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Bloomberg: Star Wars Is Struggling to Win Over the Next Generation of Kids

VulcanRaven

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Star Wars Is Struggling to Win Over the Next Generation of Kids:


It’s hard to say this, as someone who grew up pretending to be Han Solo battling Darth Vader and his stormtroopers to rescue Princess Leia. But it must be said: Kids might not be into Star Wars anymore.

Walt Disney Co.’s underwhelming theme-park attendance last quarter was the latest sign that the intergalactic saga isn’t resonating for younger generations raised on Iron Man and Fortnite. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger was so sure fans would be blasting through the door that he had instituted a reservation system for visitors to enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new attraction at Disneyland. It turned out not to be necessary.

Star Wars toy sales popped with 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” the start of a trilogy that united Han, Luke and Leia with a new band of heroes, but have slumped since. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” last year’s spinoff featuring the backstory of beloved characters, utterly bombed. “The Last Jedi,” the second in the new trilogy, was profitable but fell shy of its predecessor’s performance. The next installment, “The Rise of Skywalker,” will have the very future of the franchise riding on it when it debuts in December.

There wasn’t supposed to be such a disturbance in the Force. When Disney bought Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2012 for $4.05 billion, it already had a template for the intricate web of sequels and spinoffs it hoped to create around the Star Wars brand. Marvel Entertainment, acquired three years earlier, had rolled out a series of interrelated movies with characters who went on to join up in the blockbuster “Avengers” movie, then Disney’s most successful ever. The films are supposed to combine with TV projects and the theme parks to create a virtuous cycle, where fans get excited for each new iteration and can immerse themselves in the world of their heroes.

There was every reason to believe “Star Wars” would have a similar path, with its endearing droids, otherworldly life-forms and minor characters like Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett who inspired their own cult followings.

Fans Sniping

Instead, some of the franchise’s most dedicated fans have been sniping at the way Disney has handled their favorite characters from the old movies. And the new trilogy’s heroes, like Rey and Poe Dameron, just haven’t inspired the same fervor among young people, with toy sales falling flataround each new installment. The Disneyland attraction, along with a Star Wars land opening at Disney World in Florida this year, are designed as much for older dudes as they are for tykes, with a Millennium Falcon-themed ride and a cantina where you can debate whether Greedo shot first over vodka cocktails called Bloody Rancors.

Iger has attributed disappointing box-office figures to “Star Wars fatigue,” and he’s pledged to slow down the tempo of releases. But that doesn’t square with the success of Marvel, which reliably churns out a blockbuster every four to six months.
More in the article. They could have done the sequel trilogy a lot better. I like that it looks like the original trilogy but it might rely too much on nostalgia to get kids interested. Also the world building could be better. The new planets are not memorable.
 
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GreyHorace

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Say what you will about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that franchise is trudging along to great success because it produced movies that had each individual character shine and made the audience care about them. It's no wonder Avengers: Endgame was such a huge success because people around the world were eager to see how the overarching storyline would resolve.

Star Wars isn't exciting audiences anymore because the creative voices behind it have no idea how to make it fresh for a new audience. They're instead relying on nostalgia and callbacks to the original trilogy with movies like Rogue One and Solo. The Last Jedi was an attempt to try something new but failed in the most spectacular way possible.
 
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Yeah, kids aren't going to want to buy your action figures if the characters themselves are absolutely bland and boring. You'd think they would have this stuff figured out after 40 years of selling toys based on movies and shows, but I guess not.
 

#Phonepunk#

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ST is vacant. Few new characters few new worlds and what is new is mostly a rehash. No kid is interested in a rip off of a movie from 1977.

Wouldn’t surprise me if the series continues on mostly from nostalgic adults.

It’s funny my niece was really into TFA for a minute and they watched all the movies but I haven’t heard her mention it in years, now she likes Beyblade and Yokai instead

Yeah, kids aren't going to want to buy your action figures if the characters themselves are absolutely bland and boring. You'd think they would have this stuff figured out after 40 years of selling toys based on movies and shows, but I guess not.
My brother had a few toys from TFA. They had the Kylo mask. Guess what brilliant move the next movie made? Smash the mask, you don’t need a stupid mask! Brilliant idea to eliminate your own toy line onscreen:messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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Sleepydays

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I can't see how this is true. My 1 year old was just saying to me yesterday: "Father, I will never tire of my Rose Tico Funko Pop. Not just for the character's endearing story arc, but for the bravery of the actress in the face of unkind Instagram comments".

Out of the mouths of babes.
 
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DocONally

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Oct 21, 2014
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My kids (9 & 12) love Star Wars, but probably because of me.

I recently let them watch The Karate Kid (1984) and Dunkirk (2017) and they laughed at both, making me realise the modern day Transformers/MCU influence on cinema.

They burst out laughing at the epic kick at the end of The Karate Kid. I cried inside.

They laughed when a soldier got blown up at the beginning of Dunkirk. I had to remind them WW2 was a thing.

