Brian Niemeier recently put up an excellent post on his website, in which he discusses the reasons pulp historian and author of Appendix N, Jeffro Johnson, gave for why Rogue One: A Star Wars Story failed to meet the pulp tone and standards of the original trilogy.

Many of these issues are similar to the ones I had with the film. While in several ways it was a competently done film, with its good moments, its main problem was that it did not feel like a Star Wars film despite all the Star Wars trappings. At least The Force Awakens, which has numerous problems of its own, felt like a Star Wars film. RedLetterMedia, whose Star Wars related content I also quite enjoy, similarly pointed out that Rogue One did not feel like a Star Wars film, and made the argument that despite its seemingly vast setting and endless options, it, at least in the hands of the current content creators, is very limited, stuck with either rehashing what we’ve already seen (such as with The Force Awakens, or trying to be different but losing much of what has defined Star Wars, as we see with Rogue One.

Unfortunately, as Brian points out, too many people will still go and see the subsequent films, which are likely to be of even lower quality, simply out of nostalgia and brand loyalty, which will unfortunately only make the problem worse and harder to solve. But so long as we present to these people alternatives, it may be possible to make a change, eventually.

Jeffro’s Google Plus page

Additionally, I, along with several others in the #PulpRev scene, hope to provide you with better alternatives to modern Star Wars. My debut space opera novel, A Greater Duty, is available now, and its sequel will be dropping this fall.

One thought on “PulpFail

  1. What’s interesting is that if you watch the “making of” series SF Debris did on the star wars sequels (http://sfdebris.com/videos/special/shadowsjourney.php) there’s a bit where he talks about how the SW Holiday Special ended up backfiring on George, and woke him up to the fact that he couldn’t really just ‘coast’ on the brand.

    Yes, there is real reason to believe that if the Holiday Special hadn’t been so bad, then Empire Strikes Back wouldn’t have been so good.

    And that seems to be the problem now. Things can be “good enough” and still make the $$$. For anybody to wake up, there has to be a failure and a hard one. Problem is, it’s all grown so big and large, there might be a legitimate question of whether the franchise can survive a failure.

    On the other hand, this franchise has survived the Holiday Special, Ewok movies, and Jar Jar…

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