appeal to people who weren’t Barbie doll beautiful, which is always a concern with square hipped middle-aged women on their last few eggs who feel like their best years of attracting the pollen of a hungry young bee are behind them, so they become angry political activists who start hating men not for what they are, but because those men are no longer interested in them sexually. This progressive radicalism starts to become all they see in everything, and that’s why The Last Jedi happened, and completely divided up the fan base. It’s one thing to allow those emotions to govern your life, it’s quite another when they get mixed up in a multibillion dollar franchise that has the lives of lots of people attached to it. People like Kelly Marie Tran get caught in the crossfire which really wasn’t fair to them, but it is what it is.

This is important because it’s the most obvious sign of things to come in the war between progressivism and traditional white men—and males in general. The desire to turn men into something other than what they are has backfired in the worst way for Disney and they’ve taken something that could have been really wonderful and turned it into a mess. While Bob Iger did a great job setting the table for his company of Disney and the shareholders assumed that he and everyone else knew what they were doing, they made a fatal mistake—they assumed that Star Wars could hold all these progressive messages and that the franchise would still make a billion dollars a picture. Instead they have put themselves on the front end of the down turning progressive movement, and I say down turning because the Donald Trump presidency is changing the nature of politics and the Disney Company is on the outside of that change. Disney instead of truly being an all-inclusive company has chosen to go after the Starbucks type of crowd believing they were the future and they did so at the expense of the Chick-fil-A crowd who are filled with those crazy religious angry white males. But those are also the same people who grow up and have families with expendable income who will spend $10,000 on a Disney vacation in one of their theme parks. And now that doesn’t look to be the case. The Starbucks people are bums, people who loaf around and want things for free, they won’t be dropping millions of dollars on the new Star Wars Land at Disney World. And now because of their actions at putting progressive activism into the new Star Wars movies, the angry white guys who do like to eat at Chick-fil-A, who voted for Donald Trump, and who are typically the type of people who get and hold jobs won’t be participating, and that is bad, bad news for Disney. A terrible miscalculation on their part, which I tried to warn them against. But they didn’t listen, until it was too late.

Rich Hoffman
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The Box Office Trouble for ‘Solo’ is Not the Movie’s Fault: Free advice to Disney on how to proceed forward–I just want it to work

I’d like to thank Disney and Lucasfilm for making the new Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story. I am very sorry that financially it didn’t work out the way they needed it to. It was a bold film for them to make in these highly politically charged times and I’m amazed by the product that ended up on the screen. I’ve seen it many times now and after taking some of the emotion out of it, I think it’s the best Star Wars movie to date. It’s certainly in my top ten movies of all time. Part of that is that Han Solo is my favorite character but a lot of it is that it is a wonderful anthology film put together at a breakneck pace that was very positive. The characters are fun, the scenarios entertaining and the scope of it is just jaw dropping. Its science fiction and adventure on a top-tier level and is on par with the first two Indiana Jones films from back in the 1980s. I think the movie will go a long way to repairing the Star Wars brand which was severely damaged by The Last Jedi which came out just 5 months prior. I hope that Disney still gives Lucasfilm the latitude to continue making Star Wars films—because they are valuable. Solo: A Star Wars Story may have fallen short of expectations financially, but I think in the long run will prove to be one of the most important. It may have taken everyone three prior films to find their footing, but they certainly did—unfortunately the fan base was already damaged which played a major part in the poor financial outing of this latest movie.

The hatred and rebellion that many fans showed toward Disney and Lucasfilm prior to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story is complicated and filled with many contemporary minefields that are specific to our times. I knew what was going on during the second weekend of the film’s release when Forbes, The Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair all did hit pieces on Solo: A Star Wars Story about the weekend box office take before anybody really had a chance to get to the theater. Clearly, they were trying to shape the story as the media picked up and created a narrative that actually contributed to low ticket sales. Many people who I talked to on Saturday June 2nd who had not yet seen the film told me they hadn’t gone because they heard the movie wasn’t very good and was struggling financially, so they were holding out for Jurassic World or seeing The Avengers again. I was thinking that this situation was very much an Ellsworth Toohey moment from the great American novel, The Fountainhead. It didn’t matter how good Solo: A Star Wars Story was, critics intended to torpedo the film due to their own political activism and it was having an impact. People who might otherwise want to see the film weren’t going because they got caught up in the narrative created by the entertainment press that was using the power of their media to instigate more Star Wars films without “white” heroes in them and more gay characters focused on diversity, not unrealistic adolescent popcorn action sequences.

