View Full Version : Is Star Wars dead?

14 September 2002, 09:29 PM
I'm not sure where to put this thread, but here it goes anyway.

The subject of this thread is referring to an article posted on Echostation.com, here (http://www.echostation.com/editorials/notdeadyet.htm). Basically, it seems to hold the opinion that interest is steadily diminishing in Star Wars. I though the article was disturbing, not for its actual content, but for the questions it raises. Honestly, I am not sure if I entirely disagree with James Waikle, and that is quite depressing.

Thoughts, dear readers?

14 September 2002, 10:00 PM
The article raises some interesting points, but I'm not worrying about it. Let's look at Star Wars, across the board:

1) Movies
It's somewhat unfortunate that this category seems to be the weakest of the entire Star Wars line. However, I loved AotC, and am eagerly awaiting Episode III. Yes we know what will happen, overall, but there's so much to find out about how. Many people watching LotR knew exactly how it would turn out (because they had read the book) but still liked the movie. I was one of them. AotC was still amazingly successful in the box office, and I think the fan response was a lot better. Word of mouth should be on Episode III's side.

2) Books
The NJO series, while aggravating some fans, is largely successful and popular. It's a whole new area to explore, and I think it's holding up very well as a unique part of Star Wars.

3) Video Games
Jedi Knight II Take that game, toss in the upcoming Knights of the Old Republic, Bounty Hunter, and the juggernaut Galaxies, and it's very easy to see that Star Wars is doing very well in the video game department.

Despite some license shifts, both of these lines seem to be doing reasonably well (yes, I know about WotC's RPG staff cuts). The fan support is on the rise, if sites like this are any indication.

Sure, Star Wars isn't dominating every possible category, but I think the series is doing very well overall. Episode III is coming, and I for one can't wait to see it.

14 September 2002, 10:05 PM
Unfortunately, I believe the article is pretty dead on... the public at large has been flooded with SW in merchandising and tie-ins for movies that don't necessarily achive the mark hoped for. And by being flooded, they are less likely to buy after the fact.

I feel the new trilogy compared to the old lacks poorly in the writing. I don't feel Jar Jar and silly the antics of C-3PO in AOTC fit with the action and epic-ness of the original 3. I have to wonder if this is to make up for the lack of Han's smugness towards his situation and growing love of Leia.

The only way Lucas can bring back the public is with a tight script for Ep3. This one HAS to be as dark as the public is expecting and Lucas has hinted at. There can be no antics, no bad one-liners, no JAR JAR in this movie. It HAS to show the hoplessness of Ankin turning and the struggle of evil finally overcoming good. There can be no happy, touchy-feely ending to this movie. That's what ANH was.

Only by giving the public what they expect from Ep3 can Lucas hope to win back the disgruntled. Only then can SW stay alive in the eyes of the public.

But I could be wrong.

14 September 2002, 10:24 PM
star wars is alive and doing well. heck it's at a stage it hasn't been for years. maybe some of you guys forget but as little as 10 years ago SW was dead to all saze a few nutty fans

15 September 2002, 12:43 PM
that's a good point, Davion. All hail Zahn...

Marcus Malos
16 September 2002, 03:19 AM
I disagree.

The way I see it is that you won't know whether it has or has not untill the final film is released. I always said TPM was a good film and could not be viewed fairly untill the rest had ben released, my friends who origionally snubed TPM have since softened there views.

Star Wars is enduring and yes I'ld agree that things are over saturated but that will just lead to a imprinted Star Warsyness on popular culture.

Starwars was pretty much a die hard fans thing till Zahns trilogy brought interest back.


evan hansen
16 September 2002, 05:00 AM
Oh, Star Wars won't ever be dead. It's the de facto standard in referencing Special Effects, and anyone older than 23-35 can recall seeing at least one of the flicks in the theater as a kid or with his/her kid. When people talk about how great LotR is, they will often invoke the name of Star Wars -- "It was so good, it was better than/almost as good as Star Wars."

Is the general public less excited? Sure. The original fans of that movie are all grown up and, in general, are more concerned with taking their significant other to see Shakespeare in Love or something than they are to go hit the theater for Star Wars. My dad had to have me come out to his house to take him to see it because my other brother was away and there was no way my mom was going to see it.

It's just a different time.

