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The Next Star Wars


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#51
Odine

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Minecraft was a benchmark, and had completely influenced every game that has come since with its crafting systems and mining and such.

Star Citizen has the potential to be the next thing, but it is only for PC which reduces it's audience drastically. Console limitations are unfortunate.

#52
Odine

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Warcraft comes pretty close to toppling Star Wars. I mean that franchise as a whole in which WoW is only part of. It's a household name

#53
Tank

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Video games means lot to fandom and video game culture, Star Wars transcended that to become pop culture.

#54
Odine

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Yes and we are not far from games doing the same. That is the inevitable future. It is only a matter of time

#55
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Indeed, I think it is like that for an almost entire generation of people 30 and under.



#56
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When that time comes, yes-- I was countering the WoW or Minecraft claims. Even my grandma knows what a lightsaber is. THAT'S the test.



#57
Djo

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I agree. Interactive story line, world building games are the future but not quite yet. I don't know about Warcraft and Minecraft but my daughters who are now aged from 19, 21 & 24 play other games such as Kingdom Hearts , Zero Time Dilemma and The Last of Us.  Mind you they still love Star Wars though my youngest really didnt get into Star Wars until TFA was coming out. She had exposure but really hadn't absorbed the world. When I first started this discussion she was 5 and not interested at all in Star Wars. My eldest was 5 when TPM came out and became hooked at that point. My middle daughter always loved AotC as well as the OT. So before seeing TFA my youngest thought she better watch all the other films. Now she's hooked.

 

There's a similar story with all my nieces and nephews who range in age from 22 down to 12. They all lave Star Wars. some of then do play Minecraft etc.

 

Star Wars can be enjoyed by everyone from my 80 year old mum to her 12 year old Grandson. One day the same may be able to be said about the gaming world, but I still think that's a generation away.



#58
Lord Darth Hunter

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100% correct. Even if someone has never seen any of the films, they more than likely still know who Darth Vader is. They probably know that hes famous for being someones father and he breathes heavy. All because of how ingrained SW in our pop culture.

#59
Odine

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I agree about gaming being a generation or two away from that pop culture dominance. In the meantime however, I don't see any film franchise getting big enough and popular enough to do it. So I don't think anything will topple Star Wars just yet.

#60
Djo

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I’m bringing this back up because wit TRoS ending the original storyline, I still contend that we haven’t seen “The Next Star Wars”. He main criteria that all other contenders fail on is, that to be the next Star Wars, it needs to come from an original cinematic story.

So the multi-media Galaxy keeps expanding. The Mandalorian has proven that a Star Wars TV series can be popular and I was blown away by the response to Baby Yoda. Next up: Obi Wan. The Rise of the Resistance Ride appears to be a huge success and the immersive nature of it points to the next evolution of Star Wars. If Disney now takes a break from movies, there’s still a lot to go on with.

I added this quote from Filthy Jawa here because I feel it sums up best what the next Star Wars has to be and it also sums up why it may be impossible for there to be another.

The thing about anything being the next Star Wars is it has to start with a bang. The first Star Wars movie was a huge hit in 1977 and became a cultural touchstone. If there had never been another Star Wars product (movie, novel, holiday special, etc.), it would still be a thing. It was a cultural touchstone that hit everyone: kids, teenagers, parents, angry loners...
So Mass Effect is not that, LOTR is not that, MCU is not that (really no movie franchise built on an intellectual property is, because the other thing about Star Wars was that it was an original story).
Harry Potter is probably the closest thing weve had. The books were HUGE and Harry Potter became a household name, even before the movies came along. It does seem to have faded a bit, but I dont think that necessarily disqualifies it. Star Wars faded too in the 80s and early 90s until the SEs were released. Harry Potter could make a comeback someday.
However its a totally different landscape now - it seems like nothing can fade from public consciousness for any amount of time. Hollywood is such a machine for churning this stuff out and squeezing every last dime out of anything. The nostalgia factor has kind of been negated. The Harry Potter world is still churning stuff out so its more likely to get completed burned out than to lie fallow for ten years and then come back stronger than ever by capturing a new generation and bringing back the original fanbase like Star Wars did.



#61
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Man, this thread goes so far back I agree with Justus somewhere in it.

I think there's two discussions here-- what will SW itself evolve into, and what, if anything, could come along and do what it did.

To point one-- Disney didn't buy Star Wars to not make movies. There will be more movies, they're just going to be more original stories (which is probably good). That said, The Mandalorian is proving you can have just as much of a buzz around the event of its release and still (almost) do anything a movie could do visually on a smaller budget. It also appeals to writers/directors/actors who get 6-10 hours to tell a story instead of 2. I think the future of SW is continued multi-platform engagements, but at some point, prob when giant 4k screens are cheap as LCDs, the streaming episodic entry might win out.