Even with all that against it, a movie like this can still make a billion dollars at the box office, but Solo: A Star Wars Story unfortunately was the victim of a massive rebellion of fan wrath that I was afraid was going to happen. If Solo: A Star Wars Story had come out in December of 2017 and The Last Jedi had come out this past May 25th, the fan base might have been aligned more than it was. But as it stood, the fan base for Star Wars was split and a percentage of fans just were not going to see Solo no matter how much they wanted to. That in itself was complicated as there are many cultural trends locked up in that protest intention—for instance the belief that big companies like Disney should not be in the movie making business to make a profit. But if the real roots of the narrative were explored there was a very legitimate fan complaint that Disney had ejected the previous expanded universe of Star Wars and had stuffed the new era films with political activism that just didn’t fit.

Politics has always been a part of Star Wars, but the vantage point has always been on the big scale. For instance, the Empire was always reminiscent of Nazi Germany and most everyone going to the movies could agree that Hitler and the Nazis were evil. However, these days not even the filmmakers at Disney and Lucasfilm can agree on what a Nazi is. To liberal filmmakers like Jon Kasden and the director Ron Howard, Nazis are Trump Republicans while Republicans from the flyover states see the Empire as the tenants of liberalism. George Soros is the ultimate Emperor in the eyes of the Midwest so there is already a divide in the fan base that was exacerbated by the filmmakers due to their liberal activism, such as Jon Kasden, the writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story letting it leak ahead of the film’s release that the character of Lando was pansexual. I understand why he said what he did—he was looking for a way to appeal to the liberal critics and get better reviews on the Rotten Tomato meter—which didn’t work. But it was worth a shot, I can’t blame him. Then Ron Howard Tweeted nearly the same day a bunch of anti-Trump information that fed into the story of Solo: A Star Wars Story, that the Empire was like the United States and taking over domestic planets against their will. In the Han Solo film, the political activism wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in The Last Jedi, but it was there certainly as a distraction, something that just wasn’t done back in the days of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Once the makers of Star Wars allowed it to be known that they were all liberals, they turned off half the American nation to their product and if the Americans weren’t going to support such a movie then the oversea markets certainly weren’t going to give it a chance.

Then there are the fans who just wanted to protest this film by denying it support. They are angry, and I understand it. I was one of those guys after The Force Awakens. I took a whole year off Star Wars and it was only about a month before Rogue One was released that I decided to give the movie a chance, and it was good and did win my approval. So I decided to give The Last Jedi a chance, which I thought was good enough to enjoy. It’s my least favorite Star Wars movie by far, but it was worth the attention. Solo: A Star Wars Story however won me back. I felt that Lucasfilm and Disney went well out of their way to win back fans, but for many it came too late. So Disney is going to have to keep listening and work hard to build back the fan base. They did for me with Solo, hopefully they stick with it and give people the films they want, not the political activism that they think the fans will just take so they can get a Star Wars fix—which is what I think Kathy Kennedy got caught doing. She and many of the top executives at Disney thought that Star Wars fans would put up with gay characters, progressive plot points, and the complete eradication of 30 years of books and comics just so they could get another Star Wars movie and that turned out not to be the case. Many people just didn’t even give Solo: A Star Wars Story a chance, they were intent from the beginning to protest the film to force Disney to make executive level decisions about the entire franchise.

If I were Disney I would let Lucasfilm make more films like Solo: A Star Wars Story. I’d set a budget cap at a $150 million and force the filmmakers to stay under it. I wouldn’t let any Star Wars film go up over $200 million assuming that the movies will make over a billion dollars each. That may not be the case even when the fans come back to Star Wars, I’d keep the projects down to something reasonable and focus on rebuilding the franchise, because the nostalgia factor is no longer there. It’s time to make movies that make history not ones that remember it. Solo: A Star Wars Story had both elements in it, and if Disney made more movies like it, the fan base would expand, not contract. But its going to take time, I just hope they have the patience to follow through on it. Three Star Wars movies a year with budgets of $150 million each and a box office take of $500 million each globally would do a lot more for the franchise than one movie a year that makes a billion. It’s just simple math, but the fans need to be fed. If Disney is smart, they’ll give the fans what they want, and then everyone can be happy. Solo: A Star Wars Story was certainly a step in the right direction. The fans will agree once the politics of the moment drift into history. But not until then.

