Dateline: BURBANK—Disney Studios is rooting for the Empire to defeat the rebels in its upcoming Star Wars films, according to Hollywood insider Wily Hangeron. (Be warned that spoilers for The Last Jedi follow.)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was almost universally praised by professional film critics, but hardcore Star Wars fans are much more divided. Many thought the writer-director Rian Johnson meant to insult the older Star Wars films, which form the bedrock for the rich lore celebrated especially by Generation X which grew up watching Star Wars.
“The Last Jedi spits on the characters of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and on the fans who take Star Wars seriously, who wanted to know who Snoke was or how Rey got all her Jedi powers with no training,” said Billy Fanboy, a Star Wars fan. “Kylo Ren even says in the movie to stop holding onto the past, to let it all die. That clearly is meant to have a double meaning.
“The reason, of course, is that Disney wants to attract the new, younger generation, by cutting all ties to George Lucas’s legacy. That’s where the money is, not in the older, more ardent fans, and Disney needs to earn back the billions it spent on buying Lucasfilm.”
Some fans have gone further and speculated that Disney wants to disrupt the Star Wars narrative, because it sees itself in the role of the Empire, in which case Disney is increasingly uncomfortable telling a black and white story about the heroic, underdog rebels who resist and eventually defeat the evil galactic Empire or New Order.
“Let’s be clear,” said another Star Wars fan. “Disney is the friggin’ Empire. Disney owns Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Pixar, and now Fox movies. Disney ain’t no underdog. And Lucas himself turned to the dark side when he started tinkering with his first three Star Wars movies, and when he sold Star Wars to Disney. Now the Star Wars universe is in the hands of a monstrous conglomerate for realsies.
“That’s why the rebels come off as clueless dolts in The Last Jedi: that’s why Vice Admiral Holdo doesn’t tell her crew her secret plan to save them, and that’s why Rose Tico saves the alien horses but not the children tending to them, and why she chastises Finn for trying to sacrifice himself to save the rebels when that’s just what Holdo and then Skywalker do. And that’s why Luke loses his faith in the Jedi and concedes that the New Order is unstoppable. And on and on. The movie’s plot is a mess.
“But it’s not just that the writer was lazy. It’s that Disney wants to destroy the Star Wars universe as we’ve known it, to undercut its implicitly anti-Disney message, and create a new Star Wars vision that finds a home for the evil Empire, as a way of ‘providing balance in the Force.’ It’s hackneyed Daoism in the service of greedy, soulless capitalism.”
Wily Hangeron, a longtime Hollywood insider, has reported conversations he’s had with Disney executives who have admitted they have a hard time admiring the Star Wars world that George Lucas created.
“They tell me they can’t help but root for the Empire when they now watch the original Stars Wars movies,” said Mr. Hangeron. “‘Order throughout the galaxy? Sounds like a plan!’ they said. That’s what Disney’s all about. When rebellious artists rival the Order of Disney, Disney squashes them by buying them up. So some Disney executives told me that the Empire should just buy out the rebels; offer them a planet or two if they’ll stop their terrorist attacks.
“Nowadays the elites at Disney don’t even disguise their preference for the Dark Side. I have it on good authority that Bog Iger, the head of Disney, often walks around his offices in the Emperor’s black robe, pretending to strike down his subordinates with lighting flashing out of his fingertips.
“Industry insiders are betting that The Last Jedi is only the beginning of a shift in Star Wars messaging under Disney’s auspices. The ninth Star Wars movie may have the rebels all learning the error of their resistance to the New Order, and Rey turning to the dark side with Kylo Ren. Johnson’s new trilogy, then, may depict the Empire in an even kinder light, without any upstart rebels or sanctimonious Jedi. He may even include some subliminal advertising by having the Emperor wear Mickey Mouse ears.”
By Bramheylen at Dutch Wikipedia (Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons