The Death of Good Will

*another one I pulled from the Book of Faces for your enjoyment- Jack

I get a mention in this article about how Star Wars novels sales have tanked (Link) and they even put up a picture of Tower of Silence.

This is an interesting topic to me as a writer, and a former accountant. In accounting we have a thing called Good Will. That’s an intangible asset. Take a company with a super well established name and track record. There’s no physical asset for the name, Coke a Cola or McDonald’s, but there’s an asset value for how incredibly well known those are, and that needs to get accounted for in the valuation. Companies like that aren’t valuable just because they own stores or factories or lots of inventory, but because everybody knows who they are. Basically Good Will exists because customers know who you are, what you do, and generally like that. With big corporations, Good Will is worth billions.

Good Will goes down when companies turn off those customers, or the name starts to have negative connotations and they become less valuable (Anhauser Busch for a recent example).

The Star Wars novels are a perfect example of this. That was once the biggest and most beloved IP on Earth. Novels in that setting should be a license to print money. The Good Will was off the charts. A reboot was a chance to kinda forget the worst of previous products, and come out the gate strong with quality products. In a sane world, the novels of an IP that big should crush the rest of us by orders of magnitude, just off of name recognition and customers being inclined toward checking out products from that brand.

Nope. They went the opposite direction.

I remember when they announced the reboot of Star Wars novels, coinciding with the new movies (which also flushed Good Will down the toilet).

I was having a conversation with another author around this time, who is more famous and successful than I am, who said that if this was 20 years ago, guys like me and him would have been the first authors they’d call. Authors with good, solid, established track records for action and adventure, with ensemble casts of interesting and memorable characters, who can do big set piece action sequences regardless of the setting or circumstances. Kind of like how the last time around they got dudes like Zahn and Stackpole.

Instead they picked pretentious dolt Chuck Wendig. Of course his books were shit. This didn’t come as a surprise to anybody who was vaguely familiar with Chuck Wendig. He’s a wannabe literati who writes one How To Be A Writer book to sell to gullible suckers for every actual novel he produces. He’s one of those dipshits who thinks he’s clever, mistakes snark for depth.

Now, Disney wasn’t totally stupid, and they brought back Tim Zahn, who is a pro’s pro. That dude knows how to tell a story, and he gets the fans. Dorks like Wendig think they’re better than the fans. Zahn is an actual Star Wars fan.

I told the other more famous writer that I’d be great from a technical/story aspect, but a  bad business pick, because I’m too personally controversial to write for an IP that broad (another reason Wendig was a bad pick, because he’s as opinionated as me, only his politics are stupid) however I could name a couple dozen other authors with track records writing their own stuff that demonstrate they’d be ideal to write Star Wars stories, who aren’t personally controversial. Some of these are obvious no brainer picks for Disney… so of course none of those got called. 😀

I’d never heard of most of the ones they’d picked, which says a lot about that whole established track record thing. A couple it appears they were picked because they checked proper social justice boxes, and I’ve got a sneaky suspicion the Disney selection process consisted of finding one outspoken dumbass lefty writer on the con circuit, and then getting introduced to all that writer’s circle of friends.

Part of Good Will is that the customers expect certain kinds of action from certain kinds of companies. If Star Wars novels don’t feel like Star Wars, bad. It’s like if your blue collar, frat boy, cheap beer company goes off in a wildly incongruous direction, Good Will squandered.

Relatively speaking, Star Wars novels still sell quite a few copies… when compared to us normies who don’t have the biggest IP in history and a zillion dollar megacorporation’s marketing powers. For most authors, 30k copies is awesome. 100k copies is bad ass. However, for Motherfucking STAR WARS… that’s utter shit.  Star Wars should obliterate that.

I’ve seen Wendig brag about how he’s a super dooper bestseller… dude… it was Star Wars… every reader in the world was curious. That first reboot book could have been written by a piece of steamed broccoli and it
A. would have sold just as well.
B. had a more coherent plot and better writing.  
The drop off afterwards is the really telling thing, as fans went what is this shit? Good Will squandered.

I stand in awe at how incredibly terrible Disney is at this. In the hands of somebody even sorta professional, these books should be a license to print money.

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129 thoughts on “The Death of Good Will”

  1. But checking off boxes gives them a built-in excuse for failure. They can screech “Racist!” and “Sexist!” and “Homophobic!” rather than admit they wrote a steaming turd that nobody wants to read.

    Because of course the only reason fans didn’t like the new movies was that the hero was a Gurrrl. Had nothing to do with contrived situations, doom and gloom, stupid battle tactics, ruination of beloved characters, and plot holes you could drive a Death Star through. Naw, it was all because Rey was female, not because a Jedi apprentice with a few weeks’ training fought Kylo to a standstill despite all his years of training and experience.

    And then that pathetic cop-out at the end. “I’m a Skywalker.”

    No! You’re a Palpatine! Own it! Don’t hide from yourself, be a Jedi in spite of the old bastard.
    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

    1. The Sith won in the sequel trilogy.

      The ONLY way to keep those movies Canon would be to smash cut to the empire ruling again 50 to 100 years later, and the events of those movies were actually propaganda from the Empire after Rey Palpatine, Darth Fectious, managed to trick the Jedi into collapse, with the Rebellion having to slowly rebuild in the obscure systems.

      But I honestly think it would just be better to apologize, fire ALL of current Lucasfilm, and then bring back the Expanded Universe.

      1. Re: propaganda, have you ever read the Legends novel Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor?

        Because we’re living in the kind of world that the villain of that would would have made if he had won.

        A pure nihilist with a penchant for rewriting stories and walking around in the hollowed out skinsuits of beloved characters.

    2. Yep remember walking out of the Force Awakens and feeling ripped off as I’d seen the same film when i was 8years old and it was called Star Wars (not A New Hope)…guess they ran out of new ideas or just stuck the old ones that has the biggest merchandising potential.

      Check list
      Luke is a woman stranded on a backwater desert planet.👍
      Princess Lea is a black male fleeting the Empire 👍
      R2D2 is two orange balls storing secret data pursued by Storm Troopers 👍
      Darth Vader is stroppy 20 something in black wearing a helmet with family issues 👍
      Death Star is now a plant that destroys who solar systems (bigger is better if not newer) 👍
      Han Solo & Chewie oldest swingers in town 👍
      Obi wan is now and old Luke but we just see him at the end film and he does the whole quick training in next film before doing the Force shuffle into ghostly presence 👍

      Only decent film in the series since Return of the Jedi is Rogue One…at least it fitted into the existing story sequence as a prequal.

  2. I’m not looking at the Indy 5 box office and not caring, I’m looking at it rooting for FAILURE.

    I was a rabid Star Wars fan. The idiots at Disney that ruined Star Wars haven’t made me not care, they’ve made me HATE them. They turned Good Will into Bad Will. I want Indy 5 to lose a quarter billion dollars!!! Fuck them, I hate them now. All they had to do was tell good stories , and they PUSHED FUCKING LEFTIST POLITICS!!!!

    So like Darth Vader himself I HATE THEM!!!!

    Damn them for what they’ve done.

    1. “All they had to do was tell good stories”

      That’s completely beyond them. Most of the “entertainment” industry can only think in woke cliches, and they can barely manage to write those into a coherent screenplay.

    2. That is exactly how I feel about Star Wars.
      I had the original trilogy memorized word for word, I read every last book up through the end of the YV invasion, I ran SW RPGs with nothing more than dice and the information in my head – and then Disney came along and burned it all to the ground.

      May that company be reduced to a ruined curiosity we have to explain to future generations for what they have done.

      They turned good will into hate.

  3. “OK, I am handing you an IP that is pretty much a platinum mine for our company. All you need to do is stick to the script and not wokeify it.”

    “Wow, this is awesome. I’m gonna wokeify the shit out of it!”

    “WHAT? NO! That’s exactly what I told you to not do.”

    “Oh come on. A palette swap here, a gender swap here…ooh! Let’s make this character a they/them and things will be perfect.”

    (Two days later)
    “And it bombed hard enough to leave a crater.”