The same can be said for the competition. First, Lucas doesn't seem to care if he hits as many fans as possible. He doesn't release it in every theater he can, he promoted it less than they promoted Spider Man, and he still managed to rake in a HUGE summer haul.

In short, the films are doing fine. A good trailer for an excellent Episode III film would more than keep interest for years to come. I've always said that Episode III could potentially be the one that beats them all -- could be the single greatest sci-fi/fantasy/epic film of all time -- beating the pants off of anything else. And if he does it right, it still will. And people will get excited. Even if it's mediocre, people will line up and it'll take in enough to be one of the top 5 movies of that summer. Fitting for the greatest story of all time? Maybe not. But still impressive.

And as someone mentioned, the books are there. They sell really well for stories that often have new characters as the focal points. Luke, Han, and Leia are really playing a backseat role to Jacen, Jaina, Anakin, Kyp, Jag, Ganner, etc... in these. I'm guessing by the reaction I've heard and read that these things are the best selling Star Wars books after the Zahn books. That's pretty impressive.

Anyhow, I wouldn't go putting away your SW Fan Club memberships just yet. The prequel trilogy will be completed in a few years, and we can reassess how things are then. From personal experience, AotC reinvigorated my interest in SWRPG -- not just Star Wars -- which is why I'm here posting for the first times since I was on Armage's old bulletin boards before swrpgnetwork was even a twinkle in anyone's eye. :)

Don't worry; be happy.

16 September 2002, 05:53 AM
d_roland23 I think you are wrong. You need Jar Jar in the last movie. We need to see him die some how. That will make the people happy.

16 September 2002, 07:28 AM
The author's argument might be more convincing if he had anything to substantiate it.

Instead, he just offers a bunch of sweeping generalizations: "The merchandise isn't moving as well as before." No facts or figures, just the expectation to take his word for it. "Episode III will hold no surprises, since I and everyone else know what happens." Oh, really? That's quite prophetic. "There aren't as many posts on the board as usual." This theory is shot full of holes even by the author's own admission -- school starts, site traffic takes a nosedive -- no cause for alarm there.

We are in a very logical place for a lull in Star Wars interest right now. The third movie doesn't come out for quite a while, and there is no shooting going on, no casting details, no script leaks -- nothing to get interested in. Similarly, the DVD is a couple of months off, and there hasn't been much information forthcoming there, either. In short, there's just not a whole lot to talk about at this moment in time.

The author admits early on that he's personally disillusioned with Star Wars, disappointed by the new movies, and takes time out to gripe about Jar Jar. Personally, I think that the author is just trying to project his personal loss of interest in Star Wars onto the community at large in order to try to gain support for his opinions.

Star Wars is as big as it ever was, or bigger. I remember the days of the classic trilogy -- we didn't have any RPGs, a large and constantly growing line of novels, video games, trading card games, and a variety of comic series in those days. Nor did the Internet exist to provide a structure for a dedicated fanbase to come together and easily generate new content. We have all those things now. Star Wars isn't going anywhere.

If this fellow put some research into his editorial and had some numbers to back him up, I might take him a bit more seriously -- but he doesn't.

16 September 2002, 05:00 PM
Sigh. This topic was been brought up after the release of The Phantom Menace, with the same bunch of people going on and on about how Star Wars was dead, killed by George Lucas. Even after the success of Phantom, whiners kept on, saying that Episode II will suck if you leave it to George.

Now after the success of Attack of the Clones, people are wondering the same thing. Sure, Clones wasn't as good as the original trilogy, nor even as good as Phantom, but at least it did its job in telling the story. It made money, made new fans, and pushed the F/X envolope a little further. It had some iffy preformances (Ewan McGregor in particular - but at least George didn't let him sing.) But at least it told the story.

I think all the negativity has to do with the series success. Jar Jar was vaguely annoying in the first film, but nowhere near as much as those who prattled on endlessly about bad, unfunny and racist he ways. Now he appears even less, does nothing stupid, yet the same people go on and on. I for one hope he survives the series. Even if it's just to pee off the naysayers.

If Attack had bombed, I'm sure the reviewers would be kinder, gentler, leaving out stupid racist remarks that make them feel superior but only serve to make them look like fools. They would lay off the dialogue, which has never been bad, just unimaginative or straight forward.

Star Wars didn't die after Return of the Jedi, it didn't die after the Special Editions, and it will not die after Episode III. It may go quite, but like James Bond, Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, it will never die.

