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Bloomberg: Star Wars is Struggling to Win Over the Next Generation of Kids

Oct 25, 2017
6,737
The designs are shit. Younger me loved the OT ships and the PT ones have stood the test of time so far. Outside of Kylo’s mask there is nothing memorable out of the ST.

Just an all around lack of imagination in the Disney era so far.
 

BluePigGanon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
892
The core story arc that Star Wars really needed to tell ... the whole thing about "falling/being tempted to the Dark Side" was basically already mined well enough in the original trilogy.

I just don't know if there is really a hugely compelling SW universe story without going back to that well, and when you're going back to the well it's never going to resonate as strongly as it did when it was a new concept.
If I were king of SW, I would probably direct the team to work on "Star Wars-izing" more classic mythic themes and folktales, which was essentially what the originals did and IMO what made them classics. Everything since then has just been underlining and scribbling in the margins of those movies.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
The designs are shit. Younger me loved the OT ships and the PT ones have stood the test of time so far. Outside of Kylo’s mask there is nothing memorable out of the ST.

Just an all around lack of imagination in the Disney era so far.
Which prequel designs have stood the test of time? Ain't no one begging for a Naboo star fighter, lol.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
9,229
Or that it didn't make over a billion dollars in theaters and go on to be the top selling blu-ray of 2018.

The people who disliked TLJ are a tiny, but loud, minority, who don't matter in the slightest. Star Wars as a brand is fine, Lucasfilm just realized after Solo that they need to find their creative spine and start doing something interesting with the property now that the Episodes are over. Solo proved that just slapping Star Wars on the title doesn't guarantee huge numbers. Audiences have been conditioned by the Avengers to only see the "big ones" en masse, and Solo clearly wasn't vital narrative in comparison to the Episodes.
Exactly. The fact that Star Wars doesn't have as much cachet with young audiences as Marvel right now isn't surprising in the least. The sequel trilogy could have gone the route of the prequels and been a clown show, riddled with childish elements, shallow flash, and Jar-Jar jesters to trick children into paying attention -- in total conflict with the story it was supposed to be telling.

Instead, Lucasfilm has had the integrity to let the conclusion of the Skywalker saga be guided by a respect and fondness for the Original Trilogy and its characters. The sequels take the story that started it all seriously, and treat the OT's grown up fans like actual grown-ups who expect more than shallow power fantasies and insincere nostalgia.

Star Wars has plenty of time to reinvent itself for a new generation, after the Skywalker saga is over. Overhauling Star Wars to appeal to a young modern audience was never the task of the sequels. Lucasfilm has done what they could to capture that appeal, but respect for the OT was always paramount.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
If I were king of SW, I would probably direct the team to work on "Star Wars-izing" more classic mythic themes and folktales, which was essentially what the originals did and IMO what made them classics. Everything since then has just been underlining and scribbling in the margins of those movies.
Like what though? Hansel & Gretel? Some story concepts just have their "life span" and you get a certain amount out of it and that's that.

Really the brainstorming here comes from a creative inorganic place anyway ... you want to change things because of box office popularity contests ... that's not where organic, interesting ideas come from.

Star Wars did a lot with its sandbox, maybe it's just to accept that's what it is.
 

jdstorm

Member
Jan 6, 2018
3,426
I'm convinced that part of why the Original films were so successful was because they were a melting pot of influences and inspirations, which were still fresh and exciting to audiences at the time, due to relative lack of exposure. The issue now is that we live in an era where nothing goes away, while the original Star Wars films were an excellently melded stew of old sci-fi serials, samurai films and classic westerns, this new series of Star Wars films have no such forgotten cinematic tradition from which to draw upon. We are dealing with a generation where all their nostalgia is literally a YouTube search away, so how can they possibly be impressed with a relatively shallow sci-fi story that was cobbled together from themes and ideas from generations before their birth?
That didn’t stop La La Land from being successful.

Just as being simple and a Saga about Family never hurt The Fast and the Furious.

Star Wars was historically a series about a ragtag group of heroes beating up space Nazis.

New Star Wars films are both sides BS where the good guys got wiped out by the space Nazi’s and the most optimistic hero (Luke Skywalker) was a bitter old man who tried to murder his nephew based on a premonition)

Meanwhile Rebels went full Kingdom Hearts and that definitely wasn’t a good thing
 
Nov 2, 2017
748
Which prequel designs have stood the test of time? Ain't no one begging for a Naboo star fighter, lol.
Arc-170, LAAT, Hellfire Droid, Separatist tank, Jedi starfighter, Clone Walker (forget its name, the six legged one). Just because you don't care for the designs doesn't mean they don't have their fanbases. The ST meanwhile is mostly regurgitations of OT designs, to a degree even the PT didn't.
 