    “That’s the patriarchy’s fault. They’re just not enlightened like I am.”

    1. Sometimes I wish I could muster up enough excitement even for hate. Something clicked with me recently: I just don’t care anymore. I don’t even care enough to look at the scathing reviews or the box office numbers. These days, I get the feeling that they’re deliberately tarnishing these franchises and raising up a generation that won’t even bother watching them in the first place, to leave plenty of room in the new cultural zeitgeist for whatever ideological crap they want to spread out to replace it.

      1. They despise heroism. They despise happiness and good endings to stories. Look at how many video games only have the bad ending, worse ending and oh dear GOD, why did you choose that? ending.

        Movies are just another outlet for their nihilism.

    1. I looked the guy up out of curiosity (maybe morbid) and I’ve read one of his books, Zeroes (I refuse to spell it the leet-cool-kid way it really is,) and about all I can say about it?

      Yeah, I read it. And I only recalled reading it because the title sounded familiar and when I looked it up, the cover looked familiar.

      Save yourself the pain, fix a big ol’ helping of actual steamed broccoli, put said helping in front of a typewriter and come back in a year or two, you should have something more memorable at that point…

  4. Walt Disney had more feeling for Good Will in his pinky than the entire 21st century Disney has in toto.

      1. Yep. He actually opposed communists, so the communists paint him as a Nazi.

        The irony is that communism and socialism are twin brothers, with the only difference being that one begins at the point of a gun, and the other ends at the point of a gun.

        1. Regrettably, today’s socialists point at things like Star Trek as proof at what we could accomplish with that kind of society.

          1. Those people ignore the downsides of such cultures.

            Like forced homogeny with the culture, including anyone who stands out often being ostracized. The very real chance that your cushy science job will become front line combatant in a war, or desperate struggle against the new threat of the week. Incompetence, with security that can be beaten by a child, and security/a military that can barely keep up with threats both foreign and unknown.

            And so much more.

            Also, the fact that we don’t have magical replicators that either create something from nothing, or rearrange raw materials perfectly every time.

            Plus, the multiple times that Star Fleet has had infiltrators or aliens take over major parts of Star Fleet and the shadow organizations like Section 31.

          2. Remember when all the Democrats said we needed Hillary to ensure the future of Star Trek would happen, failing to remember how in Trek’s future WW3 started in 2026 and wiped out 30% of the human population?

          3. And through the “magic” of karmic retribution, they were probably only off by about 2 years. I wouldn’t be surprised one iota if WWIII kicks off in earnest here in about 15 days, give or take. NATO is having their annual meeting here in just over a week as I write this. All signs are pointing to them bringing Ukraine into NATO, at which point we are there whether we like it or not. They always tell us what they’re gonna do, and they do it generally through the opiate of the masses, i.e. television. This is no longer a purely physical struggle, but rather full spectrum warfare; physical, mental, and spiritual. Anyone who still thinks otherwise is either willfully obtuse, or hopelessly lost.

          4. In the Star Trek future, Fermat’s Last Theorem hadn’t been proved yet by the year 2300, so we are safe from it; this is a different timeline. Let’s all thank Andrew Wiles.

          5. The Culture is a better example- it works because they have unlimited resources and a tech level able to make pretty much anything anyone wants in pretty much no time at all… and even then, the citizens are often plagued by ennui and boredom.

    1. For that matter, when’s the next book going to be out?

      I mean, it took me four days to read, that means it takes four days to write, right?

  5. I thought this was about Goodwill Industries International Inc. and wondered how deep their slide into high pricing got so bad Larry Correia was rambling about it or if they just collapsed overnight and I missed big news.

    One important thing to note on the book sales numbers is that RIGHT before the sales numbers for the High Republic nonsense went public, the entire series was dropped on Humble Bundle for a few bucks and it was unavoidably bundled with EU books people might actually want to read. It currently claims a little over 6000 sales with 3 of the sales 30 days run to go (for comparison a bundle of books on DMing advice and mythology primers I’ve never heard of started the same time and has sold 2.5x that). The timing can’t be coincidental. Either sales from the start of Humble Bundle are included and they did it to pad numbers at last minute, or garbage sales prompted digital slash and burn.

  6. It’s not explicitly mentioned, but worth noting a value CAN be put on “Good Will”, as there have been ample instances of companies being bought primarily to use their name/logo (rather than the company’s physical assets), generally as part of a bankruptcy, and these have been worth some serious cash even for relatively small names. The ones that come to mind are Radio Company of America (RCA)’s purchase of Victor Talking Machine Company, RCA’s current incarnation, Infogrames consuming “Atari”, and the various companies owned by Remington that had their name and name alone bought (“DPMS”, “H&R”, “Stormlake”, “AAC”, “Parker”, and “Bushmaster”. Marlin and Tapco don’t count as they came with products). Also related is all the gun companies that have grabbed names of dead companies while having absolutely nothing to do with the original company (Iver Johnson, Auto Ordinance, Arisaka Industries, SilencerCo’s “Maxim” branding)

  7. The killing of Good Will comes from the executives and staff responsible for those companies thinking that they control the audience, and that the audience will watch whatever the execs/activists say the audience wants.

    There’s also the death of integrity alongside that, where companies and people don’t respect the material they’re given, and don’t respect the audience either.

    Integrity is why you get people put in roles where they don’t like the other actors or the director, but perform the role so well that the other actors are put to shame if they don’t give their best.

    Integrity is the thing that makes a person understand an IP and make a sequel that fits with the other seven movies, instead of a stand alone movie that is a sequel to seven movies that only exist in the director’s head.

    Integrity is what keeps companies from immediately assuming evil and malfeasance on the part of the fans, looking inward to see if there’s something wrong with the product.

    It’s sad how much Good Will has been pissed away due to the lack of integrity and arrogance in Hollywood.

    But then again… I’d say that’s Hollywood’s mask falling off.

  8. There’s also the way that Disney, once acquiring the rights to Star Wars Legend novels, screwed (among others) Alan Dean Foster over.
    For relevant context, I quit reading the Star Wars Universe partially through the Yuuzhan Vong cycle (well before the sequel trilogy debuted).

    1. Understanding dropping point, though I’d strongly recommend reading Millennium Falcon and Darth Plagueis. The two are great conclusions that incorporate everything that was built up to over the decades.

      1. I’ll also speak up for Crucible as a good finale to the EU franchise. Nothing earth-shattering, but it wrapped things up nicely and gave our heroes a chance to shine one last time. It’s also a stand-alone novel, so it was economical and fast-paced, without the need to pad it out into a multi-book story. Far as I’m concerned, I consider that the canonical ending.

      2. Darth Plagueis is excellent- more of a political thriller starring the bad guys.
        The Darth Bane trilogy is also really, really good, and it is probably a good thing the Rat won’t make it.

    2. I kind of like the NJO/YV storyarc. It was the next logical step, after fighting the remnants of the Empire for so long, now having the heroes fight a completely different type of enemy. I found the YV themselves very interesting, it gave the next generation an opportunity to shine, and the NJO storyline was probably the last time SW had anything interesting or relevant to say.

      There were invaders from outside the galaxy, animated by a deadly religious ideology that supposedly gave them control over all life, and whose word for ‘peace’ meant ‘submission,’ there was the struggle to meet such savagery without descending into atrocity in turn, collaborators, a refugee crisis, and the fact that the aliens did indeed use those refugees as ‘weapons,’ to the point of deliberately infecting them with timed diseases that would plague any world that took them. There were things in the NJO storyarc that simply could not be written about today.

      After that, I really think the franchise should have been allowed to go fallow for a time. What came next were at best a bunch of cash grabs, stories set in the cracks between other books, expanding on moments that didn’t in themselves merit more than a mention, a chapter or at most a novella.

      I quit the franchise in disgust during that awful Darth Jacen storyline afterward – where Han and Leia’s promising son became the most pathetic Sith Lord ever and a blueprint for Kylo Ren.

      I only heard about the stuff that came after – some kind of weird Force demon, a bunch of Sith that could have come from JJ Abrams, and apparently Daala becomes president instead of being executed for war crimes.

