Since the announcement of the new trilogy that began with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the long-held belief has been that Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and the various people working on the “Star Wars” films had at least a rough idea of where they were going.
After all, wasn’t the whole point of Lucasfilm having a ‘story group’ division to settle on continuity and create at least a guide, if not full story treatments, for all three interlinked films to be settled on before or during the production of ‘Force Awakens’?
Looks like that’s not the case. In some recent tweets, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson has revealed that there was no planned out story beyond ‘The Force Awakens’ when he was hired to helm ‘Last Jedi’ and if there was, he wasn’t beholden to anything bar what was established in the J.J. Abrams film.
A fan asked about a quote in the recent Vanity Fair story in which Johnson said he was given a lot of freedom for ‘Last Jedi,’ and wanted to know if some of the story was already planned. Johnson replied: “Nope”. The fan then pressed: “But how do I reconcile that with this? Some sense of where the saga was going?” to which Johnson replied: “I’m sure they talked about where it might go early on, but when they came to me there was no mapped story presented beyond The Force Awakens.”
That may give some fans pause but should excite others as it shows a level of trust in the filmmaker to make the specific story he wants to tell and giving him essentially free reign to take the story in a fresh direction. It also shoots down any arguments as to the story and characters following a specific template if there are no plans for Johnson, Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow or anyone else after that to follow.
The total of this year’s four-day Memorial Day holiday box-office added up to $172.3 million, making it the lowest Memorial Day box office since 1999 when the second weekend of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” reigned as champ over a holiday total of $142.5 million.
Part of that was the disappointing results of the newcomers. For the four days, the $230 million-budgeted fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film scored just $76.6 million with $62 million of that from the Friday through Sunday. That Fri-Sun total is less than half what the first ‘Pirates’ sequel opened to in 2006.
Then there’s the Dwayne Johnson-led R-rated comedy “Baywatch” which pulled in just $18.1 million for the three-day weekend and will finish around $22 million for the four-day holiday weekend – basically half of what early estimates for the film had suggested.
In fact, it will be beaten by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” which has been the only success story of the Summer thus far. That film will land estimated $19.89 million for the three-day and is expected to finish around $24 million for the four-day.
“Alien: Covenant” is coming in fourth with a massive 71% drop in its second weekend, one of the largest on record for such a wide release film, which means it will earn just $10.5 million for the three-day second weekend.
Source: Box-Office Mojo