I am forming the Resistance Against Disney


I am dismayed. You may have heard the announcement of all the brand new content that will be coming to the Disney+ channel — Disney just dumped their entire agenda on everyone all at once — and rather than reacting with glee as most people seem to be doing, I see a desolation.

New shows in the Star Wars universe, including one featuring fan favorite characters Ahsoka Tano, were applauded by fans on social media during the announcement. Three additional Marvel series were revealed as well as a holiday special featuring the cast of “The Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Did no one learn a lesson from the Star Wars Holiday Special? It was only 42 years ago, and we’ve already forgotten the tragedy.

But this is the real horror.

Kareem Daniel, head of the company’s new media and entertainment distribution group, revealed that Disney+ will become home to 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series and 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar films.

In the world of Star Wars, Disney+ will add two new series from Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, the masterminds behind “The Mandalorian” — “The Rangers of the New Republic” and “Ahsoka.”

There will also be a series called “Lando” that follows the smooth-talking Lando Calrissian from the original trilogy of films as well as a series called “The Acolyte” which takes place during the final days of the High Republic. It has been dubbed a “mystery-thriller.”

These shows will join already announced series “Andor,” “Kenobi,” and the animated series “The Bad Batch.”

Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, teased fans that Hayden Christensen will reprise his role as Darth Vader in “Kenobi” along with Ewan McGregor in the title role. She also clarified that the series, helmed by Deborah Chow, will take place 10 years after the events of “Revenge of the Sith.”

Oh my god.

Look, I enjoy a good Star War, or an occasional Superhero, and I’m happy for all you Marvel/Star Wars fans. I’m one of you. But this is like sitting down to a banquet and discovering that the gigantic table is covered with pies and gorgeous French pastries and baklava and chocolate and cake and caramel-coated sweetmeats and…no. That’s not right. Too much diversity. The table is covered with pies. Nothing but different kinds of pies.

I like pie, in moderation. A diet of nothing but pie is not good for you, though, and a table full of pies would just make me yearn for a salad. Maybe I’ll indulge in one slice of pie — that “Rogue Squadron” directed by Patty Jenkins is awfully tempting — but I’m actually repulsed by all these sequels and variations on the same old 40+ year old stories. Haven’t the kids done anything interesting lately? Are we to live forever in the reminiscences of boomers? How about something new?

We should also be concerned that this is coming from the Disney empire, which wants to gobble you up and lock you in and tie up intellectual property forever, and has managed to buy up most of the popular entertainment franchises and is well on their way to their goal: One Mouse to rule them all, One Mouse to find them, One Mouse to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. We’re going to be trapped in the house that Mickey built, and we’re going to be fed nothing but pies, sweet delicious pies, forever.

Anyway, I’m not subscribed to Disney+, and I’m not going to. I’m instead hoping that the monopoly will fuel a new pirate renaissance to deliver me a pie now and then, and that there will arise new, savory, healthy menus outside the walled garden of sugar.

Comments

  1. tacitus says

    Christmas specials are a long and storied tradition in the UK. Some of the best episodes of all-time favorites have been Christmas specials, so there’s no reason why a Guardians of the Galaxy special shouldn’t be good, if they know what they’re doing.

    As for the rest, yeah, I agree. The increasing dominance of the major sci-fi franchises is bad news for lovers of science fiction. Why risk millions on creating a completely new show like Firefly, Farscape, The Expanse, or Babylon 5, when you know yet-another-spinoff all but guarantees those millions?

    It’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s getting worse. The creators of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica originally wanted to create an entirely new show based on artificial intelligence, but they couldn’t get a foot in the door until it was tied into the BSG universe. It was canceled after one season anyway.

    I have been watching the Mandalorian. It’s okay, but aside from the production values, which are great, I haven’t been that impressed so far. The low point was the recent episode where they raid an old empire base. It was a completely unoriginal episode that’s been done before many times in the various animated series over the last couple of decades.

  2. says

    If they want to make a comic book movie, I honestly couldn’t think of a better series to adapt than I Kill Giants.