      But I’ll recommend Crucible as a good ending point for the EU.

    3. The Yuuzhan Vong series was dreadfully done. They had conquered and terraformed a third of the known systems and raided another third into submission before the New Republic and Jedi decided perhaps they should respond. I never finished it (I was borrowing a friend’s copies), but even if the Republic generated enough force to push them back they were doomed as a political entity. The Vong were stupidly overpowered and the resistance so slow to respond.

      1. Vector Prime was… well, it was exhibit 2 in the ‘Don’t let RA Salvatore attempt to write sci-fi’ evidence shelf. It was well written for what it was, but his grasp of sci-fi concepts and tropes is nonexistent.

        It read like SW meets GI Joe the movie (the original animated one). I grew up devouring RAS’ novels (then I grew up and realized he’s only got like 3 characters that he uses over and over and over again). I mean seriously? A snake that can stop a lightsaber blade with its body? Willful suspension of disbelief stopped right there….

        I was turned right off of NJO, but I’ve always been a bit of an elitist when it came to the EU. If it wasn’t the Rogue/Wrath squadron books, or something written by Zahn, I pretty much ignored it entirely because it tended to be dreck meant to capitalize on the brand without spending any actual time learning to know or respect the characters involved.

  9. So let me get this straight; the Star Wars novels are done simply becaused of not using Zhan or Stackpole, but because the company (most likely) decided to give people of color and women a chance rather than two white dudes who’ve already written for it and because the usual members of the Fandumb Meance decided it was bad (the usual complaint of ‘woke’ that’s always banded about by these fans and their supporters in the video blogging community, check.) What else is new, though, with the Fandumb Meance?

    Meanwhile, the franchise goes on on the big and small screens, and a new movie set some time after the events of Rise Of Skywalker is slated for production, featuring the same hated Rey the Fandumb Meance and the neckbeard YouTube v-bloggers love to blast for having ‘ruined’ (🙄) the franchise (‘Eew! Girls’) I guess that those are all failures too.

    1. They are done because the authors didn’t write well. Color, creed, what have you doesn’t matter. That the authors didn’t catch me as a reader is why the books failed. I tried thee, by thee different authors, and couldn’t finish any of them. They didn’t grab me. They didn’t have the sense of fun and excitement of earlier books.

      1. Dead on, TXRed.

        Even back in the days of the Expanded Universe, there were three basic types of Star Wars novels. Type 1 was military technothrillers written in the Star Wars universe, like the X-Wing series. Type 2 was Tom-Clancy-esque political/military thrillers set in the Star Wars universe, like the Thrawn Trilogy. And type 3 was … um, what to call it? I suppose you could call it “grand tradition” SF set in the Star Wars universe — meaning attempts to write Master-class science fiction in the SW ‘verse, with Deep Themes and Symbolism and all that jazz. In general, the first two types were good reads and the third wasn’t, because Star Wars is space opera and if you try to write anything but space opera in the SW ‘verse, the result is probably gonna suck.

        Disney’s executives either never understood this or (more likely) never cared. Much like George Lucas himself, they saw only the $$ and thought they could publish garbage books by (cheap) second- and third-rate authors, put “Star Wars” on the cover, and fans would buy it. Sorry boys, it don’t work that way.

        1. “In the old days, it used to be said that the Star Wars trademark was as good as the karat mark on gold. I don’t know what it was that Disney and Kennedy thought, if they thought at all, but I suppose that like all social planners and like savages, they thought that this trademark was a magic stamp which did the trick by some sort of voodoo power and that it would keep them rich, as it had kept Lucas. Well, the magic stamp began to work the other way around: people wouldn’t take a book as a gift, if it was marked Star Wars.”

          1. ISWYDT.
            And I approve.

            I do wish, though, that the collectivists would stop trying to use cautionary tales as instruction guides.

        2. What are some examples of Type 3? Cause I admit I really liked a lot of the novels that a lot of readers didn’t. Children of the Jedi and Planet of Twilight are two of my all-time favorites, along with Matthew Stover’s spiritual trilogy of Shatterpoint, the ROTS novelization and Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor.

          1. Crystal Star is infamous for being written by a Star Trek author, and that being alarmingly clear. It’s widely considered one of the worst EU books, but I couldn’t tell you if that’s due to being genuinely bad or merely being totally off in tone. The pre-Thrawn Trilogy Lando “trilogy” (the whole thing is short enough to be a single book divided into three, as proven by re-releases of it as a single book) also has some artifacts of this.

            Besides Crystal Star and Lando, the examples that come to mind for Type 3 aren’t books. A few of the early comics had this kind of episode (including what I think is the only genuine example of travel backwards in time in the EU), and a few WEG/RPGA modules. The Otherspace module is widely considered one of the better modules WEG put out, and it’s kinda halfway between 1 and 3: A technology malfunction sends the heroes to a foreign dimension that defies physics filled with aliens who are genuinely alien in motives and appearance, but the thing is fundamentally a dungeon crawl with an interesting setting/antagonist for the heroes, who care more about getting home that the scientific implications of this place.

          2. @Bob: Well, TBH it’s been a long long time since I read any SW novels — I kinda quit them cold turkey when I realized I was reading basically the same story, with the same plot, over and over again. And I freely admit that this is all subjective. But for me, a good example of Type 3 is the Jedi Academy Trilogy. Kevin Anderson tried to write an epic kind of story — with great evils to be defeated, great heroes to defeat them, a character who went through the entire “hero’s journey”. But it didn’t work. It was slow, clumsy, turgid, and it lacked the things that make Star Wars work: the sense of wonder, the camaraderie among the main characters, and especially the humor. A Star Wars story needs humor to work, especially snark, but snark and epic stories just do not go together. I can’t think of even one epic SF or fantasy story or series I’ve read that had much snark in it.

            The other problem I saw in a lot of the SW novels I read was that they were bound by canon. They HAD to have the Imperial Remnant. They HAD to have an enemy for the Jedi, either a revived Sith Order or some “Sith in all but name” dark Force user. They HAD to have all the main characters in there somewhere. And they HAD to end up in basically the same place as they started, with nothing really changing. And the more the canon grew, the more limited each new novel became.

        3. I’d say there’s another type: Plain old adventure stories. There’s a good number of small stakes stories with personal or financial goal for the protagonist where the political impact is minimal, especially when you look at shorter media (short stories, episodic comics, young reader books, etc.). Han Solo breaking a guy out of jail to get a part for the Falcon, two children orphaned by the Death Star and their “uncle” (aunt’s husband’s brother) try to survive in an increasingly dangerous and horrific galaxy, a crotchety Han Solo+Leia and their granddaughter finally find the time to figure out who owned the Falcon before Lando, a young Obi-Wan joins Qui-Gon on various missions, Luke finds Obi-Wan alive but it’s actually an imperial trap that’s undone by the bait coming to love his role etc.

          1. I…kinda like Crystal Star.

            I actually just finished rereading it a few weeks ago. I’ve been rereading a lot of the pre-prequel stories, where the authors had more room to explore and there was still a veil of mystery about the Clone Wars and how Anakin fell.

            I’ll be the first to admit it: CS has flaws, but it’s got some strong points too. The main plot point is Han and Leia’s kids getting kidnapped, and Leia striking out on her own with Chewbacca to get them back, while separately Han and Luke are searching for lost Jedi on the eponymous Crystal Star world and find a cult under the sway of an extradimensional Eldritch Horror.

            CS does a lot to flesh out the personalities of Han and Leia’s kids as individuals (the twins are five years old and the little one is three-and-a-half) and those personalities stuck with them for most of the EU.

            It was the first book that had one of the kids as a principle viewpoint character, and I like the ‘childlike’ narration that went with that perspective.

            It was also a great way to make the villain loathsome, because we see him almost entirely through the perspective of the children he’s kidnapped and is planning to turn to the dark side and/or sacrifice to an eldritch abomination. Man I spent most of the book wanting him to get what he deserved, and it was so satisfying when he did.

            The book gives a great portrayal of a mother searching for her kidnapped children, the crippling fear and the determination to get them back.

