People have no idea what they are talking about when they say they want story people to run the corporate side of a film studio. It’s the same as having bean counters run the story. There are interfaces and so far what I’ve seen of current Star Wars, the problem is an interface problem. But that’s just me looking from the outside.
I’ve been on the engineering side of programs where the bean counters have set up a schedule of theoretical products that will bring in a theoretical amount of money at a theoretical date — a vintage chart. We see this laid out in the Marvel Phase diagrams. This is both a story frame as well as a corporate management forecast frame. Corporate expects money at x-date and creatives must come up with story to meet those expectations. It seems to me with Star Wars, the corporate side of the vintage chart was set without having the story part in place.
The narrative presented to the public was that corporate had faith that the creative side would deliver good products, so they let the creatives loose. Hence all the director churn when it became apparent that there wasn’t creative coherence. Who’s fault is that? When the interface fails, it’s on both the corporate side and the creative leadership. Yet, on Star Wars Youtube we hear nothing about the creative leadership failure with respect to the movies. I feel like we’re only getting half of the story and it kinda sucks that Disney won’t present a fuller story. Though, at the same time I think, do we need a fuller behind the scenes story?
If there wasn’t Youtube or social media, what would I think? I think I would blame the story people and the directors for the movie issues. Taken from this perspective, I think Disney is making the appropriate moves by quietly working on improving the story team and their process. Ultimately, I think Star Wars will need a corporate/creative interface like Kevin Feige to make sure there is story to fit the corporate vintage chart. Who that could be, I don’t know. But I do know that I don’t want Disney to pull the lead TV creatives from their jobs. I would like them to continue driving story. I look forward to what comes next for Star Wars.