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The theater went dark as I put my phone on silent. I stuffed a handful of popcorn in my mouth, my cheeks puffing out like a chipmunk’s, and washed it down with a crisp, refreshing, ice cold beer. I was ready. After the disaster that was “The Last Jedi,” the horrible cinematic excretion that abandoned the simple good versus evil story with laser swords we all know and love to create an unfamiliar, twist-based story with pointless side plots and lazy character development, there’s no way they were going to screw up a Han Solo spinoff, right? I mean, you’d think they’d put the time in to ensure that they made their fan base happy and bounced back from their mistake. Right?! Wrong. The movie was average. The plot was adequate. Han and Chewie are always a good team. There were some cringeworthy moments that really hit it hard, but didn’t kill it. But it didn’t feel like a Han Solo movie until about halfway through. And perhaps average would have been okay if “The Last Jedi” hadn’t been a dumpster fire. But it was a box office bust. It did so poorly, in fact, that Disney has put all other Star Wars spinoffs on hold and is focused on the final movie in the trilogy. If Episode IX crashes and burns, someone is getting fired for sure.
But Star Wars is not the only victim of Hollywood resurrecting old franchises and butchering them. Consider the Jurassic Park franchise. The original is an American classic. “The Lost World” is not nearly as good, but is still entertaining and stayed true to the original. Then came Jurassic Park III, which was a miserable, wretched failure. The return of Sam Neill did not save the movie. “Jurassic World” did very well, as it brought back the member berries from the original. Member the the dinosaur zoo on the tropical island that descends into chaos because playing God is dangerous? I member! And that’s exactly what happens, except Chris Pratt has pet raptors and the scientists create a mega dinosaur or something. Because after three movies they haven’t learned that you shouldn’t create a dinosaur zoo. So, naturally, they have now created a sequel to “Jurassic World,” because why not? And while it’s not bombing as badly as “Solo,” the critics have slammed it with what is averaging out to about a 6/10. And rightfully so. The genetically-altered dinosaur schtick and the bring-dinosaurs-to-the-mainland schtick are played out at this point. They’re just making different iterations of the same movie.
I don’t even want to talk about what they did to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My God.
They’ve also butchered the Terminator franchise. The first two films were fantastic. One could even say the third was quite good, and no scene will ever haunt me the way the final scene of that movie did as the nuclear holocaust began. But then “Terminator: Salvation,” while, to be fair, was the next logical part of the story, was completely awful, and was followed by “Terminator: Genisys,” another terrible but somehow successful movie. I mean, how do you break story continuity and play a multiverse time travel game with Terminator? Come on, man. And now they’re about to come out with a new Terminator next year, which will supposedly be a direct sequel to “Terminator 2.” Basically, the sixth movie will fit in between the second and third. As if dealing with the “Westworld” timelines wasn’t enough, now I have to mess with Terminator’s.
I’m genuinely concerned that the Tom Cruise “Mummy” will lead to sequels that will be equally awful. No mummy movie will ever beat the Brendan Fraser Mummies. What else is Hollywood going to ruin? We already know Disney is working on a way to (probably) screw up Indiana Jones, likely worse than “Crystal Skull.” Is it time to bring back and ruin The Matrix series? More Independence Day movies (not even going to mention the recent one)? Mission Impossible? Scream? The only exception I’ve seen is “Blade Runner 2049,” which was excellent. Other than that? All garbage.
I could go on and on, but you see what I’m getting at. Our past is under assault and we cannot allow Hollywood to abuse our favorite franchises anymore (they have abused people enough as it is, as we have discovered). If we can’t send a message with our words, let’s send a message with our wallets, and the message is this: “No more awful reboots.”.