Rich Hoffman

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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As Conservatives, We Should Make our Own Movies, Music, and Social Media Platforms: I’m thinking seriously of becoming a movie producer

After this week I am seriously thinking of becoming a movie producer for my next big project. After considering the astonishing success of Rosanne’s return to television, the box office take of Tomb Raider overseas—especially in China, the controversy of Facebook data theft and the general liberalism of all the tech companies from Microsoft to Twitter—I am thinking that there is a serious need for a conservative voice in the world filling these entertainment markets. That is the ultimate solution after all. I have all these scripts sitting around from my Hollywood pitch days which went on from roughly 1995 to 2006 that I have sat on for a long time because only liberals were putting money into films. It was obvious to all of them that they wanted to go in this liberal direction and I didn’t fit at the time. But it hasn’t worked out for Hollywood and there are a lot of lost opportunities to make a lot of money and to make people in the world generally very happy. It really hit home for me this week while Steven Spielberg was doing press for his upcoming Ready Player One movie. He is well aware that he has lost his touch, because essentially epistemologically he has change. Spielberg directed some of the greatest gunfights in cinema history in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he never has since as he found friends in Hollywood that he didn’t want to piss off. He is now one of those people who put $500,000 behind the March for Our Lives anti-gun march which was an excessively liberal crusade. As conservatives feel vindicated somewhat that Disney put Rosanne back on television as a “Trump supporter” there is an obvious starvation out there for the kind of movies that Hollywood used to make, to be made again, and rather than complain about it, some of us should just get together and fill that market void.

As a Star Wars fan I had to get The Last Jedi Blu-Ray when it came out this past Tuesday. I liked the movie and I thought Rian Johnson did some really good work as the writer and director. But, it has epistemological problems with its foundation philosophy. These new filmmakers are just so San Francisco liberal that it gets in the way of their stories. George Lucas when he made the original Star Wars movies was not a liberal. He might have spent all his time around liberals, but he had enough small-town conservative in him to detest Hollywood. When he took a big chance and went to the bank to fund The Empire Strikes Back with his own money—that was not a Hollywood communist doing the work, it was a passionate filmmaker and that effort showed up on the screen. Lucas may have had liberalism on his mind as a Vietnam protestor, but he like his friend Steven Spielberg grew up on classic westerns that were about good guys against bad guys and he wanted to tell a modern story about those ideas—so they followed the well stated philosophy to great box office success. But George Lucas is obviously missing from The Last Jedi and it was excessively noticeable in the bonus footage this time as opposed to The Force Awakens by J.J. Abrams. Abrams at least is something of a protégé of Lucas and Spielberg so he was able to recapture some of that on-set magic. Rian Johnson was simply a fanboy of Star Wars who was a modern Hollywood Trump hating liberal that was taking the foundations of Star Wars and making a progressive film on top of that foundation.

With all the attempts to show women empowerment and to put Asian actors in various roles in The Last Jedi the film was rejected by Chinese audiences, which Disney and Lucasfilm were obviously trying to cater to. All the female roles in The Last Jedi were liberal embodiments of what the political left thinks feminism is all about, and it comes across uncomfortably political, and it certainly hurt the film. Yet Tomb Raider is all about the magnificent empowerment of Lara Croft and she has guns in her movie, and she kills people and enjoys it—and the Chinese went crazy over it rewarding it surprising in oversea sales. I listened to the bonus footage of The Last Jedi and carefully noted that Rian Johnson thinks the Force is all about altruism and sacrifice, and that his good guys in this movie were all about blowing themselves up for a greater cause—he obviously missed the point of what heroics are classically about in movies. Han Solo is one of the most powerful characters in Star Wars, and he’s all about possession, he loves his ship, he loves his friend Chewbacca, and he loves his friends and would do just about anything for them. Even though in a pinch he is a giving character he is still portrayed as someone who has personal value for things and people due to his selfish need to be attached to them. But the Jedi as Lucas and many other filmmakers struggled with are supposed to get rid of attachments otherwise they become like Darth Vader and this is where their epistemological liberalism destroys their concepts. Those things aren’t at odds with one another, they are connected—personal value and heroics. If the Chinese wanted to hear a bunch of liberal propaganda they’ll just turn on the state-run television—so they weren’t excited for this latest Star Wars movie. But with Tomb Raider, now that is something they can’t get in China and they soaked it up like there was no tomorrow.