Fucking films these days. But to be fair, films these days are better than the 80s/90s. Just don't show your kids the classics.

I want to let them watch Aliens (1986) after my kid saw the mechanical loader in Lego City Undercover, but fuck I know they'll ruin it for me. So no.
 

Barsinister

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My kids (9 & 12) love Star Wars, but probably because of me.

I recently let them watch The Karate Kid (1984) and Dunkirk (2017) and they laughed at both, making me realise the modern day Transformers/MCU influence on cinema.

They burst out laughing at the epic kick at the end of The Karate Kid. I cried inside.

They laughed when a soldier got blown up at the beginning of Dunkirk. I had to remind them WW2 was a thing.

Fucking films these days. But to be fair, films these days are better than the 80s/90s. Just don't show your kids the classics.

I want to let them watch Aliens (1986) after my kid saw the mechanical loader in Lego City Undercover, but fuck I know they'll ruin it for me. So no.
Make them watch "Watership Down": the old cartoon version.
 

CJY

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If the parents don't give a fuck about Star Wars, the kids won't either. The franchise should be sold off again to retain any relevance, otherwise is just going to be a running joke for generations to come.

As things stand, I know when my kids are older, I'm not even going to bother showing them the original trilogy anymore.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Why? How does the new movies make the old ones bad?
he didn't say the old movies were bad, he said he would refrain from introducing his kids to this particular product line. so much of "New Star Wars" is about being evangelical and pushing it onto your kids. "i liked a thing so my kids have to too!" kind of millennial consumer selfishness.

funny tho that the idea of not conscripting your kids into a franchise means you "think they are bad". this is that hyper consumer divisivism at work. nobody should be ashamed for not pushing a product.
 
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megamerican

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Star Wars has a fanbase that is unable to be pleased, and a simple core story and theme that doesn't really support this many films and offshoots.

I know that this will be unpopular around here but at least TLJ tried to break free and become it's own thing. But now all time hack JJ is gonna come in and soothe all the manbabies.
 
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llien

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Say what you will about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that franchise is trudging along to great success because it produced movies that had each individual character shine and made the audience care about them. It's no wonder Avengers: Endgame was such a huge success because people around the world were eager to see how the overarching storyline would resolve.

Star Wars isn't exciting audiences anymore because the creative voices behind it have no idea how to make it fresh for a new audience. They're instead relying on nostalgia and callbacks to the original trilogy with movies like Rogue One and Solo. The Last Jedi was an attempt to try something new but failed in the most spectacular way possible.
Ironman, Spiderman, Thor, Hulk, Dr Strange... males, white males, OMG... where was radical feminist agenda pushing like that from Star Wars in Marvel movies? Perhaps "Capitain Marvel", oh well, But after, to put it softly, lukewarm reaction to her, she didn't do much in the "End Game".

Marvel did NOT push for non-existent female audience, that is supposed to love gender studies fantasies broadcast in theatres.
Whereas Star Wars was about "female led social change", perhaps (from "The Future is Female" speech):



Girls didn't care, boys struggle to find relatable character (Kylo???)
 
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Petrae

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There’s little that seems “epic” about Star Wars anymore, and nothing unique about it. Marvel is where it’s at for kids, with interwoven stories occasionally crossing over into epics. Star Wars, meanwhile, languishes on without any kind of identity. It retells old stories with far less interesting characters while relegating the original characters to bit parts and cameos.

Lucas made a fuckton of money by selling the franchise off. He knew it should’ve stayed dead after the troubled sequel trilogy ended, but if Disney was willing to back up a fleet of Brinks trucks for the rights... why not take Mickey Mouse’s cash? The best part is that Lucas has nothing to do with this Disney Star Wars fiasco. He makes appearances when he has to, but that’s it. New flops and disappointments don’t affect his legacy. It’s Disney’s problem now.
 

#Phonepunk#

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Bring back Lucas
Just don't have him direct.
Simple.
JJ can direct but cant write for shit. JJ directing and Lucas writing, this is what i would do were i Disney. offer Lucas a slice of the episode IX pie but keep everything else. it would be a massive investment. it would also be a smart thing to do, so they of course they won't do it. that's fine they can just do ANH tv shows on D+ and make $6.99 X 10 million per month for the next three years. keep milking that Mos Eisley space cow.

also they should announce X, XI, and XII. everyone says Lucas had a 9 episode series plan but he also said 12 at one point. so do that and blame it on him. they could squeeze another 4 billion out of this at least. they own all of Lucas's drafts, which they are already using, however much they deny this. Lucas has been selling this project for decades, he had so many marketing ideas, official series spin offs, framing devices like the whole movie zooming out to be a bedtime story told by a wookie, etc. they can just continue to root through his life's work. self aware bad new Holiday Special with Bill Murray singing Star Wars and the SNL cast making fun of Darth Trump and Palputin? i can see that happening.