To point 2... I don't know that anything else could ever impact pop culture like this again. Marvel is almost doing it-- but as I said originally, it's doing the paradigm Star Wars established. We've entered the era of curated content. It used to be that we were all seeing the same movies, news, TV shows, etc. Content platforms are so varied and the content itself so geared to specific audiences, I don't know that we'll ever have a pop culture evolutionary event again.

#62
zambingo

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I think Star Wars is bad entertainment more often than it is good entertainment, and then coming to terms with that is probably at the core of the battle inside most fans. I think that Star Wars is Star Trek is James Bond is Batman. I think Star Wars is such a massive franchise (not just money making wise but with the sheer amount of content) that to try to rank the projects or make sense of them all is at this point a fools errand.

I think all a next Star Wars project has to do is not be so fantastically horrid it damages the juggernaut that is its merchandising power. I think given how bad Star Wars has been historically, that Disney has very little to worry about. I am not saying that I think Star Wars is too big to fail, but...

#63
The Kurgan

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I don't know that anything else could ever impact pop culture like this again. Marvel is almost doing it-- but as I said originally, it's doing the paradigm Star Wars established. We've entered the era of curated content. It used to be that we were all seeing the same movies, news, TV shows, etc. Content platforms are so varied and the content itself so geared to specific audiences, I don't know that we'll ever have a pop culture evolutionary event again.

Something will do "that" again, which is to say revolutionize popular culture to an extent that "something" will effectively become cultural mythology. It will happen again because mythology - whatever form it takes, always eventually becomes dated and something new becomes needed to step in to fill the vacuum. That's a big part of the reason why Star Wars succeeded in the first place. 

 

The simple and most often heard explanation for SW's success is that it tapped into archetypal mythological tropes like Campbell's hero's journey. That's part of it. But so too had works that preceded Star Wars. Why didn't Dune or Lord of the Rings have that level of impact? These were mythologies, and quite richly developed ones and well told stories. They had and continue to have their fan bases, but weren't quite the cultural touchstones that Star Wars was. Why? Darth Vader is recognizable in a way that Vladimir Harkonen or Saruman are not. Why is this?

 

My view is that Star Wars both modernized the mythological tropes (why it outplaced Lord of the Rings) and modernized the medium on which the new mythology was delivered (why it outplaced Dune). It begins with the very first thing we see in the title crawl: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away. This signifies both the fairy tale and mythological elements and the progressivism of science fiction. The unfolding of the narrative worked in much the same way. It was the rescue of a princess from the clutches of an evil overlord (fairy tale) interwoven with a technological terror capable of destroying entire planets (science fiction) that resonated with the fan base on many levels. We all loved the classic fairy tale romance (we didn't know Luke and Leia were blood relatives yet and neither did George Lucas) and the Death Star resonated with a fan base living under the shadow of nuclear destruction in the cold war.

 

Moreover, film rather than print is the medium on which it was delivered. Star Wars's revolutionizing of special effects, set design, costume and so on were as significant in its importance as anything to do with the story and characters themselves. 

 

The first Star Wars film piqued our curiosity with its backstory and world building while avoiding tedious info dumps and clunky expository dialogue and narration. Viewers had expansive leeway to project their own interpretations onto the story due to its somewhat minimalistic approach to laying out its curious blend of fairy story and science fiction. We didn't know exactly how the force worked, so it was mystical and for children in particular, wondrous and magical. We didn't know how the jedi were defeated, how the Old Republic became the Empire and Obi Wan's apprentice turn to evil, but we knew it all was dark and tragic. And likewise, we didn't know how Luke, Han and Leia would take the fight to Vader and the Empire for the final climactic showdown, but we knew that when that finally did happen, it would be the very definition of apocalyptic heroism. 

 

This all had to come together in just the right way and at the right time to have the effect. It worked also because it was different and challenged the paradigm of the time. I actually remember in the late 70s and into the 80s how my parents, and adults in general, were fairly dismissive of SW and science fiction more generally. Hollywood certainly had no real love for speculative fiction. A look at the nominated films for best picture by year makes this abundantly clear.  A fair bit of that can be easily explained in that sci-fi/fantasy relied heavily on special effects that were expensive to produce and that the technology of the time rendered difficult to produce convincingly. That's all true. But moviegoers at the time, along with book readers, t.v watchers, radio listeners and the like didn't have much taste for it.

