There I was today, mostly thinking about what comics I was going to write about for New Comic Book Day over at Fan Fest, when I stole a minute to pop on Facebook. It was there that I saw a fellow Fan Fest writer had posted that the Fox/Disney deal was all but done. You guys remember this, right? I mentioned it awhile back here on this very site, and went into a little more depth explaining what characters the MCU could be adding to their collection. After that things took a turn, Comcast got involved offering Fox cold hard cash, fanboys everywhere got super defensive and slightly worried, and the world waited.
Until today that is. Fox made it all but official that they would be doing the deal with Disney, take that Comcast, and everyone rejoiced. It appears that Marvel is about to get a ton of characters back and it really opens up the potential for the MCU. That alone is enough to make me do blackflips of joy. If I could do a backflip that is.
On top of that Disney pretty much owns everything now. The Simpsons, the Alien franchise, and tons more now belong to Disney as the door has been officially opened to the possibility of getting the original, unaltered trilogy. As Fox had rights and blah blah blah legal jargon, just give us the original films already. Could you imagine? I dream of this day so often my friends. Oh, to get the Star Wars movies of my childhood back. Now that is most certainly the dream.
It’s funny though that this dream of Star Wars movies directly relates to the conflicting emotions of the day. I should have been riding a geeky like high for the majority of the day. Marvel getting all their toys back should have been enough to enhance this New Comic Book Day, but noooooo, we had to get some bummer news from Lucasfilm.
It turns out that there is a report stating that Lucasfilm is looking to put all the spinoff movies on hold because of the performance of Solo. I can’t help but feel quite pissed about this development if it turns out to be true. A number of you have read my piece concerning Disney’s failure of Solo, and after seeing the film a couple of times (yay Movie Pass) I stand by what I wrote. Solo is a great Star Wars film that’s packed with all the right notes of nostalgia. It expands the universe while reminding us that it’s okay to just have fun with a Star Wars movie. We don’t need to cyber bully any of the stars off of social media because of it.
It turns out that Lucasfilm doesn’t feel the same way and are failing to understand how they set the film up to fail but tagging it to the end of a jam-packed month of blockbuster movies. Now because of it the Boba Fett and possible Obi Wan spinoffs are in jeopardy. This especially drives me crazy because I had such an awesome idea of how to tie the events of Solo into the Boba Fett film. And I really want to see this happen.
I personally think that putting the spinoff movies on hold is a mistake and that Lucasfilm is completely reading this situation poorly. The problem isn’t with the number of spinoffs, by the way, there have only been two. The problem right now seems to be with the fan base. As a lifelong Star Wars fan it’s strange to say that but it’s true. We live in a moment in time where it seems popular to hate on Star Wars which has lead to a portion of the fanbase becoming quite venomous. A lot of this stems off of the divide between fans of The Last Jedi as either you loved it or hated it with the burning of a thousand suns, and those that hated it sure aren’t shy about their feelings.
I even have a conspiracy theory that the fans that hated The Last Jedi purposely avoided Solo in some perverse attempt to make a statement. What that statement is is beyond me, but it seems that the combination of that type of behavior and Disney shoehorning Solo into a spot where it was destined to fail, leaves the rest of us Star Wars fans to suffer.
The spinoff movies are such a tremendous way of expanding the classic universe. For a fanbase that was livid over the treatment of the expanded universe the spinoffs lend themselves to actually incorporating those stories and characters. Just look at Thrawn who is arguably one of the most popular characters in the expanded universe. Lucasfilm heard you and now he’s a character who had a major role in Rebels, received two new books making him officially canon, and a comic series to boot. Yes, the spinoffs are fan service but isn’t that what we’re looking for? Or what we were looking for before The Last Jedi pissed off the world.
On a day that I should have been celebrating the fact that I could possibly see the X-Men and/or Doctor Doom in the MCU I was instead a bit bummed out by the continued poor judgment of Lucasfilm. It was bad enough the way they mistreated Solo but now they risk pissing off the part of the fanbase that was actually kind of happy with the way things are going. With a franchise that has a fanbase that is so clearly divided, one would think that Lucasfilm would be finding ways of righting the ship instead of isolating more fans. Yet, here we are.
Disney is not hurt up for money. See Black Panther and Infinity War for further proof. Yes, I understand that Solo is a box office failure but it came in number one two weeks in a row and it’s not bankrupting the company. The Star Wars franchise has been proven to be a cash cow so why all of a sudden are we worried about the state of these films? The next one doesn’t come out for a year and a half. That’s plenty of time between. People aren’t tired of Star Wars movies, they were tired of spending money at the movies. May was a crazy expensive month to be a movie fan. I stand by the fact that if Solo came out in mid-August it would have performed much better. Now we have a situation where we have to ask ourselves, do we maybe have a Star Wars problem… and is that problem the fans, Lucasfilms, or a wicked combination of both?