            Luke didn’t come across quite so well, but again it was understandable – he had fallen under the sway of an eldritch abomination, something he’d had no experience with, and the book doesn’t ruin him like The Last Jedi. It’s made very clear that if Luke was at his full power and in his right mind, he’d be able to take down all the bad guys all by himself.

            Man I miss the times when writers had the problem of: “Luke Skywalker is so awesome and powerful he could solve all the problems himself, so how do we keep him out of the way?”

            Besides, Luke wasn’t the main POV character of that storyline, Han was, and he had to get to the bottom of this using only his wits and suddenly stripped of his most powerful ally.

            Yeah, there were some odd moments, contrived coincidences, and the characterizations weren’t quite right, but I’d still say the strengths outweighed the weaknesses.

        4. The X Wing books did a pretty good job of showing progress in the fight to liberate Imperial planets like Coruscant, and it wasn’t the OT MCs, but mainly a cast of X Wing pilots capitalizing on those big victories.

          1. The X-Wing novels, the Republic Commando novels(& game), and few others here and there, are my favorite ones.
            They are the ground level view of the universe, and by not being forced to work within the constraints of having the films main characters having to fit a mold and status quo, had a lot of flexibility.
            Not to say I didn’t like many of the mainline stories, but until NJO they did have the problem of the Empire in some form having to be the bad guys, no matter how pathetic or petty they actually were, or how many variations of superweapon you had to shoehorn in.

            Ironically, the best Star Wars product Disney has put out is also the most ignored, coming out right after the dumpster fires of the Obi Wan & Boba Fett show .
            Andor is surprisingly excellent on every level, better by far than the Sequels, or the other D+ shows.
            And it’s probably because it’s the least ‘Star Wars’ product put out, with no Jedi, no big space battles, no goofy sidekicks.
            But it’s also the most respectful to the franchise, with its story being about how the Rebellion we see in the original Star Wars got started, tieing together threads from the prequels, the OG trilogy, hints at the Legends stories from around the Clone Wars, all through the viewpoint of a character we know is doomed.
            It’s a spin off, of a spin off, about a secondary character that dies in his only other appearance, and it works.
            You can tell from interviews with the cast and writers that they are woke as hell, and wrote the show with current political views in mind, but apparently are talented enough to be able to write it in a way that it’s not obvious and works for the story being told, and unless you are deliberately going out of your way to find parallels you don’t notice because it all makes sense in context.
            It is very likely that Disney won’t let that happen again in S2, and will go out if their way to screw it up, just like all the streaming shows seem determined to do so with anything that gains traction and isn’t total crap.
            But right now it shows that Star Wars isn’t dead because they aren’t able to make good stories, it’s dead because they REFUSE to make good stories.

    2. “…but because the company (most likely) decided to give people of color and women a chance…”

      Yes, that is totally what he’s saying. Absolutely. /sarc/

      You can bend, spindle and mutilate the news all you want, but the truth is that Zahn sold and all the Disney picks didn’t. Is this because Mr. Zahn is a white male? Doubtful. Did the others tank because they are not white males? Doubtful.

      Because, can you tell the real race and sex of a book author? No, you can’t.

      They’re tanking because they can’t write a Star Wars book people want to read. Or they can but there weren’t allowed to, that could also be the case.

      Being non-White and non-Male confers no virtues, too bad so sad for y’all Lefties.

    3. What a stupid fucking post. 😀
      Seriously. You should be ashamed of yourself for writing something that fucking dorky.
      A. Chuck Wendig is a white male, you dope.
      B. In real life nobody gives a shit what color/sex authors are, and unless we’re famous, the people buying the books don’t even know. Since they mostly hired a bunch of people with no resumes, nobody had ever heard of, it ain’t like the fans are buying based on their race. The customers don’t know who they even are.
      C. I named two white dudes, because they’re the most POPULAR WITH THE FANS. I could have also named accomplished writers like Karen Travis (who wrote some popular ones for the EU) or Steven Barnes (who they just brought in to write a Mace Windu novel, who has an actual accomplished writing resume like I was talking about they should have picked to begin with).
      D. Quit hiding everything behind race/sex, you giant whinging chickenshit.
      E. DERP DERP FANDUMB. Motherfucker, those are the customers who pay the bills. Corporations disrespect their customers at their own peril.
      F. “the franchise goes on” tells me that you know jack shit about how business works. The franchise goes on, sliding into irrelevancy, bleeding good will, with declining numbers, a shitty box office, and poor stock performance. The biggest IP in history shouldn’t just “go on”, it should fucking dominate the industry. Even with the biggest marketing budget and starting Good Will to ever exist, they’re choking.
      G. Do you even sorta understand the concept of “return on investment” or “expected returns”, or do they not teach you that for your Grievance Monger Studies Degree?
      H. Fuck you are dumb.
      I. There is no I in Fuck You Are Dumb.
      J. You can bitch and moan about bloggers on YouTube, but if your 165 billion dollar corporation is getting taken down by fucking YouTubers, your product is utter shit.
      K. mew mew mew there’s a new movie scheduled! Dipshit, did you miss the part where Disney had to cancel like half a dozen other slated movies because of the much lower than expected performance of the shitty ones I’m talking about?
      L. “Eew! Girls!” Serious question, shit head. Have you ever actually read one of my books? I rock at writing strong female characters. Only unlike Kathleen Kennedy I can do it without making them implausibly good at everything, and without needing to dumb down all the male characters around them.
      M. And as much as you bitch and moan and cry with your Eew Girls strawman, Kathleen Kennedy fucked over the black dude. Stormtrooper turned Rebel? I could have wrote the shit out of Fin. She turned him into stupid comic relief, and then cut his balls off to try and make the Chinese Communist market happy. So go fuck yourself, culture warrior. You can’t hide their shitting writing behind your woke nonsense, because they suck at that too.
      N. The fact that you posted this right before Indiana Jones And The Strong Female Character had one of the shittiest openings for a movie of that size ever, from the same dumbfuck mega corporation I was complaining about, is highly ironic. It must have been those YouTubers who managed to convince all those millions of people to skip it. Whoever would have realized Fandumb Neckbeard Youtubers are better at marketing that a 165 Billion dollar megacorporation.
      O. Get fucked, scrub. Your posts are always this same tired culture warrior bullshit and the only reason I put up with them, is that refuting your stupid points is easy and amusing.

      1. Your description of Chuck Wendig in the article should have been a good enough reminder that you don’t mind picking on retards.

        Still. Daaaamn . . .

      2. Karen Travis is middling at best and herself a great example of burning Good Will (that time she compared fans to Taliban because they thought 3 million soldiers, less than individual nations fielded in the World Wars, wasn’t big enough for a galactic war). Kathy Tyers, Ann Crispin or even Mary Jo Duffy (Marvel comics) would be a better example of a female EU writer people liked (Sue Rostoni’s long time position as EU’s editor is also worth a mention).

      3. Like a lot of wokingtons, Lionel is a white supremacist who wraps racism in a coat of fake concern.

        1. I love how these supposed Leftist are now all lovey dovey about the big, all encompassing mega-corps now.

    4. Man, these “Fandumb Meance” guys sure lucked out that the lead female in the sequels was barely a character.

      Imagine if you just reflexively hate female characters not named Leia, Ellen Ripley, or Sarah Connor. Then the sequels come out with a female lead, and, shockingly, she’s barely a character whose only real trait is being immediately good at everything. Does she have a character arc? Kinda. Something to do with wanting her family back, but then wanting her family to be someone important, and then finally to have the Jedi “be with her”. So, I guess she wants family, and in the end she finds that family: the Skywalkers! Except all the Skywalkers are dead. Well, her lightsaber is yellow now, so that’s fun.

      So, yeah, you’re this misogynist basement dweller then Disney Star Wars comes along and hands you this carboard cutout of a lead female character. You were going to hate her regardless, but now you have the perfect cover! But, hold the presses, Lionel Braithwaite is on the case! He sees right through you neckbeards. You don’t hate her because she’s a bad character; you hate her because she’s a woman!