BluePigGanon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
892
Like what though? Hansel & Gretel? Some story concepts just have their "life span" and you get a certain amount out of it and that's that.

Really the brainstorming here comes from a creative inorganic place anyway ... you want to change things because of box office popularity contests ... that's not where organic, interesting ideas come from.

Star Wars did a lot with its sandbox, maybe it's just to accept that's what it is.
I mean the obvious choice is Grail legend. Someone edit lightsabers into "Excalibur" stat.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
Arc-170, LAAT, Hellfire Droid, Separatist tank, Jedi starfighter, Clone Walker (forget its name, the six legged one). Just because you don't care for the designs doesn't mean they don't have their fanbases. The ST meanwhile is mostly regurgitations of OT designs, to a degree even the PT didn't.
The ST has fans of their designs too. The look of the original SW is what people associate with Star Wars anyway, I don't really get the logic of completely changing the look of the universe because 18 years passed. That's actually more silly.

When the prequels came out a large part of the criticism towards them was they felt/looked nothing like the original movies which were iconic.
 

BluePigGanon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
892
The ST has fans of their designs too. The look of the original SW is what people associate with Star Wars anyway, I don't really get the logic of completely changing the look of the universe because 18 years passed. That's actually more silly.

When the prequels came out a large part of the criticism towards them was they felt/looked nothing like the original movies which were iconic.
Yeah I agree. Rey's speeder fits the SW universe more than anything in the prequels.
 

plagiarize

To its ports I have been
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
9,442
Cape Cod, MA
I'd argue that the spin offs weren't made with kids in mind at all, and that's been a big part of the mistake of them. The two mainline films have done gangbusters. If the spins offs actually tied into 7 and 8, you'd probably see them doing a lot better, but of course both were slotted in before A New Hope for some reason.

And say what you want about the prequel trilogy, but it completely succeeded at bringing in kids as new fans.
 

Lord Vatek

Avenger
Jan 18, 2018
6,696
Disagree as a older fan (saw ANH in 77) ....the sequel trilogy is a million miles from what I would have liked. Not sure who they made these movies for then, but imo they have dropped the ball hard.
They were still made with older fans in mind (if they weren't then they wouldn't focus so much on the old cast nor bother with practical effects).
 

Krejlooc

Indie Game Dev
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
19,235
Not a hero's journey. A comedic deconstruction of fairy tales.
Er, yes it is. It's comedic, yes, but it uses the hero's journey as a framework. Plenty of fairy tales follow the hero's journey.

This one fits the bill. Though I don't know how popular this actually was with kids.


At this point, it seems more like you've made up your mind and will reject any example for nebulous reasons. Avatar, the second most watched film of all time, was definitely successful with kids as well as adults. That you are somehow trying to warp both The Matrix and Avatar into being questionably successful is precisely why I feel like you've made up your mind before even considering these examples.

Started as a Hero's Journey and pivoted away changing the focus from Bloom's character to Depp's.
But your entire premise was that it's impossible to become a giant kid-friendly franchise by being merely a hero's journey. Doesn't matter if the later sequels pivoted away from the Hero's journey framework, POTC is, without a shread of doubt, a modern kid-centric film series that became a smash hit by following the hero's journey without already being massively popular before hand through other literature.
 

Baccus

Member
Dec 4, 2018
2,631
The biggest roadblock to modern SW success is that the Lucas Film's management reverence to the past.

They're actually crazy obsessed with it, to the point nobody wants to try new things in the franchise.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
I'd argue that the spin offs weren't made with kids in mind at all, and that's been a big part of the mistake of them. The two mainline films have done gangbusters. If the spins offs actually tied into 7 and 8, you'd probably see them doing a lot better, but of course both were slotted in before A New Hope for some reason.
I don't really think Star Wars was ever made expressly "for kids".

The Wizard in Wizard of Oz never was burned alive and horrific disfigured and giant dark walking nightmare.

It's one of those things Lucas likes to play up I know, but it's largely bullshit I think.

Really in fact I think Star Wars if anything is more a story at its core about being a young teenager who wants "adventure" and coming to understand that life is more fucked up and dark than you could have imagined ... that is basically the story of Luke Skywalker.

That's not a "kids movie".
 

