‘Star Wars’ should resist bowing to the force of its most vocal fans
The subplot to that, and it’s an odd one, comes from “Star Wars” fans who see “Solo’s” underwhelming results as vindication — a blow against the Disney empire, and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy. Reinforced by Internet echo chambers in the way intense political partisans find like-minded brethren online, they harbor what is almost certainly a magnified vision of their numbers and how widely their passions are shared.
“Part of us wants this film to fail,” Joe Vargas, host of the Angry Joe Show on YouTube, said at the time. “I was thinking maybe if it does bad, Disney will be smarter with how they do these future things.”
Within this circle, Kennedy and directors like “Last Jedi’s” Rian Johnson are accused of spoiling “Star Wars” and, not uncommonly, “ruining my childhood.”
As Vulture noted, there’s no real way to quantify how vast this portion of the “Star Wars” fan universe is. Indeed, with so many moving parts and variables to consider, it’s difficult to grasp any clear message yet from “Solo’s” under-performance, which of course hasn’t deterred the deluge of web-traffic-driven hot takes trying to do just that.
Disney/Lucasfilm, meanwhile, have little incentive to do anything but be respectful in addressing their most faithful consumers, since having people feel desperately invested in your product — to the point of claiming a kind of ownership stake in it — is the definition of a high-class problem.
That said, there’s a slightly delusional quality to the victory lap being taken in comment sections and online forums, an assumption that these fans have made a statement that will only further embolden such demands.
As politicians have discovered, there are tradeoffs involved in allowing the loudest and most belligerent voices — those prone to speaking in Sith-like absolutes — to define the terms of debate.
Hearing and being sensitive to what various fans want makes sense, but bowing to the force of a vocal contingent — one that’s perhaps a small minority — is a road fraught with peril. As Han solo himself once said, it’s not always possible to fly by committee.
News credit : Cnn