Like I said, I think Rian Johnson did a good job with The Last Jedi. It’s good science fiction. It’s no instant classic that people will love way into the future. But its better to have a world with Star Wars in it than not to have it at all. I know Rian Johnson is a Joseph Campbell fan—as I am. But I want to remind everyone that deep down inside, Joseph Campbell was a conservative—and very much an individualist. He would often say, “are you the light or are you the bulb” which liberals immediately associate with values of collectivism. Without the bulb, the light doesn’t come into the world, so the value in story telling is and should always be on the nature of the bulbs. When a light bulb goes out, the liberal thinking is that you just unscrew the old one and put in a new bulb and the light continues. But in reality, the bulbs of our lives are missed. At the end of The Last Jedi you can see the struggle the filmmakers have on this very subject—they are missing the light of Han Solo not just in the story, but in the Star Wars franchise itself. You can’t just unscrew Han Solo and screw in Poe Dameron–then have him get thrown around the room by a bunch of girls and expect audiences to go along with things. It doesn’t work, as liberalism doesn’t work in the world because of the epistemological failures of the basic concepts of the story telling process.

I will continue to cheer on the efforts of filmmakers like Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm in general. And hopefully Disney learns something from their production of Rosanne on television. But I think we as conservatives could make better movies, better music, and even better social media platforms. I certainly know I could. That’s why I’m thinking of doing just that for my next big thing. I’m in the middle of one of those big multimillion dollar projects now, but I’m coming up on a time where I want to do the next big thing in my life, and by the looks of things, I may just start producing some movies. Not from Hollywood mind you, I’d do it from Cincinnati. Back ten and twenty years ago that was an impossible idea, but these days, the rules have all changed. So why not?

Rich Hoffman

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Blame Fat Asian Chicks: The terrible numbers for the ‘Star Wars’ future

As I was saying about the movie math of The Last Jedi before the Christmas holiday weekend—they are in trouble. And it doesn’t make me happy to say it, because something like this has massive cultural ramifications for the future—and its clear that people were front loaded on the film. They went to see it when it first came out. But as Luke faded away at the end of the film, so did the fan base. You can’t go kill off all the original characters and expect to keep this thing alive unless the new characters are every bit as charismatic—and they clearly aren’t. Kylo Ren is the most exciting character and he’s the bad guy—everyone else is just wall paste and that’s a real problem. The movie will make its money, but the problem is, will people still love this film in 2040—like they do the originals? No. Even in the year of 2050 people will still love the original films, but will be indifferent of the prequels and the sequels—and that is truly sad.

I made a decision not too long ago that I would support the Star Wars franchise mainly because of my grandchildren and children. After The Force Awakens I didn’t want to talk about Star Wars for an entire year, and my kids missed it. They like to bounce morality themes off me decorated with Star Wars plots and not having the ability to do that wore on their minds. So it is more destructive to say no to it than to accept what good does come from it. When the new Star Wars land opens in Disney World we’ll go to it, and I’m sure we’ll love it. But as far as enthusiasm for what comes next from the Lucasfilm group—the magic is clearly gone and that was an avoidable circumstance. It was a bad idea to assume that Star Wars stories could be created in group think instead of that classical way Lucas used which was just a piece of paper and a pencil—and one human mind.

