Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard recently made the bizarre claim that Star Wars parent company Lucasfilm actually loves their fans and listens to them despite repeated evidence to the contrary where they have derided and denigrated them.
Speaking with NME while providing an update on a possible sequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story, Howard first indicated Lucasfilm has no intentions of making a sequel after the film bombed at the box office despite the film being an obvious vehicle for spinoffs with the return of Maul and the recasting of Lando Calrissian and Han Solo with younger actors.
Howard told the outlet, “The only discussion that I’m aware of about a sequel for Solo is coming from the fans at this point.”
He added, “I don’t think it’s a Lucasfilm priority, as I understand it.”
Howard then went on to claim Lucasfilm loves its fans.
He stated, “But there’s some great characters launched, and the folks from Lucasfilm love the fans and really do listen so I would never say never – but I’m not aware of any concrete plans right now to extend the story or deal with that particular set of characters.”
It’s hard to imagine Lucasfilm loves its fans when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy made it crystal clear from the onset that she set out to radically alter the company and the products it creates.
Back in 2015 at Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Kennedy revealed the role she played in making Rey the main character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
She responded saying, “It’s one of the first things J.J. and I talked about. And that we talked to Alan Horn about. It was a very early decision and choice and something that we worked a long time developing.”
She went on to discuss her conversations with a number of licensing partners about putting a female character as the main protagonist in Star Wars.
She stated, “I think the interesting path we’ve had is the conversation that took place around consumer products. Because there were a lot of companies that were in place who frankly didn’t initially feel that Star Wars was for girls.”
She elaborated, “And when you have a company situation where between Lucasfilm and Disney, we were all looking at this situation saying, ‘No, with Star Wars we have to change this. We have to make sure that we create products that are in a sense appealing to both boys and girls.’ What’s wrong with that?”
While she would initially claim she wanted products for both boys and girls, when she provided an example it was specifically for creating products for girls.
Kennedy said, “I mean even with simple things like t-shirts. There’s a fantastic story with this young woman who came to Lucasfilm in 2009. She plays the character of Ahsoka in both Rebels and she also had a role in Clone Wars. And she came to Lucasfilm in 2009 saying why aren’t their clothes that are tied to Star Wars for girls. And she struggled for quite a while and put a company together called Her Universe and it’s doing unbelievable business.”
Not only did Kennedy reveal she wanted to ensure that Lucasfilm was more of a girl brand, but earlier in the panel discussion, she also made it clear she wanted to also change the demographics of the company’s employees. In fact, she claimed she already had.
She stated, “The fact that the company was bought by The Walt Disney Company has been amazing because they very much support the fact that we are trying to grow in the work force a number of women in executive positions and in all positions inside the company.”
“And with the movies that we are making and with the protagonists that we are putting in the stories. So I get a huge amount of support with that,” she continued.
She then touted, “But we have 50% of our executive team are women. And six out of eight of the people in my story group are women. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people that would be surprised that we’re making Star Wars movies and the majority of the people involved in the development of those stories are women. And I think it’s making a huge difference in the stories that we’re trying to tell.”
Not only did Kennedy claim she set out from the beginning to fundamentally change the stories Star Wars tells, but under her leadership the company has actively attacked its fans whether it was The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson calling his critics manbabies or the entire Star Wars brand decrying their fans as racist.
After Lucasfilm employee Krystina Arielle posted numerous tweets where she called all white people racists, Star Wars officially backed her position tweeting, “Our Star Wars community is one of hope and inclusivity. We do not stand for bullying and racism. We support Krystina Arielle.”
On top of this obviously despicable behavior towards their fans, the actual films, TV shows, and comics they’ve produced actively insult their fans by making a mockery of legendary characters like Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Luke Skywalker is shown in The Last Jedi as a man who has given up hope and abandoned everything he stood for. At one point in the film he tosses his lightsaber over his shoulder like it’s a piece of garbage. He’s even beaten down by Rey, who has zero training with a lightsaber.
This degradation of the character continued in The Book of Boba Fett, where a younger version of the character gives Grogu a very Sith-like choice between his friend, Din Djarin, and the Jedi. It was a choice that Luke rejected himself when he chose to attempt to save his friends at Bespin and then doubled down on when he went to redeem his father despite Yoda and Obi-Wan encouraging him to kill his father in a lightsaber duel.
There is insurmountable evidence that Lucasfilm does not love its fans and actively does not listen to them. One need only look at their new production, The Acolyte.
Instead of providing fans with a Star Wars story set in an accurate Expanded Universe The Old Republic, the company is creating a show that looks to break George Lucas’ lore around the Sith in a show set in Disney’s creation of The High Republic.
If they actually listened to fans, The High Republic wouldn’t even exist and there would be a plethora of interesting stories in The Old Republic.
What do you make of Ron Howard’s comments about Lucasfilm loving its Star Wars fans and actually listening to them?