Smelck

Member
Oct 27, 2017
665
Rotorua, NZ
Exactly. The fact that Star Wars doesn't have as much cachet with young audiences as Marvel right now isn't surprising in the least. The sequel trilogy could have gone the route of the prequels and been a clown show, riddled with childish elements, shallow flash, and Jar-Jar jesters to trick children into paying attention -- in total conflict with the story it was supposed to be telling.

Instead, Lucasfilm has had the integrity to let the conclusion of the Skywalker saga be guided by a respect and fondness for the Original Trilogy and its characters. The sequels take the story that started it all seriously, and treat the OT's grown up fans like actual grown-ups who expect more than shallow power fantasies and insincere nostalgia.

Star Wars has plenty of time to reinvent itself for a new generation, after the Skywalker saga is over. Overhauling Star Wars to appeal to a young modern audience was never the task of the sequels. Lucasfilm has done what they could to capture that appeal, but respect for the OT was always paramount.
Wow, we are so on different planets here and really not wanting to get into an argument here, but imo they have done pretty much the opposite with being true to the OT characters, the lore and story to date ...but I respect your opinion. Crikey , they didnt even give us the main 3 characters together and as for R2, RWho?
 

Hugare

Member
Aug 31, 2018
757
Wild guess here guys, but maybe the MCU movies are just better in general?

I really enjoy SW, more than most people even, but the quality of the recent movies aren't that great.

Also, the SW movies are relying too much in nostalgia. Nostalgia from many decades ago, so of course the new generations feel lost
 
Nov 2, 2017
748
And to someone else some design from The Last Jedi may be a "dope ass design". The Naboo starfighter isn't some kind of iconic designs. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter are still the defacto Star Wars fighter design.
And that's a chicken and egg situation. They keep reusing it because people scream "muh star wars" every time they show up, same damn reason as Pokemon doing the 151 over and over again.

Half the fun of Star Wars is seeing new and crazy stuff tech, worlds, and so on. Seeing an X-Wing and TIE Fighter and Not Hoth and Not Tattooine is the antithesis to that
 

Loxley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,150
Kids by and large want their own thing to identify with to separate themselves from their parents. Star Wars old-hat, especially when we are oversaturated with various other, newer franchises for kids to latch on to. Franchises that feel fresh and exciting by comparison.

Plus I still really feel like the newer films were made less to bring in a new generation of fans and more for aging Star Wars fans who despised the prequels and worship the RLM reviews. Hell TFA felt like one giant apology to the fanbase.
 

Future Gazer

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
1,979
And to someone else some design from The Last Jedi may be a "dope ass design". The Naboo starfighter isn't some kind of iconic designs. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter are still the defacto Star Wars fighter design.
The Naboo starfighter is about as iconic as a new design can be. Yeah, it's not replacing the X-Wing, but it's not trying to.
 

PanzerKraken

Member
Nov 1, 2017
4,115
People proclaiming the death of Star Wars are going to look pretty dumb when TROS does over 700m domestic this December.
This is not proclaiming the death of star wars, it's an article about how Star Wars just isn't that popular with the new generation, it doesn't have the same power and hold as it did in the past with the kiddos.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
And that's a chicken and egg situation. They keep reusing it because people scream "muh star wars" every time they show up, same damn reason as Pokemon doing the 151 over and over again.

Half the fun of Star Wars is seeing new and crazy stuff tech, worlds, and so on. Seeing an X-Wing and TIE Fighter and Not Hoth and Not Tattooine is the antithesis to that
Well the counter point to that is the massive amount of flak the prequels took for "what the hell is this crap? This doesn't feel like Star Wars at all, where's the soul?".
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
Speak for yourself. The Naboo Starfighter is beautiful.
It never said it's not a nice looking design (very obviously derived from WW2 era) ... production design was never the problem of the prequels. Everything else was. It's just not a design that's some kind of landmark design in filmmaking.

The sequels may have their issues but "changing the design of the star fighter" wouldn't magically make them into different movies either.
 

thewienke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,736
The ST has fans of their designs too. The look of the original SW is what people associate with Star Wars anyway, I don't really get the logic of completely changing the look of the universe because 18 years passed. That's actually more silly.

When the prequels came out a large part of the criticism towards them was they felt/looked nothing like the original movies which were iconic.
I remember a major criticism of the PT trilogy design was that everything seemed like it was technology from some future era beyond the OT even. There was a lot of thought at the time that they’d have to show some kind of technological decline to explain why Naboo starfighters were these sleek futuristic designs in a universe rife with dirty and functional starfighters instead.
 

Fuchsia

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,986
Nah, a simple swing of a crackling lightsaber is enough to shelve this type of thought. I'd imagine the SW OST alone (crawl music) resonates quite highly with kids.