      Seriously, I’m not holding my breath for the new Rey movie to actually materialize, and, if it does come out, I’m not anticipating it to be very good. But if it does come out and Rey’s actually a character this time around, great! I think Daisy Ridley is a fine actress, and it’s a shame she got such lousy material to work with in the sequels. It was the same thing with Rose Tico. I was really hoping they’d redeem her character a bit in Rise of Skywalker, but, no. They just sidelined her. Which, considering everything else about Rise of Skywalker, probably did the character a favor.

      I didn’t want Star Wars to be the bland, vapid product it’s turned into, but it’s gotten to the point that I have no interest in Star Wars content. The exception being Andor, but even there I wish it were its own IP divorced from Star Wars. So, yeah, Disney managed to kill my lifelong interest in Star Wars, and I won’t be buying any of the books any time soon. Why? Well, to Larry’s point, Disney squandered my good will. Maybe I’m alone in that, but I doubt it.

      Also, the “Fandumb Meance”? Because they’re mean and dumb? I know you’re trolling, but have some self respect.

      1. You’re not alone. I laughed at Disney execs trying to blame Solo’s poor box office as “Star Wars fatigue.” Meanwhile, multiple Marvel movies a year were doing great still at that time. My husband and I were brought together by Star Wars, we went to the opening nights of movies, we dressed up as Jedi, the works. And the sequels ruined it and destroyed our Good Will. We didn’t bother with Solo or Episode IX. We actually refused to let my parents take our kids to Episode IX because we didn’t want any money from our family to contribute to that shitshow (and that was before it came out and it became apparent it actually exceeded expectations in how terrible it was).

        We’ve given them chances. We’ve tried. I love Ewan McGregor and how excited he was to reprise his role as Obi-Wan. The series was terrible and canon breaking and completely squandered what could have been an amazing show with Obi-Wan and the imperial spy adventuring around the galaxy saving Jedi and Force sensitives from the Sisters. But no, instead, Leia has to be kidnapped and rescued and have an extensive relationship with Obi-Wan even though her hologram in A New Hope makes it clear she doesn’t know him.

        Rogue One was great. Andor built up to be good. We’re otherwise ignoring all other Disney-era Star Wars things. We’ve been burned so hard that despite everyone, including in-laws who understand our position, recommending The Mandalorian, we can’t bring ourselves to watch it.

        Look, we’re among the half a dozen people that actually love the prequels, and Disney managed to bungle things so badly that they drove us off. They didn’t just throw away the Good Will of fans, they set fire to it, salted the ashes, then nuked the area just to be sure every iota was gone.

        1. If you want what the Kenobi show should have been, check out The Last Jedi (written by Michael Reaves & Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, no relation to Johnson’s poodoo).

      2. Cara Dune was a great character, possibly the best thing about The Mandalorian, so of course Disney had to erase her when they fired Gina Carano for the unspeakable sin of having a brain and free thought. I have neither watched nor read anything at all SW-related since that travesty. They couldn’t even not be hypocrites, and didn’t fire Pedro Pascal for the exact same thing they fired Carano for, because he’s a Commie rat bastard with the same ideologies as them.

    5. Dude. I’m a woman, and until wokeists took over the industry, I DID NOT CARE about authors’ identities. Now I’m made to care, because woke authors write hot garbage.

      Look, I loved Star Wars. From 8-16 years old, I devoured everything Star Wars that our little library had available – some 350 books – and loved them all (with the exception of the Galaxy of Horror series). My brother literally read through the entire Star Wars section, then moved on to the science section. He became an engineer because of Star Wars! Heck, we read through every entry of the Star Wars encyclopedia, that’s how obsessed we were.

      But then I developed a more discerning eye for prose, at about the time that Disney bought the franchise. I tried, I really did, to care about the new stuff. But aside from Timothy Zahn’s stuff, it was all terrible. Unfinishable. It was not because of the main character being a girl, because both my brother and I loved Mara Jade and Leia and Jaina and the Dathomirian witches. That was the not the problem. It was because the stories were crap, and had no respect for the previous material.

      If they had created a movie trilogy featuring an older Luke and Mara Jade, I would have watched the heck out of that. If they had worked in Outbound Flight and Grand Admiral Thrawn, or had even an ounce of respect for previous material, especially the best stuff, I would have definitely enjoyed it. I was prepared to like the new trilogy even so. But I couldn’t love it, because all the women were completely unlikeable, and I say this as a woman, and all the men were weak pushovers, not Rebels with a cause. We could’ve had a complex character like Mara Jade, and instead we got Rey, who never fails or learns from anyone else or grows in any way except to get more annoying.

    6. In the sense that the people who run the franchise have declared it a zero-sum game, and the greatness of any character must come at another’s expense – usually that of an established character.

      In the original EU/Legends there were plenty of great new characters introduced, men and women and characters of different races, and they were able to stand alongside the earlier established characters and be awesome.

      Now? Well it’s been pointed out: whenever a new character is elevated, it must be at the expense of another, and when one new character (Rey or Holdo) is elevated, other, oftentimes more interesting characters or those with more potential (Finn and Poe) have to be brought down.

      This most often occurs when the designated-hero is a girl. Usually a Kathleen Kennedy self-insert.

      So…yeah. Girls, ew. Because when I see a Disney heroine these days, I know I’m looking at someone who was elevated to a position she did not earn, by tearing down other who are more deserving.

      I’m far more interested in seeing male characters now: they have to struggle and they’re allowed to fail. Much more riveting.

      Congrats: you’ve created a misogynist.

    7. Wow. Larry talks about how good will was lost because they chose a low talent but extremely smug white guy to kick off the new Star Wars continuity. You read that and get “he just hates women and black people. Hmmph!”

      Then again, Seth Rogan, one of the palest, whitest guys is existence claims only “white supremacists” hate his crappy TV shows and films, so this seems to be a trend these days. 🤔😒🙄🙂

      1. Seriously, days later and I’m still marveling at how stupid that was.
        I make fun of them picking Chuck Wendig, shit tier writer, and angry twitter leftist, who is extremely white.
        And this stupid dork is all reflexively “U JUST MAD THEY GAVE WOMEN OF COLOR A CHANCE!”
        Motherfucker, Chuck Wendig is whiter than mayonnaise.
        But this is of course the same argument they use against me years later, where I’m a hateful bigot who hates minorities, for my crime of getting an actual diverse crowd of authors nominated for an award that was being overwhelmingly by white leftists.

    8. “Eew! Girls”
      this is the LIE you idiots keep repeating. None of the fans are upset by girls in movies. Ellen Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver is one of the most popular sci fi characters OF ALL TIME. This is because the writing was good, the plot was good, and the story was interesting. Her character development was well written and riveted the attention of the audience. Sci fi fans obviously have none of the biases you accuse them of. DISNEYS WRITING JUST SUCKS!

      1. The scene in Aliens where Ripley leads the queen away from Newt, only to emerge wearing the loader exoskeleton and declare “Get away from her you BITCH!” is one of my favorite action scenes ever. Sigourney Weaver is a great actress, but really great characters start with the quality of the writing.

    9. By prioritizing racist hiring practices Disney got less qualified writers and worse novels.

      The lower quality results in lower sales.

      The EXPECTED sales for Star Wars (and many Disney properties) is absolutely massive, eclipsing much of the competition, and being an almost guaranteed money maker.

      Star Wars is LOSING value because the story quality is so hamstrung by bad writing and bad publicity, much in part due to the combination of hiring for “diversity” (which has no intrinsic value as a goal, and only has value if attained by the results of freedom) and by management treating people who don’t like bad writing as something they are not.

      IE: The Star Wars/Lucasfilm Staff acting like it’s sexism and racism causing people to not like the movies, even though the movies would be awful regardless of the race, sex, and such of the characters.

      Also… white men can get hired by the far left companies if they toe the leftist line.

