A new report details that Disney’s Alan Horn mandated Star Wars filmmakers to disguise toy ideas as organic film characters.
The report comes from The Wall Street Journal, who had a source inside a meeting with Alan Horn when they first pitched him BB-8 from The Force Awakens.
The Wall Street Journal details that Horn loved the idea of BB-8 especially the merchandise sales that he could generate.
However, he also made it clear that these new characters could never be seen by filmgoers as merchandise and toy ideas.
The Wall Street Journal’s Erich Scwartzel and R.T. Watson detail:
“But Mr. Horn had a note for the filmmakers. While Disney wanted to sell millions of toys, fans could never sense that any character or plot point was conceived as a business decision, he said.”
“Any whiff of marketing imperatives driving the creative decisions on the Star Wars franchise would immediately, in the eyes of devoted fans, cast Disney as the evil empire that had gobbled up their beloved modern-day myth.”
Not only did Horn reportedly mandate to filmmakers that they were to disguise these business decisions as part of an organic story, but the casting decisions behind the film were also reportedly politically motivated.
“Mr. Horn, the Disney studio chief, and Lucasfilm executives have sought to diversify the casts to meet contemporary audiences’ expectations and also in a nod to the reality of a global marketplace where a majority of box-office grosses come from overseas.”
In fact, former Lucasfilm executive Howard Roffman told the WSJ that Star Wars is “political in a sense that it has a foundation in historical politics—the rise of dictatorships, the death of democracy—but it has never tried to take a stand on present-day issues.”
He would add that some viewers “attribute contemporary motives to the content.”
Gary Buechler of Nerdrotic described this move by Disney as “willing to burn up some of their capital and good will to get what they call ‘new relevant fans.'”
However, its unclear if they’ve actually achieved these new fans as the WSJ reports, the Disney Star Wars films have seen diminishing returns at the box office.
The Force Awakens earned $936.6 million at the domestic box office, Rogue One earned $532.2 million, The Last Jedi earned $620.2 million and Solo: A Star Wars Story only earned $213.8 million.
Buechler also details that the idea of having the movies being relevant to current issues will reduce its watchability in the future.
Buechler explains, “Disney Star Wars wants you to watch The Force Awakens in 10 years. Unfortunately, due to its relevancy it will be dated and people won’t want to watch it as much. The reason Star Wars lasted as long as it has, as I’ve said before, it’s timeless. ”
What do you make of this latest report regarding Disney and how it treated Star Wars form the beginning?