I recently reread the book by Norman Vincent Peale The Power of Positive Thinking. I was provoked into this endeavor by watching recently The Founder, the story of Ray Kroc who started the McDonald’s franchise. When he was an up and coming traveling salesman, he listened to a book version of the Peale book to motivate him each day. The book was very popular in that late 50s early 60s period and I can imagine George Lucas having access to it, because a lot of what is in that book are some of the best lines of dialogue from the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back. I do know something about George Lucas as he was on the board of The Joseph Campbell Foundation when I was a member—and I’m sure that Peale played a part of influence on the young George Lucas. He may not admit to it today as all his liberal friends would likely berate him for it, but The Power of Positive Thinking is every bit as strong in the core of American value as it was when it was written. That kind of element is what’s missing from these new Star Wars movies—Luke being the pessimist, the lack of an eternally optimistic Han Solo character who doesn’t get pushed around by the girls in the movies. Star Wars was and always will be a throwback film to the kind of America that was the 1940s through the 1950s—just as Disney World reflects that same optimism from its founder in its amusement parks. People aren’t going to pay good money and buy lots of merchandise for something that makes them depressed and all these new Star Wars films have a premise set in sacrifice, not in proactive action.

I had a reading marathon over the Christmas break, I read three books in three days and I utilized the entire clock to do so—and I loved it. The Power of Positive Thinking was an easy read for me, but it took some time, around 10 hours, and I had it timed to the arrival of my next book, The 15:17 to Paris, which is about the terrorist attack that was stopped by three heroes riding a train from Amsterdam to Paris when an ISIS sympathizer launched an attack with 500 people on board. As I was finishing Peale’s book at 1:57 PM on December 26th, 2017 a notification came up on my computer saying that The 15:17 to Paris had arrived at my house. So I closed the Peale book just as the dogs were barking and noticed a mail truck stuffing the book into my mailbox as the snow was falling. I walked out in my bare feet to retrieve the book as snow blew across our driveway. I grabbed the book and went back to my chair and opened it up—only about five minutes transpired, and I started reading that book and within 6 pages the mother of Spencer Stone was praying for her child to be safe in France ahead of the terrorist attack. I knew as I read that under Clint Eastwood’s direction that this movie was going to be a hit, because America is still that hopeful and faithful nation. Disney has decided to go against that traditional message and it is hurting them—unnecessarily. After all, wasn’t that the whole point of the movie Dumbo—believing in yourself even when your symbols have been striped away?

The original Star Wars movies were very much about hope, and how positive thinking could overcome anything—no matter the odds. These new films are very progressive and clearly about sacrifice. Who wants to go to the movies to hear a fat Asian girl rattle on about animal rights? If Disney wants to show that average people can be heroes too, there are other ways to do that, but Star Wars is not about those kinds of people. The characters of Star Wars are about the exceptional, not the bland. I bet there will be lots of Rose Star Wars figures on clearance this summer at Target. Who will want that one for their collection? At the end of The Last Jedi the new girl power had pretty much destroyed their resistance showing themselves to be completely incompetent. It’s one thing to be outmatched as the Rebellion always was, but this Resistance is an official branch of the governing power. How could the female generals screw it up so bad? Those are the kinds of questions that people left the theater thinking. They certainly weren’t passionate enough about the film to go see it a second time, or a third—which is what it needed.

This is all important because it says much more about our culture overall. Star Wars is a big part of that culture and now we can see that the magic that made the originals good, just isn’t there in the modern sense and that can be traced back to our divided country politically and on matters of religion. Hollywood is a depressed culture full of losers, drug addicts, promiscuous cape riders, cheats, low-life’s and hopeless degenerates. I noticed that my copy of The 15:17 to Paris shipped from a book store in Van Nuys, California since it was out of print awaiting the updated version that is set to come out with the release of the Eastwood movie in early February. But I didn’t want to wait so I found a new copy of the book in that little town which is a suburb of Los Angeles essentially—just a few miles down the road from where Star Wars was originally partially filmed, where Industrial Light and Magic started as a special effects company for the Star Wars movies. As I watched my package move across the country I thought about how different California was from when Star Wars was first made. The hints of progressivism were already there, but there were enough people not yet corrupted that it wasn’t noticeable unless you really picked up the curtain. Now, it’s a very different place and the people who have helped make it so progressive are now the people making Star Wars movies, and they don’t get it. They don’t understand what made Star Wars great in the first place and they don’t understand American audiences—at all. And that is a damn shame. Nothing against fat Asian chicks—there is a place for them in the world—but forcing them into a plot just to do it says that the filmmakers have no idea what they are doing. Which is directly reflected by the box office numbers.