16 September 2002, 08:06 PM
Though I never put that much stock in with the author either, it is nice to know that so many people think as I do.

evan hansen
17 September 2002, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by Codym
Now after the success of Attack of the Clones, people are wondering the same thing. Sure, Clones wasn't as good as the original trilogy, nor even as good as Phantom, but at least it did its job in telling the story. It made money, made new fans, and pushed the F/X envolope a little further. It had some iffy preformances (Ewan McGregor in particular - but at least George didn't let him sing.) But at least it told the story.

See, this is why I find all this fascinating. People have lots of different views on this stuff. I know lots of people (including myself) that liked Clones far more than Phantom -- and some people who liked it as much or more than some of the original films. Actually, either Spin or Rolling Stone's editors ranked their favorite films and ranked AotC ahead of RotJ. (And I happened to like Moulin Rouge, if the singing reference was to that. *grin*)

But it just goes to show that it's all perception -- as is the direction of Star Wars as a whole. And in some senses, it's as good as you want it to be, ya know? If you're willing to let yourself get immersed in the story, you'll enjoy it no matter what.

17 September 2002, 06:10 AM
Yes, my comment was a reference to Moulin Rouge, but was more a comment on McGregor's ability (or lack of) to sing than my opinion of the film itself (which I didn't like, but I don't like musicals in general,) and I forgot to add the smilie face. :D

I know opinions on both the prequels, even the original trilogy, are all over the map, but the point is, Star Trek I, V and Insurrection failed to kill off that series, and the various Bond films that didn't measure up certainly didn't halt that series either. So it's hard to see what basis anyone has for saying that SW is dead. Hell, conciding places like this message board, it would be hard to argue that is even dying.

Long live Lucas, because life needs a John Williams soundtrack.

17 September 2002, 09:00 AM
bormanlly when messages on a message board decrease it's because the message board is dieing. not the subject :)

John Chance
17 September 2002, 09:10 AM
I have to say that while Star Wars isn't dying, it's no longer what it once was. At one time it was a young director's vision, now it's just his cash cow. I still love Star Wars, but Lucas is rapidly wearing out my love for this great story.

17 September 2002, 09:32 AM
I have to respectfully disagree, as an aside. Lucas uses his own money to finance Star Wars. If it was his cash cow, he'd use studio money (I'm sure they'd be glad to pony up) and compromise his vision in order to get studio backing. If all he wanted to do was milk it, I don't think he'd fund Star Wars out of his own pocket.

I think that what we're seeing in Star Wars is what Lucas has always wanted to do, but never had the budget or technology. Which, naturally, disappoints a lot of people, but I don't think he's in it for the bread.

Sorry to stray offtopic.

Talonne Hauk
22 September 2002, 01:58 AM
Lucas still has to answer to Fox. They put up the money to distribute it. The thing is, though, Lucas is so worried about Star Wars maintaining his vision that he has surrounded himself with yes-men (Rick McCallum), won't allow anyone else to write the screenplay, as he did with Empire and Jedi, and won't allow other directors to work on his movies, as he did with the forementioned films. Although the last point has something to do with Fox (In 1997 Fox stated that they did not want to distribute the new films if they couldn't promote Lucas as the director.), Lucas has several friends who would be excellent head directors, if not assistants. (I'm sure there are a few who would swallow their pride just so they could say they worked on a Star Wars film.) Could you imagine the performance Spielberg could have evoked Jake Lloyd in Phantom?
I think Star Wars will remain a mainstay of American pop culture, but I also think its become a victim of Lucas wearing too many hats, and is losing its luster as a result.

22 September 2002, 05:55 AM
I have kids coming back into the receiving docks at the store I work at asking for when the next shipments of Star Wars figures are coming in. They are looking for Mace Windu and Yoda in particular. I tell them that when they do come in, I will be buying them for myself. They look rather upset until I tell them that I am just kidding.
I always figured that the fan base was an older crowd, but I see kids who are seven to ten years old whine to their parents about how they did not get the Jango Fett with removable armor, or just the other night when a little girl had to put down an Anakin lightsaber because her mom told her they would get it some other time.

Movies and other Merchandise
Is it in yet? Is it in yet? Mothers and Fathers constantly asking our electronics section when AOTC is coming to VHS and DVD. The kids are nuts, and the posters sell.