JJ is a good hype man but bad at coming up with ideas. TFA was evidence of that. this is what made Star Wars great. all the new ideas, the new fan favorite characters. it is easy to forget that Chewie was once an entirely new concept. AT-AT walkers were once an entirely new concept. Yoda was totally new. lightsabers, they were in some pulp sci fi, but again, presenting in an entirely new way. all these incredible designs presented in fresh ways with technological mastery, breakthroughs in stop motion and puppetry, matte painting and effects. ST has little new compared to this. they need to come up with something new. RJ trolling with bringing R2 out to only show the ANH Leia hologram ("A cheap trick" - he admits he is a hack with that line) might be clever or something but it isn't new. it is literally reusing old footage. plus here we are on the Millenium Falcon again. something new in 1977, 42 years ago. the new people don't even get their own spaceship? WTF. this is lazy ass product line filmmaking overall.
 
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cryptoadam

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Do kids really buy Toys anymore? Seems like its all phone games and bayblade or some shit.

And so far the last 2 movies were not really kids movies. Especially TLJ. They are movies made for manchildren and feminists. I mean TLJ was about a slow space chase where a women makes a man look like a retarded fool. The B plot was a chick annoying an old dude while he was trying to drink green milk. And the C plot involved a fan girl going to a casino planet (ya kids love casinos) for some over complicated plan that was actually useless. What exactly was in it for kids?

At least Lucas knew that he had to make the PT accessible to kids. He had Jake Lloyd there to attract the younglings. Jar Jar and fart jokes. Kids would grow up with the series.

TFA was barely attractive to kids but had bb8, but TLJ had nothing in it for kids. The next movie looks more of the same ultra serious save the world with WOMANZ. Kids want fun fantasy with easy good and bad, not shades of grey, weird mysteries, and depressing storylines.

Even Empire though on the darker side still had stuff for the kiddies. Yoda surprisingly enough was something that would appeal to children. Sure he was 1000 years old, but he was a funny puppet that was wise and taught Luke great life lessons.

Now we have Maz who speaks in riddles and green milk.
 

iconmasterX

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It'll be interesting to see if they can come back stronger after the hiatus. I'm skeptical that anyone at Disney really understands Star Wars. Except, honestly, the people behind Solo. I thought that film captured the true early Star Wars spirit better than any other Disney attempt.

Speaking of toy sales:

 

cryptoadam

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It'll be interesting to see if they can come back stronger after the hiatus. I'm skeptical that anyone at Disney really understands Star Wars. Except, honestly, the people behind Solo. I thought that film captured the true early Star Wars spirit better than any other Disney attempt.

Speaking of toy sales:

seriously who wants a Rose Tico doll? Or a Holdo doll?

this is why no one is buying Star Wars merch.

And I have a small theory, but boys buy toys, girls not so much. Its why in the 80's the majority of toys were geared towards boys because they spent $$$. I don't know maybe young boys react stronger to commericals or peer pressures to be cool or whatever.

Gearing your movies to girls isn't going to push action figures and toy lines. All the cool male characters in the new Star Wars movies are garbage and made out to be fools and idiots.
 

Ovek

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The toys are shite even the gold standard Lego have been producing some terrible movie sets.



Just look at this lazy fucking monstrosity, someone at Disney and Lego had to sign off on this shit.
 
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cryptoadam

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Holdo? That sounds like a cool name. Probably a bounty hunter or something like Hoar

Oh... It's a grandma that pretends she's 21 again...
SJW grandma, note the purple hair, the tell tale sign of a feminist SJW.
 
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bitbydeath

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I'm sure many kids like the prequels too. I was a kid when they were released and I liked them. Episode 2 was a bit boring but it had many good moments.
They still weren’t Star Wars though and got heavily ridiculed for it at the time.

Far too much politics and boring filler.
I guess they kind of forgot Star Wars was an action adventure movie.
 
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bitbydeath

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I've said it before: Star Wars without George Lucas ain't Star Wars.
His wife at the time Marcia Lucas had a big impact on 4-6 in the editing room which is said to be why the prequels weren’t as good.

You can see the huge difference in the films that he does now and the films that he did when he was married,” Hamill pointed out in the 2005 interview, in a not-so-subtle dig at the prequels.
 

Kadayi

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Said it before but it bears repeating. They fucked up when they handed development over to Abrams because he's just a nostalgia remixer versus a true visionary. There were a myriad number of ways that Disney could have gone with a new trilogy and had the old characters hand over the baton to a new generation, but essentially rebooting the empire and undoing all the work the original heroes did simply to leverage the familiar iconography of Storm Troopers and Star Destroyers for toy sales was quite possibly the most creatively bankrupt choice ever. Johnson may have set the house on fire, but Abrams was the one who poured gasoline on everything.
 
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Teletraan1

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It is struggling to win over fans of the original trilogy too. I can't stand this franchise anymore and hope it takes a long break after this next movie that I don't even care if I see. I had a Star Wars comforter and Pijamas when I was a kid.