      1. Hariman – mild disagreement with your words, though I suspect you agree with what I’m about to chide you for:

        “‘diversity’ (which has no intrinsic value as a goal, and only has value if attained by the results of freedom”

        Isn’t quite right. The problem is that diversity of thought is valuable as people with a different perspective can grant you insights you would have no way of spotting yourself (good), yet ‘diversity’ as you used the term (I think) isn’t about diversity of thought, but diversity of external irrelevancies (skin color, genitalia, whether your red armband is solid or has a Buddhist symbol on it…..) all of which are entirely irrelevant to the merit of the written work.

        P.S. writing this I see the almost obligatory Werner Von Braun quote (and the Tom Lehrer song is playing in my head as I type this), but I meant that only as a reference that both kinds of red-armband-wearers regularly accuse (historically and presently) those who wear none as really wearing the wrong one, when we all just want them to defenestrate themselves from tall buildings.

  10. On Friday, my wife and I watched the Seattle Symphony perform the score of Return of the Jedi live in Benaroya Hall, as the movie played behind them. It was an amazing experience to see and hear an orchestra perform that incredible music and feel the impact physically.

    I was struck by a couple things: 1) the rescue plan from Jabba’s Palace makes no sense. It just works out, but if Jabba had done anything at all differently, they’d have been screwed, and 2) while they had their many flaws, the Prequels took what were a great story and enhanced it. In the Original Trilogy, Luke falls to the Dark Side, and could have been lost, but when he realizes how he and his father are the same, he crosses back. Eventually, his example brings Vader back as well.

    By showing Vader’s fall, and the atrocities that resulted, the Prequels actually enhance that scene, making that redemption even more powerful. Return of the Jedi has more weight now that the Prequels exist. The fact that the Sequel Trilogy does the opposite will make me resent them forever.

    1. On the subject of prequels enhancing the original: The ending of CG Clone Wars really puts Anakin’s whining about not being a “master” in a new prospective when you remember the standard (but not only) way to gain the title Jedi Master is to have a Padawan reach the status of Jedi Knight. There’s no doubt she’d have been a knight by RotS, if not already by the time she refused to come back (Test of Spirit is the only one I can’t think of her having completed, and there may be something that qualified)

      1. Great point. That adds a huge amount of important context.

        Ahsoka was also a master class on how to introduce a character to the audience. Filoni has talked about how she was intentionally annoying and immature at the beginning. The audience was not supposed to like her at first. However, that gave them a place to go, rough edges to sand down, relationships to improve over time.

        Ask Clone Wars fans how they feel about Ahsoka now and it’s a totally different story.

  11. I had the pleasure of coming across book critic KrimsonRogue who took apart Wendig’s “Aftermath.” It’s a fascinating (if long at 3 hours) deconstruction that’s an education for budding writers.

    1. I didn’t want to watch a 3 hour book review but I’m almost two hours in. Funny AND informative!
      Seriously, this guy writes like a bad movie or the sequels but I repeat myself. YOU CAN’T JUST NOT EXPLAIN HOW A CHARACTER SURVIVES DEATH BY MAKING THEM APPEAR SOMEWHERE ELSE!
      Though to be fair, he wrote this BEFORE Rise of Skywalker.

      1. >.> You might enjoy Mauler’s extensive analyses of The Last Jedi and Force Awakens.
        They’re LONG, but very information and analysis dense.

    2. I only heard a handful of the flaws of Wendig’s TP, but this is even worse than I thought. No wonder his cohorts are so afraid of AI.

  12. “Dance with the one that brought you,” seems like pretty good advice.

    I think the people producing Star Wars don’t like the one that brought them, and would rather have different fans. They’re making the product for those, hypothetical, fans.

  13. “I stand in awe at how incredibly terrible Disney is at this.”

    It makes you wonder if they’re doing it deliberately. Steering the USS Disney for the lighthouse and calling for ramming speed.

    But then you see ALL the other American media outlets from comics to books to TV and movies doing the same thing. And ALL their sales are -tanking- but they’re still doing it.

    Hottest selling comics in the USA are manga. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I suspect anime on Crunchy Roll and Hidive are cutting into Netflix pretty hard.

    1. Update, according to Axios 30% of video media viewed in the USA in 2020 was foreign content, mostly viewed with subtitles.

      It would be interesting to know how that trend is going now. I predict getting closer to 40%.

      1. I liked Alienoid and Gundala. Can’t wait for the sequels!

        Both are dubbed by the way.

        Currently watching The Wolf starring Talu Wang and Qin Li Zhan Xiao

    2. I can explain why they’re all doing it, and it’s the same reason Budweiser keeps doubling down on their idiocy: DIE controls the financial markets writ large, but waited until they had control before imposing their brand of idiocy.

      Here’s a lesson Larry could give, from a past life (or Owen, same reason): corporations do not have enough cash to pay their operating expenses, regardless of cash flow (obvious exceptions exist, but the larger you are the less likely you have liquid cash). Instead they invest their available cash into just about anything that’s likely to make money, then operate on revolving debt that they pay off as cash comes in.

      Here’s a clean example: suppose you’re Budweiser and you have booked sales of $1B this month in Bud Light, which you’ll receive at the end of the month. But you have payroll of $100M and material for next months batch for $400M due on the 15th – if you don’t pay then you won’t have any product to ship next month, but by the end of the month you have plenty of cash. Instead of always floating on $1B in cash (or even more to be sure you always have enough) you simply arrange for a short term line of credit of $10B, knowing this will be more than enough to cover any conceivable future (…not counting torching your own brand…) and any bank that is large enough would love to lend you that money because your cash flow is great and they’ll get more from you than from the Treasury (though only barely, because your cash flow and size imply you’re no real risk). As a result you don’t keep assets on hand (because you can make more money investing them, and banks tend to face greater investment regulation so they have to tolerate lower risks) and instead rely on overnight loans (this is what they’re called when banks lend to each other, same basic idea – you take a loan from today due tomorrow and roll it over every day until you receive your payments, then pay it off and repeat endlessly). So far no issues – this is (overly simplified) corporate finance: every larger company operates this way to some extent.

      Now comes DIE (I insist that’s how that acronym is spelled, and those who say it’s DEI are just praying to a deity they don’t really believe in) into the banks and add a new requirement: any company receiving a revolving loan like this must support DIE policies, or their loan will be revoked. Let’s analyze how this works, again using Budweiser as our example (yes, I know they’re AB InBev, but they’re different operating companies). Budweiser relies on having that loan to make payroll and fund next months batch – they invested all of their other liquid cash (to make a greater profit), and can’t as easily extract that money back out (and lots of it will have been paid to shareholders as both direct cash and to fund acquisitions, requiring a partial sell-off to raise capital, but with all of the consolidation there aren’t that many companies who would be interested in buying a piece of Budweiser, especially now as the Bud Lite fallout could land on them).

      But Budweiser has that loan already, I hear you cry. And under the new DIE terms to maintain that loan they have to kiss the DIE ring and (in this case) can’t disassociate themselves from their hole-in-the-ground hornets nest (I assume everyone knows what not to do with a hornets nest, no matter how warm and slippery it looks). This leaves Budweiser (and by proxy, Disney et al) in a conundrum (and here they are without inter dimensional insurance…): continue to back their prior FUBAR and keep their loan, or do what anyone would have done in the past: blame the last guy and distance themselves from that policy, except now doing so means they default on their revolving debt, don’t make payroll, and don’t have the funds to buy next months supplies – and because ALL of the mega-banks (that are large enough to roll that kind of money) have DIE policies that’s pretty much Budweisers only choice: to die.

      It’s actually a very clever strategy, if only it weren’t pure evil.

  14. “…but because the company (most likely) decided to give people of color and women a chance rather than two white dudes who’ve already written for it and because the usual members of the Fandumb Meance decided it was bad…”

    Hate to break it to you but those two white dudes wrote books that people wanted to read and they paid good money to do so. And the “fandumb Menace” (spelled it correctly for you) are paying customers who have decided that the product they’ve been spending their hard-earned money on simply isn’t worth spending on anymore.

