Part of being a fan has been, still is, and always will be getting together with like-minded folks and chatting up our various inspirations. We like to talk about that which tickles our fancy -- the good, the bad, and the ugly of it -- and such collective celebrations have been taking place for decades. While Star Trek is given a lot of the credit for encouraging fandom to come together via conventions, I can assure you that people have been seeking out groups for much longer; Hollywood (and beyond) merely saw a means to capitalize on these gatherings, and that's why they've become a part and parcel of the modern fan experience.
As a consequence of my website being shared near and far, I've noticed a growing number of new readers this year. It's always grand to have more readers gather in this space; however, the downside to it is that I may -- from time-to-time -- have to repeat myself. Those who've been here since it began back in 2014 (or so) know that SciFiHistory.Net isn't quite like the other blogs and vlogs out there, not like the ones who maintain spies embedded deep within the movie business. Mine is a simple affair -- it's largely the aggregation of my opinion on films, TV, and related media -- and I rarely stray outside of those lines. Yes, I've done the occasionally interview with a creator here and there and written it up for posterity, but I honestly don't do very much of that, and that's because my goals are different from most outlets. I try to celebrate all of genre entertainment; I just don't have the energy to commit to 'breaking news' the way other sites do. SciFiHistory.Net is just me, and I have a life to live beyond this space.
Of course, I do follow a lot of news organizations, and I do watch the occasional vlog. While I can assure you that I have nothing but an incredible amount of respect for folks who've turned their passion into a daily pursuit (and I wish each and every one of them nothing but success in their respective fields), I still maintain that what they do is far more 'commentary' than it is news. Having an opinion is one thing, and utilizing your opinion to build a business is another thing in and of itself. To have grown a huge audience on the back of your opinion only? Wow. That's some incredible work, and hats off to any who can do it. I tend to like collaborating more than I do slinging my own words out into the void (except when it comes to movie reviews), and I'm all too happy to work alongside anyone who wants to share in the effort and the rewards.
Because I don't have the same Hollywood spies as they do, I'm really not equipped to offer readers my opinions on those kind of breaking news, and here's why: I'm never convinced that what they prognosticate will come to pass. I don't fault their efforts; it's just that I've always been more of a "show me the finished product and I'll tell you what I think" kind of guy. I just don't get all that much jazzed or interested in breaking news, and that's because -- over the years -- I've seen so, so, so many announced projects fizzle and die before they see the light of day. I've seen so many highly and favorably touted products turn out to be little more than a glorious pile of crap once it hits theaters. Like so many of you, I've been disappointed ... and that's why I put so very little emphasis on breaking news.
Now, don't get me wrong: I'm willing to sound off on anything that's hot and/or breaking. The only difference is that I'll always couch it with language that underscores "this is only my uninformed opinion" and maybe even a bit of "take this with a grain of salt." I'm not an expert. I don't pretend to be. I just know what I know -- and I know what I like -- and I do prefer staying in that end of the pool.
So ... I'm getting asked what I thought about the 'breaking news' at Star Wars Celebration 2023, and my response is ... "Well, what did you hear that was actually new?"
The Daisy Ridley stuff has been out there for a short while, so that didn't come across as anything fresh and exciting. In fact, if one simply takes a look at the financial performance of the Sequel Trilogy, one might question, "Who in the name of Sam Hill has been clamoring for another Star Wars adventure headlined by Rey Palpatine / Skywalker?" I'm not saying that there's been zero interest; I'm only saying that I've not seen nor read many in fan circles who've been regularly crying for Ridley's return. This is not a reflection on her skills as an actress, nor is it intended as a slight/sleight to her potential draw at the box office; it's just an honest question. Who -- besides Kathleen Kennedy and her woke warrior brigade -- has been championing another film for that crew?
That premise aside, I've always maintained that I do not get excited so much about characters these days as I do good stories. A bad character can still be a part of a good story, but it's exceedingly rare for a bad story to be made better by good characters. Rey -- think what you will -- was performed probably just right by the actress; my conflicts with the youngling was the way she was conceived on the written page. That isn't Ridley's fault, as any talent can only work with what they've been given. I thought she did a fine job; I just didn't care for the writing. Give Rey a good story, and then I'm willing to get excited about the project. Until that happens? Well, I'm happy watching other stuff.
And ... about that other stuff?
I'm sorry to have to say that nothing that came out of this celebration really sounded all that new, much less exciting. I know others are trying to find 'a new hope' something in the idea of a Dave Filoni movie and that 'Dawn Of The Jedi' possibility ... but have you seen what Lucasfilm has been producing as of late? As I've said, The Mandalorian seems to have truly lost its way -- I've no idea what Season 3 is supposed to authentically be about as it's been kinda/sorta pulling on a lot of threads I can only hope comes together in the remaining two episodes -- and I wasn't impressed with The Book Of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (I think it's best said that each of those had things I liked in them, but they were nestled deep inside a bunch of crud that I didn't.)
That's why I don't get excited about these kind of announcements any longer.
Lucasfilm has a terrible track record at announcing projects that don't even get off the drawing boards. I'm not gonna do like other sites and give you a list -- if that heavy lifting interests you, then there are plenty of articles in cyberspace to peruse -- but let's just agree that there has been at least a half dozen that have gone through either leadership changes, story alterations, or have been dumped entirely. Hell, even Kathleen Kennedy said in an interview at this celebration that the Dave Filoni movie is, at least, six years away at this point ... so what's the use in getting exciting over something that's nearly a decade off? Who knows? With her track record, the Filoni movie might not ever materialize or it might be refashioned into a streaming series in the interim.
I realize -- to a degree -- that this might not be what you showed up wanting to hear this morning. I understand that other outlets either have been promising that Kennedy is "on her way out" and the like; but -- as I tried to underscore above -- I'll cover that when and if it happens. The news that emerged from the celebration felt like more of the same ... and if this is the best they've got then it would seem like Kennedy is going to be as loud and proud as she's been since being given the job. The fact that she promised more of the same? Well, that makes me believe she's not going anywhere. Either that or she really isn't interested in doing anything different.
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!