Rich Hoffman

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Trump the Destroyer and Beyond Pairs of Opposites: ‘The Last Jedi’s’ message to the 21st Century

There is nothing I enjoy more than a good discussion about very heady topics.  It really is the only thing that interests me so my mind is often open to these elements when I see them.  And before everyone complains that I’m writing another Star Wars article, it would be worth the time to follow through on this one, because we’re going to talk about some important stuff.  After the dust settled on The Last Jedi—once I had seen it and considered what Disney’s role in the whole thing was, and compared all that to these really massive investigations into the FBI and Donald Trump’s institution cleansing presidency—I have a few thoughts to share to those with a mind to listen.  So here it goes.

Taken up close, there is a lot to be angry about.  There’s a lot to fix, and most of us do not understand our role in the grand scheme of things.  We can call that grand scheme God if you’d like, but I’d prefer the term Grand Fortissimo—A term I acquired after reading the Joseph Campbell masterpieces The Masks of God many years ago for which that term was applied to the steady march and consideration  of the human race—from its inception to the present.  Art after all is the yearnings and toils of the mind and the imagination which fosters it—and Star Wars was always a work of modern art presented as myth to a hungry public needing more than what other forms of entertainment typically give us.  I’m not particularly happy with the direction Disney has taken the Star Wars stories—because taken at the ground level—these new films are very progressive in their values which makes them political in a negative way.  But………what separates Star Wars from the pack is that they are rooted in very ancient mythologies which have been always trying to answer the big meaning of life questions we all seek and to get there it is the orchestral music of John Williams which takes what might otherwise be average television plot lines and elevates them into the realm of modern myth.

As I was thinking about all this I listened to the new Last Jedi soundtrack by 85-year-old John Williams and if there was ever a person on earth that has the powers of God working through him, it is that guy.  Listening to the music with no images attached, just a good symphonic score pulled from the movie is just amazing.  What he put down on paper is something that would rival Mozart or Bach or Tchaikovsky any day.  That Ahch-To them from The Last Jedi which was introduced at the end of The Force Awakens I think represents the direction of the human race in the 21st century and John Williams is quite well aware of it.  It’s fully majestic and deeply philosophical and touches on all the classic myths of our imaginations and shines a light to where we are going.  For Williams to capture all that in just a few notes is nothing short of genius.  As I was listening to that little piece in my car with the windows up and the sound turned up as loud as I could get it to go I received a notification from my oldest daughter that NASA was sending up a copy of The Last Jedi for everyone to watch up on the International Space Station.  On another notification I received the Friday box office results which was tracking The Last Jedi to break over 200 million domestically by Sunday night—which is extraordinary.  Even though I thought the surface plot of The Last Jedi was pretty mediocre—almost descending into the plot of the latest stupid Star Trek movie, Into Darkness—the deeper elements of it are actually quite sophisticated, which is a serious nod of the hat to Rian Johnson, the director.  He chose to essentially make this Episode 8 movie a modern rendition of the classic Twin War Gods Navaho legend and it is quite effective.

Meanwhile Donald Trump is shaking up the entire world of the establishment.  Liberals might see Trump as Snoke from The Last Jedi and they are guarding themselves from the First Order of his creation.  Conservatives see Trump as the Rebellion fighting against an evil faceless Empire where the Deep State has all the power and might we see in the Star Wars movies as being something worth fighting.  The main them of The Last Jedi is the motif of most mythologies that we know of, and that is to move beyond the pairs of opposites—the yen and yang life.  The cultures of our past which built pyramids understood this all too well, you pick your side and work your way intellectually up to the point where you will have to meld with all the other sides of the pyramid.  Life forces you to pick sides, but once the roles we play in the conflict of living are concluded, all sides blend at the point.  At the end of The Last Jedi what Rian Johnson has done was essentially kill all the villains to merge the characters into this concept which was pretty bold stuff.  I am pretty sure that Donald Trump is a Star Wars fan, and I’d dare say he understands what I’m talking about and he knows his role in all this is a Shiva role—a destroyer of evil and a transformer upon our culture.  I remember when the Rogue One Blue-ray came out in April of this year Trump was playing it on Air Force One while reporters where talking to him.  Trump gets it—I’m quite sure of it.  His job is to clear away all the institutional hesitation for which Star Wars is conceptually introducing to the human race a tomorrow for which we presently aren’t prepared for.  That is clearly the intention of The Last Jedi—to bring mankind to the top of the pyramids and to now move beyond—which no culture in the history of the world has done so far—that we know of.  If they have in the past, they left earth long ago.