    But, of course, it’s different, so the accountants don’t know how to predict the profits. It’s the same problem they had with making Black Panther or Captain Marvel – if the hero isn’t a white (or, green, I suppose) guy, the profit calculators are just thrown out the window. Good story? Compelling villains? Great special effects? Imaginative battles? Surprising twists? Who knows what makes a movie good besides penis?

    But grade school heroine Barbara was swinging a hammer without first swinging a dick, so no one knew what to make of it. In the end it got modest funding, the screenplay was written by the writer of the graphic novel which has its good points, but he had no co-writer experienced with movie making. And you know what? The movie ended up really good. The critics liked it. I liked it. But not nearly enough people watched it.

    And now you’re going to get the same protests from accountants: we need big dick swingers. But when good stories get good budgets, whether the protagonist is a white guy isn’t going to be the difference maker in the profits.

    So why not give movies like I Kill Giants the attention they deserve?

    Whoops! Woodadone! But too busy making the next Hawkeye, sorry!

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Big companies tend to favor a quick buck.
    I am told Alien will be made into a TV series, causing further inflation of the core concept. “Less is more” is not a popular aphorism.
    Even if this not as excreable as P vs A it still sucks.
    Sometimes I wish I had a magic book with a list of people I wished would drop dead. A kind of….death…list.

  4. microraptor says

    tacitus @3:

    The creators of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica originally wanted to create an entirely new show based on artificial intelligence, but they couldn’t get a foot in the door until it was tied into the BSG universe. It was canceled after one season anyway.

    Which is ironic, since being a prequel to BSG was one of the things people cited as why it didn’t do well, both because it was considered a forgone conclusion and because the last season of BSG left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    TBH, the moment I heard that Disney had successfully acquired FOX was the point where I decided that the company had gobbled up too big a share of the American entertainment industry. I’m similarly concerned about Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll this week, which means that they’re now poised to control about 80% of all anime imports into the US.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Richardelguru @ 2, good idea. We will let Totoro play with the studio executives for a while before he eats them.
    The really evil ones we feed to the shape shifters in Wicked City.

  6. lumipuna says

    Totoro eats monsters?

    I’m rather thinking that scene in Spirited Away where Chihiro throws a ball of magic medicine into the possessed Kaonashi’s mouth.

  7. PaulBC says

    I grew up in an anti-Disney family. It doesn’t mean I didn’t watch some Disney classics, and even the Wonderful World of Disney would be on our TV, etc. I just felt bad about it, and I knew we weren’t going to Disneyland or Disney World under any circumstances. I’m not entirely sure what our family gripe was about, but it was tied into politics and probably opposition to a materialist worldview. Warner Bros. cartoons were just fine and I spent a lot of time watching Looney Tunes without guilt.

    As the Disney corporation has acquired more properties that I like, it’s increasingly hard just to strike them off the list. I gave up a long time ago. I still won’t go to their theme parks (and I hate lines so that’s a win anyway). There is in any case nothing very difficult about being anti-Disney (except that they own a giant chunk of the entertainment industry not always recognizable as Mickey Mouse).

  8. says

    I don’t think I would have signed up for Disney$ if it was free. They can keep SW and cram it up their ass for all I care, that franchise was lost decades ago with the prequels.

    Season 5 of The Expanse is less than a week away, why should I care about any of the shait that Disney&Marvel excretes? Some of the Netflix series were pretty good, but even Daredevil went out on a brown note.

  9. lumipuna says

    How about just turning No Face loose in Disneyland with a VIP wristband?

    In the current pandemic situation, do they let visitors with No mask into Disneyland?

  10. lumipuna says

    Disney+ will become home to 10 Marvel series, 10 Star Wars series, 15 Disney live-action, Disney Animation, and Pixar series and 15 Disney live action, Disney Animation, and Pixar films.

    …And a partridge in a pear tree.

  11. lotharloo says

    One good thing about video games is that there is no shortage of new franchises and new creations. Of course most of them use the same old ideas and cliches but I guess same is true for movies anyways. But you can still fine very unique and well thought-out worlds out there.

  12. numerobis says

    I’m currently benefiting from the Mouse against which Resistance is Futile: some of the Resistance ran off to found a new studio after their parent got bought out — and they needed help setting it up.

