by Shelt Garner
I beginning the process of writing a screenplay as something of a creative “Plan B” and I am using the original Star Wars screenplay as my “textbook.” The interesting thing is, I find myself worrying if I can use its character concepts and structure beat-for-beat now or not. Is it even possible to have a traditional Hero-saves-the-princess type story in the modern media environment?
This gets me thinking about the clusterfuck that is the state of the Star Wars franchise. Now, let me begin by saying, I honestly don’t know how much of this problem is “real” and how much of it is the Russians testing out new ratfucking strategies. I say this because I’m not really the fanbase of the franchise. I love the first two original movies and all the rest of them I can take or leave.
It is easy to accept the narrative that the Star Wars fanbase is male and the executives at Disney — specifically Kathleen Kennedy — are all woke feminists who want to cram their ideology down the throats of the misogynistic fanboys.
I simply don’t think things are that cut and dried.
The whole thing, in fact, is extremely murky and and open to a whole lot of different interpretations. The reason for this is Star Wars is such a potent cultural force — and a lucrative one to boot — that the whole thing is being torn in a number of different directions for a number of different reasons.
I’m not going to play Joe Rogan and try to square the circle in some hyper masculine, yet earnest way. Sometimes, you have to actually have an opinion and own it.
With that in mind, I would say, the problem with Star Wars is, at its core, an issue with storytelling. If Disney would simply go back to storytelling basics, then a lot of the problems the franchise has would be solved. Of course, even the “basics” of storytelling are loaded in this era of Woke Hollywood. I’m of the opinion that if you simply tell a good story, the audience will follow.
As such, maybe Disney needs to lay off trying to sell toys or use the culture significance of Star Wars to change the world. Maybe start a new Star Wars trilogy that is all fan service.
Though, I will note that the more I think about it, the more there’s one specific issue that is causing all these problems for Disney when it comes to Star Wars — they don’t have one, specific visionary to guide it into the future. They have J.J. Abrams, but he just doesn’t seem like a fan of the series.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would give Kevin Smith a three picture deal to fix Star Wars. He’s a huge fan and probably has a good sense of what the fanbase is looking for.
Anyway, I don’t really have any skin in this battle. Star Wars has always suffered from a problem with a consistency of tone. It’s just sad that the problems — be they real or not — are apparently intractable and unlikely to be solved any time soon, if ever.