It was just this week that Trump announced the next steps for NASA which are going to once again use the space race to spur our economy along into uncharted waters.  Within a few decades we will all have to make a conscious decision as to whether or not we want to die—because we’ll be able to download ourselves into some form of A.I.  We’ll also be able to biologically heal ourselves—so there’s that as well. We are moving toward a time where dying for the honor of our flags, or our loved ones is really going to be robbed of its merit—and what are we going to do then?  How do we live beyond the pairs of opposites—once we’ve had reconciliation with the “father” whether it’s the God of the Christian Bible or the Sun from the Navaho legend?  We must have Shiva destroy the old world and to clear away all the smoke so that we can see the top of the pyramid, then we will complete that climb and move into that next age.  Star Wars is providing a road map of thought to help us through art and subconsciously we seem to understand. Donald Trump for the world right now is Shiva—and I say that in the most positive manner.  He is working beyond the villains of Star Wars for that moment on Ahch-To when Luke vanished at the end of The Last Jedi to join Yoda in the realm of the dead—which aren’t so dead—but willing participants in the theater of life.  Very interesting.

Donald Trump and Disney without really planning it in any way are serving as the two greatest influences that are shaping our culture of tomorrow in ways that many of us today still can’t fathom.  I saw a lot of people at my screening of The Last Jedi who are full-grown adults dressed up for the movie.  This stuff is a religion to them now, and that is taking us all to places that are uncharted in the human experience.  While our political assumptions are being destroyed—rightfully so, our art is providing us with a road map to renewed self-discovery.  Star Wars is not just a movie experience; it is amid all the sex scandals and the obvious destruction of Hollywood the best and only safe place that we can still trust.  It’s all around us at Target, Wal-Mart and even in our cars.  It’s fueling the imagination of NASA which has been given wings again under Trump and where we are all heading for is that grand fortissimo I was talking about.  It may take thirty or forty more years, but we’re going to be going somewhere we’ve never been before and I think that is absolutely wonderful.

Rich Hoffman

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Jim Renacci and ‘The Last Jedi’: Liberals and their Resistance are more alike than they know

One thing that I really like about Jim Renacci’s run for the governorship within the state of Ohio is that he is very light on his feet. As he had a press conference early in the week for which the new Star Wars movie The Last Jedi was released I thought it was cleaver that he was active on Twitter tying the needs of his campaign to the pop culture monstrosity. It was a hip move that was reminiscent to the light on his feet nature of Donald Trump. The big news of course was that Renacci was partnering up with Cincinnati councilwoman Amy Murray which was another smart move—and for most politicians that would have been their news highlight of the week. But what is noticeable about Jim Renacci is that he’s very competitive, and determined to win whatever he does which is why I’m supporting him for his run for governor—to replace the docile, and much maligned closet liberal—John Kasich.

https://twitter.com/JimRenacci/status/940374420601876480

The candidacy of Renacci is actually very much in line with the pop culture for which Star Wars represents to our society at large. I’ve seen The Last Jedi, the most recent Star Wars film at an early screening and it was good of course in its own way. I understand now that I’m a traditional Star Wars guy and that these new movies, books and televisions shows will never touch my heart the way they once did—which is fine. They are fun movies that are dealing with a lot of very contemporary mythology, but nobody did it better than George Lucas. Disney should have followed the Lucas stories and stayed away from these much more progressive adoptions created by the San Francisco kids at Lucasfilm. I’ll give a little review of course once the dust settles—because there is a lot to think about. But one take away that is directly connected to the politics of our real world is that the Resistance in the movie is very much reflective of today’s political left.

