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Did STAR WARS kill B5?

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  • Did STAR WARS kill B5?

    Over at Cinemablend is an interesting think piece about why B5 fandom seems to have died out.
    Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

  • #2
    I usually try to stay out of most 'X is better than Y' discussions, but I thought I'd throw in my two cent's worth here, mainly because the premise of the article is flawed. For one thing, if you begin your thesis by talking about about how B5 was completed, anything that follows in terms of follow-up projects is suspect. It's a bit like complaining how Michael Phelps didn't win any more Olympic gold medals after 2012 when in fact he had retired from the sport.

    And comparing B5 to Star Wars is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. B5 to date has always been a television-related project, while Star Wars, until recently has been feature-led. One of the many reasons that becomes significant is that for much of its life, B5 was given only lukewarm support from its studio, not to mention the fact that most of its programming was broadcast in syndication, which meant it was seen in different time slots across the country, not all of them favorable. And by the time B5 found a new home on TNT, the honeymoon was short-lived, as that cable entity decided they would rather spend the money they had allocated for Crusade on repeats of Law & Order. Star Wars on the other hand, has always been a money-spinner for LucasFilm, who re-released and recycled their films in every imaginable way, with big promotional dollars to support them. Mind you, I'm not bringing up the notion of quality here, just the way both franchises have been supported over the years. To say that B5 could have gone on longer if not for Star Wars is a bit ridiculous. I might have agreed if we were talking about Star Trek not Star Wars; in that case we'd at least be able to compare apples and apples.

    Incidentally, while the writer notes that Clone Wars was a critical and financial failure, I may be inclined to agree about the former but not the latter. Since I believe the 'film' had a reported budget of $30 million and it made $15 million during its first weekend of domestic release, it would be difficult not to still show a healthy profit over the long term. Personally, you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming to see it myself, but that doesn't mean there won't be lots of kiddies who will probably still see it, and certainly buy the DVD, which is where most of the profits will come from.

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    • #3
      I've read that article, too, and actually was debating whether to open a thread about it here

      I think it's an interesting idea that Star Wars might have re-directed fans interests towards the stories fans have grown up with, but ultimately I don't agree. It would be a valid point if this was true for all new series - but that's not the case. The author mentions Farscape and Firefly as cases that similarly died out, but there is at least one franchise that was started at roughly the same time as B5 and didn't suffer that fate: Stargate. Also the new Trek series don't seem to have suffered from the re-appearance of Star Wars. So apparently nothing prevents fans from supporting more than one franchise.

      I don't think B5, Farscape, or Firefly were "killed" by the re-appearance of Star Wars. IMO they were killed by lack of support by the studios and networks behind them, who didn't believe in their own products. This is a problem Star Wars never faced, of course, and Trek apparently never faced to the same extent. Then again, who knows what would have happened if those franchises had been continued. Would we have ended up with B5's or Farscapes version of "Voyager" for reasons of studio intervention, or would cancellation due to "creative differences" have become inevitable at one point? The bigger the franchise, the more purely monetary considerations play the decisive part, and the less creative freedom. Maybe it's better to leave it be, and be content with a niche audience.

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      • #4
        Simple Answer.

        NO!


        Im a B5 fan - as well as a SW fan - but they are completely different.


        B5 also has the capacity to be as big as SW in my opinion if it gets the right studio support - which it wont.

        Im still dreaming B5 Movie.

        Oh well back to my cornflakes.
        Duracell Bunny is arrested and charged with BATTERY!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
          Personally, you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming to see it myself,
          Same here.
          What's next? A SW Musical?! No, wait! That wouldn't attract any kiddies...
          How about opening up a theme park? Star Wars World... where you can get a picture of Boba Fett having you sit on his lap.

          but that doesn't mean there won't be lots of kiddies who will probably still see it, and certainly buy the DVD, which is where most of the profits will come from.
          And that's exactly what Lucas is counting on.
          Who gives a flying fock about the millions of old fans who loved SW before the prequels. Let's ruin it for them by throwing out (or sould I say: up) such crimes to humanity as is Clone Wars?
          What's up Drakh?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by I love Lyta View Post
            Same here.
            What's next? A SW Musical?! No, wait! That wouldn't attract any kiddies...
            How about opening up a theme park? Star Wars World... where you can get a picture of Boba Fett having you sit on his lap. ...
            If you wish to attract the kiddies, Lucas will have to produce STAR WARS ON ICE

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            • #7
              Originally posted by I love Lyta View Post
              Same here.
              What's next? A SW Musical?! No, wait! That wouldn't attract any kiddies...
              How about opening up a theme park? Star Wars World... where you can get a picture of Boba Fett having you sit on his lap.
              How about a Holiday Special?
              Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by frulad View Post
                How about a Holiday Special?
                There was never a holiday special. Not ever. Got it?