But I do agree TLJ didn't help. I remember the Podrace scene as a kid from EP 1, Darth Maul and superb lightsaber fights, nothing as powerful from the ST I'd imagine for kids.
The pod race scene had my friends and I absolutely going nuts as kids. We'd throw in the VHS just to watch the pod race and the Maul/Obi/Qui-Gon fight scene. Damn those moments are great!
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
The fact is head to head The Force Awakens made more money than The Phantom Menace inflation adjusted.

The Last Jedi did more than Attack of the Clones.

The sequel trilogy overall is more popular than the prequel trilogy. Just because MCU is having their prime moment right now doesn't necessarily mean Star Wars is doing anything "wrong". It's just the way of things.
 

plagiarize

To its ports I have been
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
9,442
Cape Cod, MA
I don't really think Star Wars was ever made expressly "for kids".

The Wizard in Wizard of Oz never was burned alive and horrific disfigured and giant dark walking nightmare.

It's one of those things Lucas likes to play up I know, but it's largely bullshit I think.

Really in fact I think Star Wars if anything is more a story at its core about being a young teenager who wants "adventure" and coming to understand that life is more fucked up and dark than you could have imagined ... that is basically the story of Luke Skywalker.

That's not a "kids movie".
The prequel trilogy (and I'd argue the two sequel trilogy films) were definitely thinking about kids as a key target audience. The OT was based on kids adventure serials. I'm not sure I buy the idea that they weren't a key demographic. But Rogue One and Solo are clearly not trying to bring in new viewers, and they don't offer much of anything for young audiences who care about Rey, Finn and Poe.
 

joe1138

Member
Oct 28, 2017
309
The Naboo starfighter is about as iconic as a new design can be. Yeah, it's not replacing the X-Wing, but it's not trying to.
Always loved the look of the N-1 starfighter.

Fuck it, man, I loved the look of everything in the prequels. Those movies have stayed with me since the first time I saw them upon release. Just watching the collection of TV adverts someone posted a few pages back makes we want to go back and watch AOTC again and I just watched that thing no less than 2-3 months ago.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
The prequel trilogy (and I'd argue the two sequel trilogy films) were definitely thinking about kids as a key target audience. The OT was based on kids adventure serials. I'm not sure I buy the idea that they weren't a key demographic. But Rogue One and Solo are clearly not trying to bring in new viewers, and they don't offer much of anything for young audiences who care about Rey, Finn and Poe.
Episode I was definitely trying to be a "kiddie movie" which is part and parcel why it doesn't work.

Star Wars is about the innocene/naivette of teenage-dom (not childhood and there's a big difference) meeting the harsh reality of adulthood. That's really the story in a nutshell. E.T. is a kids movie, but Star Wars never was.

Lucas tried to fight what the prequels were about for about 2 1/2 movies before finally relenting and finally embracing the fact that the story is a dark-ass space opera and finally taking some of the shackles off.

As clusmy as ham fisted as it is, it's only about half way through Revenge of the Sith that you get the sense Lucas finally accepts the story he's telling and it ain't one for his 9 year old kid.

Influence and the net result is not the same thing either. Tarantino is influenced by kung fu B-movies, but I'm pretty sure there aren't scenes of a guy getting raped in a basement with a ball gag in his mouth in kung fu movies. Star Wars was always darker and more serious than Flash Gordon.
 

TheXbox

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,549
And to someone else some design from The Last Jedi may be a "dope ass design". The Naboo starfighter isn't some kind of iconic designs. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter are still the defacto Star Wars fighter design.
The Naboo starfighter is an incredible design. I don't know what qualifies as "iconic" but I guarantee you that if one shows up in Episode IX people will lose their shit.

I know exactly what criticisms you're referring to and you're absolutely right that they were extremely prevalent before the sequels. I'll go out on a limb and attribute those criticisms to one of two things: people conflating the nastiness of the CGI with what was being rendered, or flat-out slavish reverence to the OT. The work Doug Chiang and his team did on the prequels is about on par with what Williams did on the score. Nobody let those movies down except Lucas.
 
Jul 18, 2018
2,154
Only reason I personally couldn't relate to star wars when I was younger was due to the cast/people. It felt like a Caucasian movie about them saving the world. The newer ones do a better job in having a diverse cast so makes it feel more grand .

That's probably why I was able to get into Star Trek more when I was younger. That diversity for me helped me feel it was part of a bigger universe that I could at least connect to
 

plagiarize

To its ports I have been
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
9,442
Cape Cod, MA
Episode I was definitely trying to be a "kiddie movie" which is part and parcel why it doesn't work.