    I could honestly give two fucks if you’re a person of colour of if you’re a woman as long as you can spin a damn good yarn. I don’t purchase books based off the author’s ethnicity, sexuality, political viewpoint, etc. I purchase them based off their ability to tell an entertaining story. And if they can do that then I’m likely to continue giving them my money. The writers Disney picked couldn’t do that and, because of this, their customer base has dwindled rapidly.

    Pretty simple concept to grasp, even for a lefty.

  15. ADF and CJ Cherryh have at least 15 movies-worth of material ready, and a dozen more classic authors could be done very well.
    But there is a blindness that tells executives they can only do reruns.
    It’s the same principle that makes all the cars look the same.

    1. No, modern cars all look the same because all the damn federal regulations mean there aren’t that many different legal ways to build a car anymore.

      I dunno about Cherryh, her work has never appealed to me, but I agree wholeheartedly about Alan Dean Foster. He has many books that would work as movies. I would love to see Into The Out Of made into a film – with modern special effects and a good cast, it would make the wretched garbage that is most modern “horror” crawl away and hide in the deepest, darkest cave it could find, too ashamed to ever show its face in public again. Cyber Way would make a great movie too.

      1. Regarding car regulations: it’s really just the CAFE standards that are doing it.

        CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards in the US (Europe is similar, yet somehow less dumb) add a tax to manufacturers if their fleet of vehicles doesn’t attain a specified average fuel economy, with that fuel economy increasing over time but decreasing with wheel footprint (wheelbase x track, not total area under the car), and because the relationship between wheel footprint and fuel economy standard isn’t linear but the engineering is that means that there’s a narrow space where it’s economical to build a car that still meets the CAFE standard, and every place where it is what gets sacrificed is compactness and fuel economy (somewhat conversely: a slightly smaller car will have to get significantly better fuel economy, so we don’t get small cars with great mileage but we do get huge cars with decent mileage – because those small cars would have to get fantastic mileage not to get hit with the giant CAFE tax and few want to buy a Honda Insight).

        Just to make it clear: no manufacturer has ever paid that tax. It’s the same reason we never see Kei cars in the US, why the new Maverick is as large as an F-150 from the 90’s, and why pickup trucks seem to be getting bigger – they are, or at least their wheelbase is lengthening, just so they can meet the new standards.

  16. Sidebar:
    Another good example of woke stupidity. Been reading J. Sandford’s stuff(“Prey” and” Flowers”, etc.) for quite a while. Write entertaining stuff.
    Except the recent new ones I picked up are stuffed full of smart-ass, superfluous, woke crap – anti-gun, anti repub, etc – every few pages.
    Don’t need that crap in books I read for enjoyment. Don’t care what his politics are(although there ain”t no mistaking them now). Just pissed me off that that’s one more writer I won’t waste my time with anymore.

  17. I’m reading the third Thrawn Ascendency novel by Timothy Zahn right now, and I can not state enough how much I adore the character of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
    It makes it all the more tragic knowing what Disney is going to do to him on the live action front. Their writers have no idea what to do with a character like him. He’s far too clever for their writers to not only write him, but to write his defeat. He’s going to be another generic bad guy who trips over his own feet due to his own arrogance, which is a trait that Thrawn does NOT possess, He’s humble, brilliant, and nuanced. None of these qualities scream “Disney.”

    1. To be fair, Thrawn did trip over his own arrogance in his original trilogy by taking the Noghri for granted.

      1. Eh, I’d call it more a variable he didn’t consider, though I don’t remember the exact circumstance. Wasn’t it revealed that Thrawn had been manipulating them? I should really read those again, it’s been a while.

        1. Also, Thrawn couldn’t have known that Luke and Leia and Leia’s kids were descendants of Darth Vader – and thus the targets he was sending the Noghri after were children and grandchildren of the man they had sworn to serve.

          1. That was Thrawns weakness. Even though he tried to be on guard against his own arrogance, he relied so much on being able to predict what everyone would do based on his assessment of them, that he couldn’t account for unknown variables.
            He wasn’t ‘arrogant’ so much as overreliant on knowing how people would jump and overly complex plans to keep his enemies from predicting him.
            And once he made an assessment, he didn’t change it until it proved wrong.
            Up until he got stabbed in the chest, he hadn’t had real cause to reevaluate the Noghri, because of information he had no way of knowing.
            He also had no reason to change his relationship with the Noghri, because it was a system that he inherited and his claim to their loyalty was reliant on the deception he inherited.
            He knew how the Noghri worked and enough to rely on them, changing it risked changing that relationship that was already in his favor.
            He was still the bad guy, and still believed in ends justifying the means.

    2. I KNOW! It frustrates me immensely, but an author can only write characters as intelligent as they are, and the people at Disney are clearly not of the caliber they’d need to write a good Thrawn. Of course, they could bring his original creator on, but they would never, because he’s too White or something.
      While I would be just as happy to avoid a Yuuzhan Vong arc, in the books Thrawn also had legitimate reasons for wanting the galaxy to have a stable, unified government, which makes him an excellent antagonist.

      1. Well, there ARE tricks on how to write characters who are smarter than you, but I doubt the hacks at Disney have bothered.
        If you read the Thrawn origin novels one thing becomes clear: From the perspective of military engagement, Thrawn CANNOT BE BEAT. He has his weaknesses, but not on the field of battle. You can surprise him, but outsmarting takes a tactician of equal or better skill. One of the reasons he cannot be beat in this way is simple: He chooses his battles, and he’ll never choose a battle where he has insufficient information to win.
        In two of the books so far he won by putting himself as bait because he had enough information to tell his subordinates how to win and enough knowledge and respect for their abilities to know they could pull it off, even if they didn’t. In one of these situations he won a battle while standing on the bridge of the enemy admiral’s ship!
        And he won’t put himself OR his crew in danger for what he sees as a lost cause. Even if an enemy manage to surprise him with overwhelming force, his main objective will be to escape, and given he’s a better tactician than anyone else, he’ll probably be able to.
        Thrawn is my fictional man-crush. The only money of mine that will ever go to Disney again will be when Zahn rights this character.

        1. In the original trilogy, he’s also really, really good at getting his enemies to overestimate his plans and overthink how to deal with him- reducing their effectiveness.

  18. Oh jeeze i dunno larry surely the guy who came up with herkily jerkily is a literary wit on par of the likes Dickens and Shakespeare.

  19. The classic text on advertising is Jerry Della Famina’s “From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor”- it’s the non-fiction book that was loosely adapted as “Mad Men”.
    In it, he talks a lot about loss of goodwill- ironically in the context of beer advertising.
    And once goodwill is gone, it’s not coming back. You can’t shame people into having good will again.

  20. Part of it’s the political garbage, but the other part is simply that nothing big or important can be allowed to happen in novels anymore. With the shift to visual mediums, all the big events are portrayed on screen.

    Hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when there were no new SW movies or shows, and if you wanted to know more about what was happening in the Galaxy Far Far Away, you had to – gasp! – read.

    Some great stories and arcs were told, and some epic events occurred in print. That’s also when the SW universe was fleshed out for a lot of fans, those who were unfamiliar with the pen-and-paper SW games.

    This was also when the ‘science’ of science fiction was emphasized. For all the criticism that SW were really fantasy stories with SF trappings, the novels were where SW’s style met the physics of space travel and different alien biospheres were explored in depth.

    I think the shift from a primarily visual medium from a print one has not served the franchise well. Contrast that to what’s going on now, where giant fleets appear and are disposed of effortlessly. Compare it to, say, the depth of logistics in the Song of Ice and Fire novels contrasted with the teleportation and contrived developments in the Game of Thrones series.

    Never thought I’d say this, but the dearth of SW content on screen was probably the best thing that could have happened to the franchise.

    1. For example, in the original Thrawn novels, the Imperial Remnant was struggling for warship, to the point that an abandoned fleet of 50-year-old warships was a major help.
      Contrast to the Disney movies, where the “Not Really The Empire” has an endless supply of shiny new giant ships.

      1. JJ: “Yeah just have them rise out of the ice, it looks cool.”

        “That doesn’t make any sense! None of this makes any sense!”

        JJ: “With enough visual dazzle and swelling, ominous music, it doesn’t have to.”