    But anyway: resisting the Mouse by not watching it is weak sauce. You need to affirmatively watch something else (and pay for it, so there’s financing available for others to produce new content).

  13. wzrd1 says

    I’m stuck at pies.
    Mincemeat or pot pie?
    Oh wait, we’re talking about Disney, the pothole of entertainment. Where soup is boiled into tastelessness, then served up as fresh, because it’s served up while firecrackers are going off, leaving one with confetti decorated soup.

    My cheese grater offers superior gratification.
    Shit, gotta order more cheese, I’m nearly out.
    While I’m at it, I’ll order some pot pies. The entire process will be more stimulating than any Disney product.

  14. ksiondag says

    YAS, piracy.

    Also, YAS, pay the entertainers who need more resources.

    Though, lately the Mandalorian stuff I could get elsewhere has random bits of silence for some reason? So, I’m paying for Disney+ again. Will cancel it shortly. Perhaps WandaVision won’t have this issue.

  15. unclefrogy says

    I was talking with my son the other day and he was talking about his delving into what was on TV back in different periods and I was reminded that there was a few seasons when there was almost nothing but private eyes and westerns in prime-time in the top ten. They do that for awhile then it fizzles out so then they jump on the next thing and beat it to death like spy shows.
    The studios seem to always think ‘this is what they want we can make more money by just doing that”
    The new thing often seems to come from some where other then the studios funny that. How different is it from the 1930’s &40’s?
    uncle frogy

  16. PaulBC says

    unclefrogy@20 They seem to be going gangbusters with supernatural everything. I am watching Lucifer to get some mileage out of my Netflix subscription, but it’s basically a one-joke comedy: “I’m Lucifer Bloody Morningstar.” which I admit is pretty good when Tom Ellis says it. I guess that’ll keep me amused for a while. It’s also a cop show. I watched half of season 1 and it hit me “This is a freaking cop show!”

    It’s, you know… fine… but I would far prefer nearly anything by Joss Whedon, and I think he’s probably to blame for all this anyway.

    I also know many people who liked The Good Place a lot, but I thought that after an amusing treatment of trolley problems, it went off the rails (so to speak) into nothing but in-jokes about the the characters that required total fan commitment to care about.

  17. says

    One thing that is important to keep in mind is these aren’t your grandmother’s pies! That is to say, these series on streaming services are not like series we’re used to on broadcast TV where there might be 20+ episodes in a season. The Mandalorian has had only 8 episodes in a season. So 3 series like that would be equivalent to something on broadcast TV. And you could fit 6 series into year’s time if only one episode is shown a week. (Note, too, they’re unlikely to follow your typical broadcast TV schedule of shows starting in the fall. They may start whenever Disney finds it convenient to do so.) Yes, after dividing by 3 or 6, that’s a lot of Star Wars and Marvel content in production. But it’s also important to recognize that it’s not going to be the case where we’ll have all 10 Star Wars shows running at the same time. It’s more likely it will be 2 at a time. Though, yes, once you add Marvel and everything else into the mix, that’s a lot going on at one time. But how is that much different than broadcast TV? In short, let’s be sure we’re applying appropriate perspective to this.

  18. robro says

    “Disney dismay”…now there’s a concept for you. Opposite of their main theme: “Disney delight”…which is more a “Disney illusion” fostering the painful “Disney delusion.”

  19. unclefrogy says

    @24
    there is also the effect that streaming is having on how the audience watches the programing if programing is even accurate anymore.
    the programing has been disconnected from the clock and increasingly from the calendar as well. they are becoming more as much a kind of literature then a kind of theatrical experience all of it seems to be available any time and any place around the world without a lot of difficulty. All of the producers are scrambling to adapt to the changing entertainment environment.
    uncle frogy

  20. hemidactylus says

    @3- tacitus

    Oh yeah Crapica. The new show Next has taken a stab at evil AI. It started off with promise but seems to be too 24ish and I don’t know if it’s me burnt out on suspense because pandemic stress but I can’t do much else than comedy (eg-Community reruns) anymore. I’m fried out to the core. Spent.