I’m a Rebellion guy from the first Star Wars led by Han Solo. When Solo was a general the Rebellion won and destroyed the Empire and it was a very Ayn Rand type of embodiment. In these new movies it’s not the Rebellion any more it’s the Resistance and the new Han Solo type of character is Poe Dameron. Led completely by women now, the Resistance is very progressive and as a result they are losing. In fact, they are not only losing, but they are dreadfully inefficient and nobody in the galaxy seems to be rallying to their cause. That is a far different thing from the first movies where hot-shot pilots like Biggs and Wedge were defecting from the Empire to fight for the Rebels. In The Last Jedi, the defectors are from the Resistance. Given how politically charged our current entertainment culture is I thought it was very telling that Carrie Fisher and Laura Dern berated Poe for being too reckless and not following orders—which is ironically how people who win a lot do so—by not following orders. Then when he wasn’t in the room they commented on the fact that they only kept Poe around because he was a good-looking guy. So that’s how these progressive women like Kathy Kennedy who is running all these Star Wars movies these days see the way the world of tomorrow will be? Sexual harassment will now be dished out by the women because they are now empowered? Not that I care really, but it is a very interesting thing to watch—the hypocrisy is hilarious.

Leading up to this Star Wars movie many people who are anti-Trump including many of the production staff and actors in The Last Jedi made it clear that the Resistance was reflective of their political ideology. Without question given the number of scenes where members of the Resistance made really desperate sacrifices we are seeing essentially what the political left believes is their plight in life. They think like that FBI agent Peter Strzok who felt it was their plight in life to do whatever needed to be done to keep Donald Trump out of office—as if they knew better than the rest of us what was right. I’m a person who hates bad guys in movies, but there were a lot of moments whether it was intentional or not, that Kylo Ren was the star of the film. He was the one who had it all together and was able to achieve objectives—and to get things done. Even to the point where nice girl Rey was tempted by his power. I felt that the makers of this Star Wars movie wonderfully directed by Rian Johnson meant to say one thing about the state of politics in our current world, but ended up saying something completely unintentional—like we know we’re losers and understand why.

In the original stories by George Lucas it was the pirate Han Solo who shook off the rules and helped the Rebellion start winning again that served as the guiding light of the entire franchise. He made the Empire look like a bunch of bumbling fools outwitting them time and time again in a classic good guys against bad guy fashion. Yet in these new Star Wars movies it is the First Order now led by Kylo Ren who makes the Resistance look pathetic and weak. I know the metaphor for these modern Hollywood artists is that the First Order is the modern equivalent of Hitler or President Trump—but its not the Resistance they really adore as artists—it’s the power of Kylo Ren. It’s like a woman who says she hates men with long hair who play in rock bands doing drugs day and night then turn around and leave their nice husbands and children for just such reckless characters. There is a unique scene in The Last Jedi where it’s a kind of upside down world from the Stranger Things television show. The schizophrenia that I’m talking about is on full display here and I think they think they’ve concealed their insecurities, but at the end of the movie when there is literally nobody left in the Resistance I couldn’t help but feel that the inner fear that all members of the Progressive caucus are experiencing now can be summed up at the end of the movie. They know that the demands of the story will pull the natural order of things toward Kylo Ren in the end with Rey helping to tame him toward the needs of existence. But the story is not Rey’s, it is clearly about Kylo Ren—Han Solo’s son that was seduced to evil off the superstitions of a Luke Skywalker who thought about killing the young lad in his sleep—and then propelled him to the Dark Side out of self-preservation.

You might ask what any of this has to do with Jim Renacci and his run for governorship. Other than the fact that he used a cleaver Star Wars ad to show how he was different from his competition the candidacy is enough to stir the concerns of the real Resistance that exists in our very tangible political world. The progressives and establishment types who now look at these days of Trump and think of themselves as the Resistance in Star Wars are more correct than they know. They may get little moments of victory—like in the case of the Alabama senate race—but like the events of The Last Jedi, their numbers are dwindling down into nothing while all the resources of a vast galaxy are going to the other side. The insecurity they all face is the same as the one in that movie where Kylo Ren is supposed to be the villain—but is he really in the ways of the Force? Maybe it’s the idiots in the Resistance who are so prone to kill themselves for stupid reasons who are the real villains and that is a thought that I couldn’t help but conclude as the lights came on and the movie was over. Good guys and bad guys are really a matter of perspective definition. But………….only one side is right and one side is wrong and when nobody is left on the other side—the answer becomes obvious. What I learned from The Last Jedi is that the Force hates the Resistance. And that appears to be what’s going on in real life politics too.

Rich Hoffman

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