I work in a nearly all-female workplace and everyone there is pretty jazzed to see anything Star Wars as it comes out. They just like the films. They are also overwhelmingly pro-Abrams Trek. It was fine. It did no one any harm. And wow, did the guy playing McCoy ever nail him, or what? I've long since stopped offering my observation that Urban does an excellent Dan Akroyd as McCoy rather than an actual McCoy. Everyone seems to be having a good time with the franchises right now. That ties in with exactly no theories of genre marketing that I know of, except that if you build it, people will come.
|Posted: 16 March 2018 at 9:47pm | IP Logged | 2
I'm assuming this next observation applies to general audiences. rather than specifically female ones, but my boss was asking our resident film expert what the big mystery about Rey's parentage was. Didn't we already see her parents? Her father was a scientist guy... He was played by the actor who played Hannibal...
I chimed in to clear up the confusion between Jan Erzo and Rey, but really neither of them could place where the two stories related to one another in the timeline. There was a great deal of nodding and lots of "uh-huh's," but I don't know that the point really mattered. The whole thing ended with speculation that maybe Jan was Rey's mother then...
I don't think general audiences care nearly as much about external story coherence and timelines. They want what's appearing on-screen to work logically enough that it can be followed and they want it to lead to solid emotional payoffs.
A friend showed me one of her genre favorites from back in the day, "Warrior of the Lost World," starring Adam Ant as the bad guy, never released on DVD apparently. It was amazingly cheesy from the get-go and was earning considerable scorn from her significant other and myself, right up to the point where, I'll be damned... It actually started paying off. The wall of cars built around the settlement, the sub-plot with the little girl's mother... The film actually began striking some sparks towards the end there.
You can never underestimate the importance of moving your audience at critical story points, and I believe you can easily over-estimate the impact of "having everything fit" inside the overall saga. Fans will bellow to the heavens and yowl like scalded cats when betrayed by a lazily-constructed saga. The audience in the theatre cares more about the interplay and bouncing plot points happening in front of them. If it all comes together in a way they love, the movie is a success.
None of those present in my office evinced much love for the prequels, but lazy saga construction wasn't cited as the cause. The movies themselves are overly long, ponderous, and boring. They do know who this guy is supposed to be and who that one is in relation to the original films, but there's just no story to any of them that caught the interest of these people. And bad acting gets noticed big time.
Ultimately, like Star Trek: Discovery, Solo's placement in the timeline and overall fit with the other films isn't going to be what kills it. It's going to have to be a film the audience wants to see on its own. Inviting associations with an already beloved, if not venerated, performer is a creative mis-step from the start. But if this guy can turn on the charm and the film gives us a couple of satisfying story punches, the whole thing could turn around from where it looks today...
Not that I'm optimistic, mind you, but general audiences pretty much just want a good ride on the roller coaster, fan agendas be damned.
Edited by Brian Hague on 16 March 2018 at 9:50pm