While I doubt that hype for Star Wars will be at an all time high past 2005, the books and toys, and RPG material will be around to entertain the next generations of Star Wars fans and fanatics. IT WILL NOT DIE.

22 September 2002, 07:06 AM
why did you think the fan base for SW is older? sure the folks who sit in line for 6 months to see it are older but what parents allows a 7 year old kid to do something like that?:)kids certinly love SW. I fell in love with SW at 6. the thing is that we belived the SW fan base was older because until recently kids getting a chance for exposure to SW was rare

22 September 2002, 11:58 PM
Why do I think the fan base is older?

The people who have enjoyed the first trilogy are now experiencing the prequels. We have waited in lines for five of the movies whereas the younglings have been to two at the theaters. Sure kids love Star Wars, but I really think that not as many kids would be interested in it, if there parents were not fans or fanatics. I think that kids get a kick out of seeing dad looking at the new versions of Han Solo and Chewie that have resurfaced. The older crowd has experienced more of the hype, and has more time to think about Star Wars. When I think about Star Wars (the original trilogy), I think of going over to my cousin's house and having wars with our action figures, and him chasing after my X-Wing with his TIE fighter.

Older people are much more attached to Star Wars, for it reminds us that we were once young,......and still are. In a day where I go to school full time, work full time, do homework full time, be a father and a husband full time, it is nice to think to yourself that you are doing all of that so that my daughter can have as nice of a childhood or better than what I had. Maybe she will have fond memories of having a pretend lightsaber duel with me, or going trick or treating as Queen Amidala. Either way she will be experiencing Episode III, which for her, like the other prequel movies will be a tale of tragic hero. That will be her Star Wars, my Star Wars has been seeing the end of the whole schmeer and waiting for 18 years to see how ANH really came to be. I waited my three years to see if Luke was really Vader's son. I waited six years to see both Death Stars blow up. I played with all the toys in between.

Sure she can pop in a DVD or tape someday and see the whole picture unfold, but there was no wait for her, and she will never have the access to the amounts of toys that I once had (and some of which I still do have) from the whole saga of Star Wars. Us older folks, those nearing thirty or older, have lived the hype for five movies, played with the toys for three (and possibly five :) ), and have many more fond memories attached to Star Wars than kids who take their actions and memories most of the time, for granted.

See for yourself if you have time. Ask your peers if they like Star Wars, and then ask kids.

Kids will say yes or no (some are even ashamed to admit it :( ). Adults (peers of mine) will say hell yes! Their kids like it too, but they don't love it like mom and dad do. At least, this is what I have seen while I was in the military, and now as someone who is working in a retail store (for the time being). It seems for every kid I see wishing he had the Jango Fett armor removable figure, there is his dad looking for toys and stuff that he thinks is cool now, and things that he thought was cool twenty years ago. Much more perspective, much more overall meaning to that individual IMHO.

23 September 2002, 10:39 PM
I am only 17 and therefore didn't have the experience of waiting in line for the first trilogy (although I do remember special edition quite well), so it is nice to get an the perspective of a (relatively) older person.

23 September 2002, 11:02 PM
is star wars with kids now diffrent? yes but I think that in some ways it's the same, those who where little when the movies first came out.. try and deny you begged for mom and dad to buy you a luke skywalker (or something) figure...

I got into the movies dureing the late 80s when star wars was belived to be well and truely dead. my childhood memories of SW are searching high and low for action figures at garage sales etc and being happy to find an old only slightly damaged stormtrooper

23 September 2002, 11:13 PM
Yes, some kids do love Star Wars today. What I am getting at is that if you fall in love with Star Wars in the 70's and 80's, and you fall in love with it again now, more than likely it is more of a part of you than those who are younger. Luke being Vader's father for real was a mystery for me for three years, now every kid (ones that don't live in caves) know it as a fact, and they did not have to wait any longer than two to six hours to see everything unfold. The older folks have lived out the hype then (six years of frellin suspense!!!), and are doing it again now.....and as far as I can tell (with the exception of Jake Lloyd and Jar-Jar Binks) they are loving it.

BTW, I also scoured the local garage sales for spare X-Wing parts and accessories for my action figures. My mom always managed to vacuum up the Stormtrooper blasters and who knows how much of the accessories I lost while outside.

23 September 2002, 11:56 PM
LOL, mothers, the bane of all toy colelctions :)