        I cannot begin to express how floored I was with awe when the secret of the Hand of Thrawn was revealed in Specter of the Past/Vision of the future.

        And it didn’t come out of nowhere. It made perfect sense for Thrawn’s people to have been doing all this in the time between Heir to the Empire and that duology.

        If only we could’ve seen Thrawn – or Thraawn I guess – return, now having to fight on the side of his old enemies Luke, Leia, Han, Mara and there rest against an even greater threat in the NJO storyarc.

        I can even imagine Leia facing down Thrawn in the negotiation, say the – emphasis it – New Republic would agree to join forces.

        Thrawn holds her gaze, gives a slight nod of respect and says yes, he’d welcome help from the New Republic.

        (Thrawn always called them the Rebels or the Rebellion, she has him recognize them by having him call them The New Republic)

        The only flaw would be that it would diminish Pellaeon, who really got to shine.

      2. And later books were aware of how critically important major shipyards are to naval power and how devastating their loss is. Star Destroyers of any kind are big deals and the Remnant mostly fielded Strike Class cruisers because they could keep making them.

        I think one of the Rat comics outright has Ackbar say “Who cares?” when people wonder where this massive military strength came from. WTF?

        1. Thrawn was even extra careful about not using Stormtroopers carelessly, as they only had so many.

          The great thing about Zahn’s trilogy is just how much it felt like watching one of the movies. I’ve read a lot of Legends & newer novels, and that one captures that feel the best of all of them.

          1. Thrawn was the best thing that could’ve happened to the Empire at that time: a commander who knew how to work with limited resources rather than the bloated, wasteful monster the Empire was in its prime, someone who had no use for anything but competence and could instill this approach in his under-officers.

  21. On a related note, Netflix will be making Narnia movies or shows, and they’ve got the woman who made the Barbie movie to do it.

    I’m pretty sure at this point that it’s not even about cashing in on those old properties, it’s about actively and deliberately ruining them and all they stand for so that the next generation won’t even look at them.

    1. Well, they’d optioned it, they have it “in development”….but a lot of book properties they’ve optioned that seemed certain at one point ended up languishing in development due to the immense cost (Bone, Redwall, etc)….we’ll see. 😕

  22. Related to this post and in some ways not at all related to this post…

    Taking a wild stab in the dark here. Posting with hopes that someone here has better knowledge than I about the interworking of authorship and publishing.

    I am an amateur writer who has finish his first “novel” – after three drafts.

    I moved to the next step, stars in my eyes and hope in my heart to find an agent to get the ball rolling on putting this thing out there. To say that the stars dropped out of my eyes and my heart dropped was an understatement.

    Ev-er-y agent I come across is… let’s just say… their values do not align with my values. The intersection of of our respective Eulerian circle in a Venn Diagram only has one object in that and it is books. (Ok maybe ‘human,’ but that proof is suspect at best.) I do not believe they would be championing anything I wrote, as it doesn’t check some of their glaring, obnoxious boxes.

    So I post here as Larry Correia, from the moment I first read MHI to newer works, appeared to be an author I could tell didn’t care much for “modern day sensibilities”.

    Is there an agent in the post-sanity world that I can reach out to? Or are they all secretly creatures of the night with half shaved heads and blue hair?

    1. It doesn’t mater if they share your values, it matters if they are professionals. Towards that end, I’d research who represents people who are conservatives. If they do, they are professionals, and the personal belief don’t matter to them, representing their clients should. Finding a good database and looking through their author listings might be a good way to check.

      That said, I’d also do some consideration of not using an agent, whether its worth it going indy, etc.

  23. I looked out of morbid curiosity, didn’t get through it, and like Bob, I’m to the point I just don’t care anymore. Disney has dug so many holes with their actions it is becoming like a minefield trying to ‘dance’ between the traps.

  24. When I was talking my account classes for a degree in Business Management, heard about good will. But didn’t have time to learn how to actually account for it. Is there a formula that is used to help factor it in for the bottom line?

    1. There is. It is part of a company’s valuation.
      Also, not my area so I have no idea how under GAAP that’s actually calculated for brands.

      1. I’m trying to post a link to an article about an “impairment” charge that seems to relate to the issue of accounting for diminishing value of brand. Looks ugly…

    2. I can answer, primarily from an M&A perspective.

      Goodwill = SalesPrice – Assets – Liabilities

      This means Goodwill is the extra cost (or discount in cases of bad will) that is paid for a company beyond its basic market valuation.

      And can only (technically) be determined through sale. The rest of the time it’s an estimate. During M&A analysis we’ll calculate it with two different models, and dozens of variations on each, then argue until we decide on one to use, which gets factored into the Offer price. The two primary methods are
      1) Cashflow (calculate the present-value of all future expected revenue and expenditures, sum it all up and that’s the present-day cash value of a company – in other words if you neither improve not degrade it this is the value if you borrowed to pay for it. With companies who do the buying expecting to improve that)
      2) Comparison (look at other companies in the same field who have been sold – preferably recently – and adjust for their relative value – this is how home appraisals are done)

      Each method has its own merits and points of failure, most of which have to do with what assumptions you bake into them – are you projecting increasing sales because of a larger population? Expansion to other countries (and so a larger sales base)? Price hike because you think the current management is underpricing their product to competitors? Flat sales because of a changing market (ex: Coke saw this in the 1990s and started bottling water as a long term trend of sugary drink consumption was negative, leading to Coke Zero which has since transformed into Coca-Cola Sugar Free and which has the exact same branding as Coca-Cola Classic except it’s black on red rather than white on red)? A changing regulatory market?

      As a rule, acquisitions happen when a potential investor values a company more than the current owner (ignoring Twitter on purpose here), and so necessarily thinks they’re goodwill is greater than the current owners (or think they’re underusing their other assets and want to repurpose them – whether it be workers, factories, or anything else).

  25. The people who whine about how the fans hate the new Star Wars movies because of “strong female characters” never mention Rogue One for some reason. Jyn Erso was a “strong female character” if ever there was one, but she was no damn Mary Sue! She didn’t miraculously acquire skills that normally take years of training to acquire overnight, she wasn’t superhuman, she made mistakes…and I wept when she didn’t make it out alive. Rey, OTOH…if Kylo Ren had chopped her into sushi for her temerity in picking up a lightsaber and challenging him, I’d not have cared one bit.

    1. There’s also Mara Jade, Mon Mothma, Winter, Darth Zannah, Darth Cognus, and a few others.

      1. I’m curious as to how “Ashoka” is going to be received.
        It has a lot of potential to be really, really good- but there’s even more potential for Darth Kennedy to insert THE MESSAGE!!!!, and make it really annoying.

    2. Andor is a surprising parallel to this. Bix, Maarva, Mon Mothma, Vel, even Dedra the Imperial Security agent are all good takes on strong female characters in different ways without being Mary Sue’s. And one of them is even openly a lesbian and it doesn’t have much of a bearing beyond being background character dynamic.
      The writers and actors on that show are very openly all for The Message, and talk extensively about how it can be interpreted in a very woke manner, but it’s a good story first, that fits in the context of Star Wars very well, and is pretty damn universal in its messaging in that it can be paralleled with pretty much any tyrannical government and resistance movement in history.
      Despite what the cast seem to think, oppression, tyranny, racism(of which there is actually very little in Andor, beyond the multi-ethnic Imperial garrison in the heist arc disparaging the multi-ethnic indigenous people, mostly for their religious beliefs, and not, you know their race) and unjust laws and prison and prisoner exploitation aren’t a wholly unique American invention from just the last 20 years.
      Also, every bad guy, from the girl boss woman, the wannabe security guard, the professorial head of the ISB, and everybody in between, are all somehow Trump proxies.

  26. “A couple it appears they were picked because they checked proper social justice boxes”

    It’s Bob “Blackrock’s Bitch” Iger’s Disney and Kathleen “Overpromoted Mattress to the Stars” Kennedy’s Star Wars, EVERYONE has to tick at least one “socjus” box to be hired.

  27. there should be a movie about corporations stalking and destroying good will. call it “Good-Will Hunting”.

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