I’ll ask. Cos I walked out of the theater after The Last Jedi genuinely excited. No need to have Skywalker blood to make a difference. No need to be a famous hero or legend to make a difference. Everyone can stand up and make a difference. And they’re giving this guy a whole trilogy of non-Skywalker story to build and go in interesting directions with! SUPER!
So what happened?
I mean I know the toxic fanboys happened. I know they review-bombed every place they could. I know they had the fervor of entitled fans whose fee-fees were all hurt cos that Brick guy took their Star Wars and pegged it in the butt. They stinted no opportunity to show us on their black series action figures where the nasty director touched their fandom.
Did Disney get cold feet and back-burner Rian? If so, I’ll say it now. That’s a bunch of bullshit. I feel what he did with the story opened up the cul-de-sac the story was headed down, and opened up all manner of plot possibilities and directions it could go. I was, as previously mentioned, genuinely excited. Bold storytelling. Interesting character development. New takes on old stories and MacGuffins. If I could have pre-bought my tickets to all three of Johnson’s proposed films, I’d have done it right then.
I still would.
I mean... it’s not like Disney hasn’t gotten cold feet before when the stink of a fandom’s more toxic incontinence hits their nostrils. I’m still angry about the cancellation of Tron Uprising and the proposed movies to follow up the sequel. Except unlike Star Wars, or Firefly, or Buffy, or most beloved fandoms, the development just stopped cold. No comics to carry forward the plot. No audiobooks or novels. TRON... just stopped. The last time we saw him, he fell into an sim-ocean... sinking... but active. Would we ever see him again? Who the hell knows? We don’t. Unless they grow some testicular fortitude outside of the Marvel franchise, we won’t.
I look at the facts... We’ve got the name “The Rise of Skywalker” for episode 9. Which I hope like hell doesn’t mean that Rey is a Skywalker after all. Or that Kylo decides to be Ben Skywalker after all. Or anything but a damn continuance of the Skywalker saga I’m sick to damn death of.
Then we’ve got reports of Rian coming out and saying he doesn’t mind so much if they retcon some of the stuff he did in Episode 8, which is tragic as hell. I know he’s probably under some kind of contract clause not to fail to promote the franchise, but damn. Stick to the courage you showed and what you produced. You did a damn fine job. You don’t give a performance and then apologize and say “Change it if it makes you feel any better.” I like to believe that someone brave enough to do what he did isn’t that gutless. I can believe it of Disney. But say it ain’t so, Rian.
However... we now have a great big stinky bantha in the room. A stink of a different and more decidedly alarming failure. A stink that may get Disney going, “Rian... don’t turn in your pass to the Ranch yet.”
As we know from recent announcements, Benioff and Weiss of Game of Thrones fame have been tapped to do the next three movies in the Star Wars saga. What that would be about is anyone’s guess. All we know is that we’re meant to get one every other year between Avatar movies as they back off a little on the franchise. Not counting The Mandalorian. Certainly not counting Resistance. (Dave Filoni somehow seems to think it’s fun or interesting to leave us wondering about the fate of Ezra Bridger, or the Adventures of Lady Tano and Lady Wren. And in this, he is wrong.)
And Benioff and Weiss becoming suddenly available in the conclusion of their Thrones responsibilities must have seemed like a pair to snap right up... Except now a very angry fandom has seen what they did with the infamously unfinished novel series. I mean, hooray for Double-R Martin. He’s just been given a crash course in how NOT to end his novels. What an opportunity that’s got to be as a writer, yes? “Well, I’ll see what HBO does with it and... oh wow... WOW. That REALLY pissed them off. Well, unless I’m interested in doing that again, I think I’ll write me something else.”
But given Disney’s past and their propensity for ghosting a franchise, series or proposed movie if there’s any kind of stink of fail to it... And given how they swallowed their pride and asked James Gunn back to do Guardians III... Is it possible they might reconsider Rian Johnson’s project? I still want to see it. It’d be a shame if we didn’t. It’s the first breath of fresh plot and story that isn’t nostalgic fan-wanking I’ve seen in the saga in forever. And honestly... I’m still excited for it. Hell with the haters. Hell with cowardly kowtowing to butthurt toxic fanboys. How about they show some faith in the new vision they showed us a tantalizing glimpse of instead?
And as long as I’m spitting into the wind, an Old Republic trilogy wouldn’t come amiss either. Just sayin’.