 

This was a trend that had gone back centuries: mythology and fairy tale didn't resonate with people in an industrial era when modernistic rationalism ruled. Good and evil themselves were seen as quaint notions, and this didn't really change until after WW2, when happenings in places like Auschwitz and Hiroshima/Nagasaki hammered home in a rather unpleasant manner just how capable of very real darkness we were. Conversely, however, figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi were exemplifying that very real heroism and resistance to tyranny was possible. This injected a renewed interest in epic mythology into the zeitgeist that had until then been withering and dormant going back to the enlightenment itself. While authors like Tolkien and Herbert among others did sort of address this, it took SW to finally get the alchemy just right and hit the ball out of the park the way it did.  

 

It's kind of a case of hindsight being 20/20. While SW itself was loved in its time and even got nominated for best picture, sci-fi was still looked upon as "kid's stuff" and worthy at best of an Oscar for special effects and little more. Sci/fi fantasy getting a good reception from the academy and critical establishment would have to wait decades still. Return of the King's 2003 sweep of the Oscars was as a huge deal at the time because it was seen as fantasy as a genre finally getting its due. But this couldn't have happened had SW not opened the door to fantasy fiction being successful on the silver screen.

 

This brings us to the question of what could do what Star Wars did. I think we can only speculate. It hasn't happened yet and might not for some time. The closest we've yet come have, in my view, been Harry Potter and possibly the Song of Fire and Ice. But they haven't done it. When it finally does happen, what will it deal with? Well, I think it will come down to it being just the right story and medium used to articulate that story using just the right blend of timeless archetype on the one hand and struggles, anxieties and ambivalences related to the time and place of its telling on the other. If I were a betting man, I'd suggest the themes could have to do with love, belonging, interconnectedness and reconciliation with those from different or opposing cultural tribes in day and age where those things are being lost for reasons both good and bad, and being told in precisely the medium wherein this loss has taken place: cyberspace. So it being a videogame or some other interactive medium is a possibility. But that's only a guess on my part. We won't know until it happens, it won't happen until the right creator appears and potential audiences are ready to hear its messages, and more likely not won't be recognized until well after it's actually happened. 



#64
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Yeah, when VR becomes nearly indistinguishable from real life and we can star in our own video games, that might do it... but that's not a technology everyone will embrace. Again, the grandma test. My grandma would see a movie and know what an Ewok was. She's not strapping into a VR rig.

I will say, using the PS 4 VR rig and going to The Void (both being Star Wars stories) I was pretty mind blown.

#65
Odine

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The next cultural touchstone like Star Wars will be a videogame. We are already nearly there, just gotta wait a few years before the generations age so that there are more grandparents gaming. Mark my words. It won't be film. Gaming is the future.

#66
Djo

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Thank you The Kurgan for your excellent and expansive response. I enjoyed reading it :)

I’m too am thinking “The Next Star Wars” will be from the gaming VR medium.

#67
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The next cultural touchstone like Star Wars will be a videogame. We are already nearly there, just gotta wait a few years before the generations age so that there are more grandparents gaming. Mark my words. It won't be film. Gaming is the future.


You're prob right. That solves my grandma conundrum. If it comes when my grandkids are young that would make sense. Right now if I could combine my Void VR experience with an escape room narrative and it was hours long...
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#68
Odine

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I was at PC gamer the other day in the comment section and a 68 year old dude was asking for tips to get through some quests in the Witcher: Wild Hunt. I thought that was pretty cool. I'm sure things like that will be coming a lot more commonplace.

#69
Zathras

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I personally think that the NEXT Star Wars is what we are seeing with The Mandalorian.  I believe with the new "StageCraft" tech they are using proves that you don't need a JJ Effing Abrams  $200+ million budget to make Star Wars.   Bad Robot is a bad contributor who sold Disney and other studios on the idea you can't have good blockbusters without ramping up the price on making films.  He destroyed Star Trek, and did the same to Star Wars, and his greed compromised all.  I hope Disney, and LFL steer star wars into Online TV/web series to bring down the cost and give us all GOOD story telling!

 

I hope the Next, Nest thing is theObi Wan series.



#70
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I was at PC gamer the other day in the comment section and a 68 year old dude was asking for tips to get through some quests in the Witcher: Wild Hunt. I thought that was pretty cool. I'm sure things like that will be coming a lot more commonplace.

Funny, the other day I started to play Red Dead Redemption 2 for the first time and I was so bad at it I felt like a 68 year old dude playing a game. . .maybe I was giving myself far too much credit? 





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