I for one am neither surprised, nor racking my brain regarding the lack of attendance to Solo.
I saw Solo once, TLJ twice.
I thought Solo was far superior to TLJ.
I won't see Solo again because I am disappointed with the state of Lucasfilm and the emphasis and motivations of the story group - who are not filmmakers, they are content creators pushing social agendas - two completely different things.
Now we hear TLJ director taking time to figure out why Star Wars works so well and what makes it so magical for his own trilogy - that's not a comforting thought for me, it's a red flag.
He should have known why it works before he ever got his hands on VIII. Sorry, I don't feel for him or his challenge, I expect more.
When I watched the Making of documentary for TLJ on the Blu-ray I felt like RJ wanted me to feel sorry for him and his daunting task.
Every doc for the prequels was inspiring.
Remember "Within a Minute" - The Making of Episode III.
I do think a great deal of this is backlash from the whole fanbase, and I don't mean left or right fanbases.
Star Wars is deep on a personal/metaphysical level, it's not Star Trek/save the whales/etc.
This is why it transcended boundaries/politics/social issues.
Anakin personifies this. His interior struggle mirrors the exterior struggle/conflict in the galaxy - which is in a state of civil war.
Hence, what happens in society, first starts in man by his choices.
This is universal, and part of the human experience.
it's also fun too and never took itself too seriously, just like you have to with life.
We are so fortunate to have a franchise that transcends like this, yet Disney literally took a success story and twisted it into an IP in search of an issue or issues to address - how can you fuck something up like that?
As for Kennedy:
Kennedy is tied to Lucas/Spielberg, not Disney, she at least knows how to protect the property even if she doesn't get the property.
She did produce Indiana Jones.
And yes, she did produce for Spielberg - that's a dream job for any producer as he's one of, if not the best filmmaker in the world, much different from running a franchise.
I also know someone working in Disney who deals with a lot of behind the scenes information. Back in January we discussed TLJ and Solo.
He relayed that Disney had little confidence in the film and it was being bumped to May instead of the regular Dec. 18 release to soften the blow.
People/the press can blame Marvel movies and the Summer schedule all they want. Internal rumblings were not good and Disney did not have faith in the picture.
That being said, I am beginning to wonder if Disney is intentionally politicking/playing a long game to get Kennedy out and put in one of their own - which would be a death nail to the franchise because they cannot even handle the muppets.
I just don't see this being Kennedy's fault. Why didn't IJ, BTTF, WOTW, etc, have such strong statements on social issues? She produced them? It's a fact Kennedy and Spielberg are democrats. Why now?
Maybe it's not Kennedy, Maybe it's Bob Iger.
Isn't he the one who scrapped Lucas' sequel trilogy outlines because "we wanna make something for the fans"?
I'm beginning to believe he is using SW as a megaphone to subtly promote a political agenda or even a future run in politics/U.S. Presidency... just sayin?
And if so, it ain't workin.
Rebels was better than the entire sequel trilogy, and the series finale blew all the Disney era films away.
I would also say TCW is better than anything in the Disney era, period. Every time my daughter watches an episode I am blown away by the quality top to bottom.
Remember, Filoni was schooled directly by Lucas. I think he should be CCO, not CEO as it would hinder his time in creative. I for one have hopes they would make Rick Macullum or even Joe Johnston CEO.
Ahsoka is loved, Padme was loved, Leia was loved, Lando was loved, none of this equality/gender stuff was an issue, because people just loved the characters.
To quote Lucas: "Look, just tell the Story".