Nolte: Top Talent Abandons Crumbling ‘Star Wars’ Film Franchise

Walt Disney Studios

The teetering Star Wars movie franchise has just lost all of its major talent, including Lawrence Kasdan, and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo that adapted Game of Thrones into a pop culture sensation.

Kasdan’s attachment to Star Wars reaches 40 years, to when he co-wrote the scripts for 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back (widely regarded as the best of the franchise) and its 1983 sequel, Return of the Jedi.

Kathleen Kennedy, who runs the franchise now, talked Kasdan into returning for the Disney reboot. He ended up with a writing credit on The Force Awakens (2015) and, along with his son, wrote the box office dud Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

Last week, at the Austin Film Festival, Kasdan announced he’s had enough.

As far as Solo, the franchise’s first box office catastrophe, Kasdan said “the studio blew it.”

To entice him back for a second time, though, Kennedy had a Star Wars script messengered to his house to hand deliver it.

“I never saw this poor messenger they sent,” Kasdan explans. “I said, ‘I can’t take it.’ I didn’t want to sit down and read someone else’s Star Wars movie. I’m just not interested in Star Wars.”

With all kinds of fanfare, Benioff and Weiss were brought on by Kennedy to launch an all-new Star Wars trilogy, one that would be set in the universe created by Lucas, but separate from everything involving the Empire, Luke Skywalker, etc.

The pair now says they have just discovered they don’t have the time for Star Wars.

Yeah. Okay.

The reason they don’t have the time is because they signed a major deal with Netflix a couple of months ago. In other words, they fled Star Wars to do something else.

“We love Star Wars,” the duo told the far-left Deadline. “When George Lucas built it, he built us too. Getting to talk about Star Wars with him and the current Star Wars team was the thrill of a lifetime, and we will always be indebted to the saga that changed everything.”

Yeah, but they still left, didn’t they?

Deadline attempted to spin this defection as not mattering with a paragraph that literally made me laugh out loud:

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has plenty of other Star Wars projects in the hopper — The Rise of Skywalker in December, The Madalorian in 15 days on Disney+, and the ramping Ewan McGregor series, to name just three — so it’s unclear how much of a setback the now-nixed trilogy presents. There’s no shortage of upcoming collaborators lined up, either, among them Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige.

All those Star Wars projects Deadline names as “in the hopper” are … … … TV shows… TEEEEEEVEEEEEE shows, y’all. That’s it. That’s all Kennedy’s got. After the release of the Rise of Skywalker in a few weeks, the Star Wars film slate is dead. Nothing planned. Nothing announced. There’s nothing in that particular, somewhat important, you might even say vital hopper.

And then we get to the names, those names that prove there’s “no shortage of collaborators,” and one of the two names is Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi, a movie that not only under-performed at the box office (although it was a big hit), but caused such a backlash in the Star Wars community, so much anger and frustration, it almost certainly is one of the primary reasons Solo tanked.

Rian Johnson has become the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Wars fanboys, and for good reason. The Last Jedi was polluted with identity politics, obnoxious and heavy-handed feminist posturing, and terrible storytelling. For all of George Lucas’ faults, even in his rather exhausting and empty prequels, he never betrayed his characters or his own mythology. Johnson turned our idealistic Luke Skywalker into a cowardly curmudgeon who tried to murder a kid, and then took a big dump on the Jedi mythology, the very thing that made Star Wars so special.

And then Deadline name-drops Kevin Feige, the genius behind the Marvel Universe. Come on, y’all. Not only has Feige been infected with Woke Politics, how much time will he have to “save” Star Wars as he moves into the next Marvel Phase, which is basically starting from nothing, and takes over the X-Men characters now under his wing with the Fox merger?

You want to know why Feige was name-dropped? Because he’s the only name left under the Disney banner they could drop.

You sure as hell can’t tell the fans, “Well, at least Star Wars still has Kathleen Kennedy.” She’s done more damage to the film franchise than even Rian Johnson.

I don’t know about Star Wars and TV. I have no desire to subscribe to Disney+, and I certainly don’t want to watch anything produced by the wretched Kennedy and her wretched politics and her wretched desire to kill off everything and everyone we love with her Year Zero Feminism. And we’ll never really know how well these shows do, because they are streaming.

But I do know that Star Wars as a movie franchise, a franchise that had intended to go the full-Marvel with at least two new releases a year, is in deep, deep trouble. The Rise of Skywalker will undoubtedly be a huge hit. It’s the last chapter of 40-year-old franchise and people will want to see that, but then what…

Then what?

Kennedy has killed off our beloved characters, introduced new characters no one cares about, and poisoned everything by injecting present-day leftism into what is supposed to be thematically-driven escapism.

No one wanted to see Solo… Think about that: no one wanted to see a Star Wars movie for crying out loud!

And that is Kathleen Kennedy’s legacy… That and the fact that no one with any real talent wants to work for her because she has so mishandled the biggest no-brainer franchise ever it’s now got nowhere to go but television.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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