Science-Fiction Weekly – Do You Have Star Wars Fatigue?
Solo: A Star Wars Story didn't light up the Memorial Day box office, pulling in just $103 million over the four-day period. Going into the weekend, Disney projected between $130-$150 million for this Star Wars prequel, but it didn't come anywhere close to that. The lackluster performance brought about a chorus of friends and random online people declaring they have "Star Wars fatigue." The words "Star Wars" and "fatigue" will never unite in my world. I'm a lost soul who still can't get enough of this universe. After I left the theater, I wanted to know what was coming next, and I hoped it was soon.
I know there are other people out there who are just like me, but my unwavering fandom doesn't matter. If people won't go see Star Wars films like they used to, Disney's grand plans for the future are going to fall apart. That future currently holds Rian Johnson's new trilogy, another series of films written and produced by Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, a TV series by Jon Favreau, and potential standalone films for Obi-Wan and Boba Fett. I want all of this stuff. Up until this weekend, I assumed everything Star Wars was locked in stone, but now I'm not so certain.
Disney was clearly trying to give Star Wars the Marvel Cinematic Universe treatment, with AT LEAST one new film releasing each year. It works for Marvel and it probably should also work for Star Wars if handled correctly. Has it been handled correctly? I don't think so. Marvel's path for 18 films is creating one huge sprawling story, with each new chapter building upon the last. The brilliant touch: Almost all of these films work on their own as standalone stories. Star Wars' trajectory is all over the place, bouncing theatergoers all over the timeline.
My first disturbance in the Force came when I discussed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with my parents. They enjoy Star Wars quite a bit, but were confused when I told them Rogue One wasn't the sequel to The Force Awakens, and was instead a prequel to A New Hope. My parents asked me why the story had to go back into the past, and I told them it was just a side story that was disconnected from the latest film they saw. They thought that was a terrible idea to divide up the story like that.
Solo does the same thing. It follows up The Last Jedi with another prequel story. Disney even gambled on releasing it closer to Last Jedi, just five to six months after. That gamble doesn't appear to be paying off. The Last Jedi is one of the most polarizing Star Wars movies to date. People either seem to love it or hate it – few fall in between these extremes. I don't doubt people said "I'm done with Star Wars" after watching Last Jedi. One of the comments I continue to hear is "that wasn't my Luke." Many people feel Lucasfilm dropped the ball with Luke Skywalker's last chapter.
I can't get enough of Star Wars, and never likely will, but I'm not a huge fan of what Lucasfilm and Disney are doing with property right now. I'd prefer we keep looking forward into the unknown rather than revisit the past with stories we don't really need. I enjoyed Rogue One, but it's a story that didn't need to be told. I enjoyed Solo as well, but again, this is a tale that we pretty much knew from conversations in the classic trilogy. Both of these films just filled in the gaps and provided visuals for the feats of heroism we already knew about.
So where do you stand? Do you have Star Wars fatigue? Are you in my camp of always wanting more, but hope the focus veers away from the past? Or do you think Disney is doing exactly what it needs to and Solo is just an anomaly in an otherwise great run of films? Chime in the comments selection below, and let's get this conversation started.