Star Wars is about the innocene/naivette of teenage-dom (not childhood) meeting the harsh reality of adulthood. That's really the story in a nutshell.

Lucas tried to fight what the prequels were about for about 2 1/2 movies before finally relenting and finally embracing the fact that the story is a dark-ass space opera and finally taking some of the shackles off.

As clusmy as ham fisted as it is, it's only about half way through Revenge of the Sith that you get the sense Lucas finally accepts the story he's telling and it ain't one for his 9 year old kid.
Countless kids stories are about teenagers growing up.

Like, nearly all of them.

And the Oz books have some pretty dark stuff in them too, should you look into it. A lot of kids stories deal with meaty, interesting and serious ideas.
The Wizard isn't burned alive, but Scarecrow is set on fire. They're all drugged. The wizard sends them on a mission he thinks will get them killed rather than be exposed as a fraud.
 

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,646
Guardians of the Galaxy is so unbeliably different than Iron Man that you almost question how there can be any connective tissue. Whereas Rogue One and Solo are.... Star Wars movies with different characters.
I remember this concerning me when the new SW movies were announced, and people telling me I was an idiot.
 

Cheebo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,993
Ann Arbor, MI
I was being tongue in cheek with Cheebo ..for ....reasons....and imo it wont do that domestic but worldwide figure will be a bigger teller imo...we shall see (crow may be eaten :-))
Star Wars is still gigantic domestically, 700m won't be too difficult for it to achieve here.

It's the finale of the Skywalker Saga. Palpatine is back. EVERYONE will show up.
 

Wulfric

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,173
I wouldn’t say that the new Star Wars movies or the mcu are full of good stories. Though I can see how for children the mcu stories are more appealing. Both series’ of films are bottom of the barrel garbage for the most part that are designed to appeal to the widest demographic possible and to sell them a bunch useless shit.
By all means, recommend us an alternative adventure film.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,990
Countless kids stories are about teenagers growing up.

Like, nearly all of them.

And the Oz books have some pretty dark stuff in them too, should you look into it. A lot of kids stories deal with meaty, interesting and serious ideas.
The Wizard isn't burned alive, but Scarecrow is set on fire. They're all drugged. The wizard sends them on a mission he thinks will get them killed rather than be exposed as a fraud.
It's tone that's the difference though. Fairy tales can have things in that you look at after the fact and go "hey that's pretty fucked up". Like Captain Hook is a grown ass man who murders kids and is trying to kill Peter Pan.

But the one is whimsical and light so it's acceptable and the tone is very clearly established.

But Star Wars was always fairly serious. It's why the shoe-horning in of the Ewoks felt kind of out of place because tonally it doesn't really fit that great with the previous two films.

Lucas' intentions and the finished product were often at odds, at some point I think a creative work just takes on its own life.

The twist in Star Wars is also not just "well it's about teenagers" ... not that's only half of it, it's really about loss of innocence and realize the world is a demented place. That's basically the threshold Star Wars crosses in Empire. It's a film about coming into adulthood and moving away from a care free existence.
 

SageShinigami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,046
I wouldn’t say that the new Star Wars movies or the mcu are full of good stories. Though I can see how for children the mcu stories are more appealing. Both series’ of films are bottom of the barrel garbage for the most part that are designed to appeal to the widest demographic possible and to sell them a bunch useless shit.
Typing posts like this pretty much equate to saying "I have no interest in pop culture". Which...I mean, that's your right. But then why are you here anyway?

Which 70s/80s brand is even that popular today?

Indiana Jones? Most kids have no clue.

E.T.? Most young kids again have no idea.

Ghostbusters? Nope.

Jaws? Ha.

Back to the Future? Nope.

These are popular to the extent they are today because of 30-40 somethings.

The fact that Star Wars is still very relevant as a brand today is an outlier, not the rule.
Those aren't really brands in the same way Star Wars or the MCU is though. They're all more traditional films that don't have "universes". E.T. is just a single film, and the other films are based mostly around the casts that you had: Back to the Future is a vehicle for Michael J. Fox, Indiana Jones a vehicle for Harrison Ford. Jaws is now a genre unto itself rather than being a film franchise. (Every "scary animal film" is basically Jaws, particularly ones that involve water, so everything from Lake Placid to Meg.) Of the ones you mentioned, I wouldn't even think to revive them except Ghostbusters, which is a concept that can support a "universe" (though really should just be a trilogy).