Of all the traditional old-school fanboys with their seminal roots in the Star Wars glory period of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (’77 to ’80), author-filmmaker Chris Gore is easily one of the most passionate and articulate. And probably the frankest. He’s emotionally invested in fanboy theology, but also circumspect. He hates crap.
The below video (dated 5.12.21) is titled “Why 99% Of [Mainstream] Movies Today Are Garbage.” The message is basically this: Within the corporate Hollywood skydome, progressive political narratives have become more important than delivering pure-enzyme entertainment. Straight-up, get-it-done fantasy transportation has been elbowed aside.
And let’s be honest — most neckbeard fanboys (though not necessarily Gore himself) have strongly resisted the political feminist current of the last several years — the Kathy Kennedy-mandated feminist assertion element in the Stars Wars franchise and spinoff flicks, in particular. Gore’s basic attitude seems to be (a) “Ripley, yes — Rey, not so much,” (b) “Where’s the necessary devotion to the avoidance of numbing cliches?”, and (c) “Where are the new George Lucas-level visionaries and the execs, like Alan Ladd Jr., who will stand by them?”
Gore transcript (portions rephrased or condensed): “What do the fans think of this stuff? Are they satisfying the fans? When I think of the theatrical experience, which is going away…and it is going away…you’d better entertain me, given the cost of moviegoing. And whether Hollywood notices it or not, people don’t really like politics woven into mainstream entertainment experiences.
“And [yet] we’re seeing that more and more. It’s unbelievable to me. They’re leaving money on the table by not giving the customers what they’re looking for.
“So in my mind there’s no excuse for big studio releases to fail. You have the best people in marketing. You have the most talented actors. Craftsmen when it comes to special effects and cinematography. Music. There’s no excuse for that stuff to fail. Here’s the problem, the conundrum. The marketing for these movies is so good, that the product doesn’t live up to the marketing. I got chills watching the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker. I was excited to see that movie…the ninth and final chapter in that saga. And I cannot believe how horribly it turned out.
“It’s malpractice…what happened to that franchise. And how it’s divided fandom, fighting over things that are really irrelevant. Not entirely irrelevant, but when you’re seeing people from within that company [Lucasfilm] attacking the fans? Outside of Kevin Feige, who might be past his prime, I can’t think of a studio executive who is a visionary these days. We really are losing that American identity [in big entertainments]. Because of China. Where is the movie that we all love without reservation? We could talk about other franchises that have lost their way. I’m afraid that we’re never going to see another George Lucas because everything has become so corporate.”
“[Sigourney Weaver‘s] Ripley was a great character, and not just a type that they were trying to shoehorn in. There’s a difference.”
HE comment: Gore asserts that one of the main reasons that The Empire Strikes Back is the greatest Star Wars film ever made is because it doesn’t blow anything up at the finale. HE has long maintained that Episode 5 is actually a film noir — an action-and-thrills chase film about losing + forebodings of dark destiny and in the end being badly beaten. A well-constructed, crackerjack flick in which the bad guys always have the upper hand and the good guys are constantly running and hiding and dodging laser bullets, and in the end they’re battered and bruised (minus a hand, carbon-frozen) with their asses totally kicked. The Empire Strikes Back is basically about “you can run but you can’t hide from the Empire…try as you might and brave as you might be, a happy ending is not in the cards for you guys…not this time.”