                BAck on topic. I don't think Star Wars had much to do with having a negative effect on B5.

                Star Trek was the real culprit. Between ST:TUS, ST:Generations, ST: Insurrection, The TNG Finale, DS9 and Voyager, pretty much locked up most mainstream sci buzz for several years (1991 to 1999). You couldn't not see something Trek if you wanted to. Even JMS says how ST was an obstacle to B5.

                If anything, I think Star Wars helped B5, by making a somewhat more realistic sci-fi show possible.
                What a wonderful world you live in. -
                Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

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                • #9
                  Really, now. An extra six hours of Star Wars over the past decade was not enough "derail" Babylon 5. There were many reasons, including the machinations of TNT and WB, and the sad untimely deaths of RB and AK, but Episodes 1 through 3 most certainly had nothing to do with it.
                  Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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                  • #10
                    The Clone Wars bombed because people know Lucas's act now. I had the misfortune of seeing it because a certain young man wanted to see it and you just can't say no. It was dreadful. Lucas has taken what was the greatest trilogy of all time and crapped all over it, starting with the Special Editions.

                    As for this B5/SW deal, I didn't read the piece, but I think that the prequels have damaged all science fiction and fantasy. Nonfans see the stuff and think that this is what we like.
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LessonInMachismo View Post
                      The Clone Wars bombed because people know Lucas's act now. I had the misfortune of seeing it because a certain young man wanted to see it and you just can't say no. It was dreadful. Lucas has taken what was the greatest trilogy of all time and crapped all over it, starting with the Special Editions.

                      As for this B5/SW deal, I didn't read the piece, but I think that the prequels have damaged all science fiction and fantasy. Nonfans see the stuff and think that this is what we like.
                      I would have to totally agree with your observation. In the last decade we've been given poor quality Scifi movies and TV, like Voyager / Enterprise that almost killed the Star Trek franchise. Extremely poor films from Lucas pretty much destroying all credibility for the Star Wars franchise IMO. Only a few glimmers of hope ala Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica have emerged amidst the predominant disappointments. So from a suits perspective the SciFi world appears to have been played out for now. Will JJ Abrams vision of a Star trek prequel revive that franchise? I think it's really going to have to shine, to pull it off. However if it dose well, Warner's may be willing give B5 another shot but that's a big if.

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                      • #12
                        Putting quality issues aside, whoever said Clone Wars bombed? It's the first three episodes of the animated TV series done on a TV budget, and it looks like it. This is not a $100 million CGI film, it's basically just a commercial playing in theaters for the cartoon which will no doubt make a profit just playing on TV, not to mention DVD sales.

                        I think Lucas said they're aiming for a $2 million budget per hour of the 100 episode series (30 min episodes), so I'd say divided over the budget of the whole series, I doubt these first 90 minutes cost much more than $4 million + advertising, and it's already made $25 million worldwide. I don't think anybody expected it to make money like a Pixar film.

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                        • #13
                          I basically said as much in my post of the 18th. I don't think there was ever any doubt that Clone Wars was going to be a financial success based on its low budget. As for quality, that's another subject entirely.

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                          • #14
                            It's a bomb because it's Star Wars. It should have done $50 million opening weekend. It probably would have done that if the prequels hadn't jadedùif not completely turned offùlongtime fans. It takes a Lucas apologist of the highest order to defend the prequels. If someone likes them, fine. But I don't want to hear people telling me that I am wrong for not liking them. Sadly, there are many of these sycophants out there.
                            Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, I happen to like the prequels. I'm 42 years old, so I'm certainly not a "kiddie". I don't feel abused or insulted by them as one of the older fans. I also know a lot of people older than 20 who genuinely like them. Oddly enough, I'm not too fond of "Return of the Jedi", and I'm not interest at all in Indiana Jones.

                              Still I'm a "Lucas apologists of the highest order" and a "sycophant". Fine.

                              Haven't seen Clone Wars yet, but judging from the reactions, bringing a pilot movie for a TV series to the theaters was a mistake.
                              Last edited by mandragora; 08-22-2008, 02:36 AM.

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