Why Benioff and Weiss leaving the ‘Star Wars’ film series is for the best
After a troublesome final season of TV’s runaway success Game of Thrones, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (aka D&D) were set with a new Star Wars trilogy as their next project. However, roles have changed, and now the so-called “ruiners” of HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novel series are leaving Star Wars behind.
News broke shortly after the disaster of a panel at the Austin Film Festival that made it clear D&D shouldn’t have been running GoT. From their lack of enthusiasm for the books, to calling making Game of Thrones “an expensive film school”, D&D took a death star ray to their future leading a large franchise.
By stepping down from Star Wars, D&D will allow someone more capable to helm a new trilogy. So let’s break down the places D&D would struggle if they stayed on with Star Wars. Since both Game of Thrones and Star Wars share a lot of similar elements, we’ll be using the lovely content from their Austin Film Festival to examine the capable producers’ weaknesses as directors & writers.
Star Wars leans into the sci-fi elements of its history
Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi made as much money as they did because the nerdy crowd who grew up with Star Wars came out to support it. They even brought their families and children to help get them into it as well.
Benioff & Weiss said that they tried to downplay the fantasy elements of Game of Thrones to appeal to a larger crowd (rather inaccurately, since Martin’s novels don’t contain more).
If they tried to adapt this logic to Star Wars, we’d end up with another Solo: A Star Wars Story, which we definitely do not want again. Star Wars has the fans it does in large due to the galaxy the franchise has created. Either people are into that, or they don’t like Star Wars.
The costumes and sets of Star Wars are key to the experience
Just like any other big-budget fantasy/sci-fi franchise, Star Wars relies on talented costume designers, makeup and hair stylists, and set designers to build its world. To realize that galaxy far, far away, a slew of talented creators need to work behind the scenes.
D&D’s first experience with such a scale was Game of Thrones. They openly admitted they had no clue how to work with costume designers, and just threw stuff at the wall and went with what stuck for set design.
There’s no respect for the amount of work that goes into building an authentic fantasy world, so what makes them think Star Wars is any different? (Despite the disaster of its plot, the second of half of Game of Thrones still looks great, however.)
The history of Star Wars is core to the new trilogy
With a franchise with as much canon material as Star Wars, anyone who comes into the franchise needs to be able to take the past and include it in the new content – even if it turns into something like The Force Awakens, a rehash of A New Hope’s plot.
When asked about how The Song of Ice and Fire influenced their writing, D&D said the scope of the books was too big. According to D&D, Game of Thrones is just about power, which explains so much about the show. An attitude like that can’t be used in Star Wars, because the old stories are just as important as any new story. (Luckily, there’s considerably less source material to go from.)
Star Wars has always been about the fans
Even though the fanbase of Star Wars has been extremely toxic since The Last Jedi, everyone involved in the franchise knows the fans are important. There’s a lot of history with the franchise, and so many people grew up with the original trilogy. The fans are really what make Star Wars what it is.
D&D clearly don’t understand that at all. They ignore fans online, fan feedback on GoT, and get mad at people who aren’t happy with their work. (Admittedly, creators can’t hang too closely on fan commentary.) Although they didn’t explain bailing out of Comic-Con during the panel, something tells us that they left because they were unhappy with audience’s reactions to Game of Thrones season eight.