  21. says

    @Leo Buzalsky:

    Note, too, they’re unlikely to follow your typical broadcast TV schedule of shows starting in the fall. They may start whenever Disney finds it convenient to do so.

    They’ve actually said that they intend to schedule things so that there is “exciting new content every week”. Now, that might just mean one new episode of one show, but I think that they intend it to be at least one new episode of one featured show. With NatGeo & whatever else they have they’re obviously going to release more than one thing per week. (Netflix does & Netflix is much smaller than the Disney empire.)

    So, I expect that when Mandalorian ends in just another 7 days they’ll cue up a couple “featured” holiday whatevers & then by early January the content that people are actually wanting to see will show up.

    WandaVision is Jan 15th, Falcon & Winter Soldier is March, & Loki’s first episode is released in May, so this is an every-other month cadence for Marvel, 6- 8 episodes… so not quite enough to go all the way from one finale to the next premiere with no more than a week’s gap, but close.

    There are 2 other series that are scheduled for “Fall 2021” and “Late 2021”, so it looks like that won’t keep up that cadence all year. What to do in the meantime? Step up Star Wars. There’s at least one series that might debut “mid 2021” and if I read things correctly, there’s actually two expected “mid 2021”. So a may Loki series would end in late June or early July, with one to two SW series in “mid 2021” that should take us to the end of August or early September, which isn’t “fall” by astronomer’s reckoning, but even early September counts as fall for most people.

    So, all of this is to say that, yes, they’re not at all following the typical schedule of a TV network where all the new series start at roughly the same time twice a year: fall + another spurt of new series that have shortened seasons and are summer only to bridge the content gap from the end of the main season in May to the new TV season end of Sep/beginning of Oct.

    This also makes it seem b/c I’m up on all this that I’m actually in favor of spending your money with disney. I’m not. No judgement if you watch things while hanging out with someone else who paid for it, but I wouldn’t give my money to disney.

  22. says

    As long as you’re willing to pay for whatever tripe they’re serving, they’ll continue to serve up the worst tripe they can. The only solution is to stop watching their tripe — and then it doesn’t matter what they’re making, anyway.

  23. wajim says

    News Flash: “Old Man Yells at Pies. Film at 11.” I’m on your side PZ, but I don’t even know what “Disney+” is as I don’t watch TeeVee. Haven’t for twenty-five years now. Much happier for it.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    I would accept something from Disney if it was a bit unpredictable.
    Like, one of the members in Scooby-doo is a serial killer.
    In Lucifer, you could introduce Mads Mikkelsen as an indestructible stone killer with the potential to kill Lucifer and God….
    Re-introduce Murder She Wrote but she is coverlng up a horrible secret from the past, and must sacrifice people to some Elder entity to stay alive.
    I Dream if Geanie produced by David Lynch.

  25. hemidactylus says

    @33- Erlend Meyer

    Oh yeah Person of Interest is one of my all time faves (shared responsibility with Hawaii Five-0 reboot to shelter displaced Losties). Thanks for giving it props.

    An upside of Next is a strong female lead, but Person of Interest excelled at strong female characters (the Root-Shaw tension filled dynamic). Two episodes I have watched way too much of are Shaw’s quite violent debut and the death of Carter revenge episode. The latter is a guilty pleasure. Women and Man on Fire.

    And Elias’s immortal quote: “Well, there remains a debt. Civilization rests on the principle that we treat our criminals better than they treated their victims, that we not stoop to their level… But you and I are outliers; we’re not really a part of civilization. We’re something… older. Which means, of course, that we can do the things that civilized people can’t. I offered to kill you for Detective Carter many times, and she always said no. She was civilized to the very end. I don’t think she liked me. But I liked her very much. You killed her. So now I consider it my responsibility to fix the particular problem that is you, Officer Simmons.”

    Samaritan was the evil AI and I loved Decima’s little false flag twist. Nolan’s uncle reminded me of cigarette smoking guy from X Files. Creepy. Well cast.

    The persona the Machine chose toward the series end during Harold’s prison break was haunting. And apt.

    Thankfully BSG, Person of Interest, and The Strain had short series spans. All excellent shows. Next just seems like a cyber extension of 24.

Leave a Reply