Corporation of Disney Versus Sole Proprietorship of George Lucas: Why the new Star Wars is so terrible

With all the accolades given to the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens I take a bit of pride in being one of the very few to point out the obvious problems with it, and the gross neglect it represents on not only American culture, but international civilization.  Star Wars has a responsibility provided to it by its half century long quest to play that part with the human race, so when it takes that role for granted, it is the job of people like me to point it out.  Anybody can do such a thing after others have already jumped on the bandwagon.  Presently, The Force Awakens is the fastest movie to hit $1 billion in global sales and it’s still moving along at a respectable rate.  By every box-office measure, The Force Awakens is a glorious success.  Yet I’m saying that it’s not successful, which to some may appear baffling.  Here’s why, Star Wars surrendered what it was to become something that it isn’t and that deduction can be reduced to a very simple social understanding of how things work outside of a mother’s womb.  To get the gist of what’s wrong with The Force Awakens watch the very interesting reviews shown below. Watch them all, they tell the whole story.  I’ll go a step further in my explanation, but it’s a good place to begin.

One of the most difficult things a job creator can do is make decisions to eliminate the jobs of the people who count on you.  It is excessively hard—I think it’s one of the hardest things a human mind does in a capitalist society—because a means to a living is the sustenance used to survive from day-to-day.  George Lucas wanted to retire at 70 years old but he had all these employees that he felt responsible for, so he went looking for a way to keep them all busy so that he could retire in good conscience feeling he did what was right by them.  He sold his company to Disney hoping that it was the closest company to his own methods that would respect his former property and do well for an entirely new generation.   I was a supporter of it, until I saw the results. It would have done more people more good to just leave Star Wars alone and laid-off all the Lucasfilm employees.  Laying off 2000 Lucasfilm employees would have been painful, but the results have been worse.  Because in destroying Star Wars, it has taken away the good meaning it has possessed to literally hundreds of millions of people who now consider it something of a religion.

When the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney took place, many proclaimed that it was a sale to the dark side, but they said so without really understanding why.  Corporations have a tendency to be viewed as evil, while individuals are given great latitude for forgiveness.  This is the heart of the problem.  As a fan of unlimited capitalism, I should be very supportive of corporations—which I am in that they provide jobs and great products to a free marketplace.  But, they are often very socialist in their nature and their employees bring that mentality with them to the voting booth. For instance, a worker at P&G or GE works in an environment that does not promote personal growth and individuality—they work in very team oriented environments where the greater good of the company is often the focus.  This is a standard in most corporations—so when Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton expresses the values of socialism most voters are already receptive to it because they live that life within the corporate world.  Corporations are collective based organizations that are often top-heavy and loaded with too much management at the back of the train defined by the Metaphysics of Quality.  Not enough people at the front providing leadership, and too many in the back which slows down the train from true productivity.  To hide this problem, corporations hire lobbyists to work K-Street in Washington on their behalf to prevent competition, so that the corporation can stay alive longer at the expense of more capitalist invention.

I’m not a fan of corporations, but I am a fan of the people who lead them, individuals like George Lucas, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and the original Walt Disney—among many others.  To me, once those strong leaders leave their corporations, everyone who follows are second handers.  This is why I am a fan of people like Carl Icahn who is the original corporate raider—who defined the term, “hostile takeover” by purchasing the stock of failing corporations and inserting new management with real leadership to make a sizable profit.  The introduction of competition to the corporate world makes everyone better and more honest and is needed in a capitalist society.  Without that behavior, you only get degrees of socialism which is terrible because it forces people to behave as collective entities proving detrimental to individual integrity.

Star Wars was always about the power of the individual, Luke Skywalker being the only hope for the Force to overthrow the emperor, Han Solo to always be functioning just outside the organized systems of the rebellion long enough to save everyone, and Obi-Wan residing in a desert all alone as the last of his kind to preserve goodness for a new generation.  Even the robot Artoo Detoo functions as a rogue individualist often breaking protocol to do what he thinks is right as C3PO representing the corporate world of doing as programmed berates him for comic relief.  In The Empire Strikes Back when Luke senses that Han and Leia are being tortured on Cloud City Yoda tells the young Jedi that he must stay and not be lured into a trap if he honors what they fight for.  The designation is clear, the relief of collective pain is not more important than the value of an individual who alone has the power to save the galaxy.  That is powerful stuff and why I along with millions of others have been a fan of Star Wars for over three decades.

The Force Awakens is a corporate movie made by the second handers of George Lucas and Walt Disney.  They are corporate minds who think in terms of sacrifice and the greater good before individual integrity, just as any corporation resents the individualist–those who do what they want in the corner cubical, and does not socialize during lunch with others and doesn’t follow orders from their superiors.  Rey the strong female who is obviously Jaina Solo from the Expanded Universe miraculously knows how to do everything which is a problem that many people have with the film upon viewing.  Many are willing to suspend their disbelief because the female hero is such a strong and compelling character that viewers are willing to overlook the problem initially.  The dilemma is that the characters in The Force Awakens are just along for the ride.  The Force is the hero of this movie and all the characters are subservient to it.  Rey is the victim of the sword that finds her, not because she finds it—her role is a passive participation in the adventure which is a direct violation of the “Hero’s Journey” that all Star Wars movies embody to some degree.  The Force uses her to get through impossible situations like flying the Falcon and fighting Kylo Ren at the end of the film.  She doesn’t survive them because she is an active participant.   She’s just “going with the flow,” and yielding to a mysterious Force that is guiding her actions.  Those are aspects of Star Wars that have always been weak, easily overshadowed by the efforts of Han Solo.

In the original films The Force was something to be listened to, but according to Obi-Wan, it also obeyed your commands—as an individual.  In The Force Awakens The Force is doing all the heavy lifting which is a corporate view of what Obi-Wan said in the film A New Hope, “there is no such thing as luck.”  This indicates that all the heroics of Han Solo in the past movies were not because of his skill as an individual pilot, or a decision that was made at a key time, but was due to The Force working through him.  This cheapens Star Wars considerably into a religion instead of a myth building tool to encourage people to follow their personal bliss.  It is the difference between a company run by a strong individual, and a corporation ran by a board of directors and a CEO as their representative.  One is an individual enterprise; the other is a collective based entity.

In time, once the fun of a new Star Wars movie fades, the impact that the films had will fade considerably as they will lose their meaning due to this corporate interpretation of The Force as opposed to the one that George Lucas nurtured.  The corporation puts up memos on a bulletin board and expects everyone to be appeased and to serve the needs of the collective entity—no matter who it is.  A company ran by a strong individual personally speaks to everyone and gives them guidance in developing their own individuality for the good of the company. It is a slight distinction that makes all the difference in the world regarding the end result.  Clearly George Lucas understands that distinction, and Disney as an organization collectively based, does not.  That is why The Force Awakens is a failure even though on paper immediately it appears successful.  Its mythology has been tampered with and is now changed forever—for the worse.  The message is one now of collectivism as opposed to individuality and that makes it very dangerous—and vile.

Now you should understand dear reader why you felt that The Force Awakens was a bad movie, but didn’t quite know how or why. It looked like Star Wars, sounded like Star Wars, had the same characters as the original Star Wars—but it wasn’t Star Wars.  It turned the overall message away from the rebellion of freedom fighters fighting for an individualized galactic republic and put the emphasis on collectivism and the reach and authority of corporations and the eventual tenacity to grind away everything that stands in their way.  And there isn’t much anybody can do about it but wait for some unseen Force to tell us what to do.  To those broken by corporate socialism into waiting for permission to use the rest room or get their vacations approved by a superior, they love Rey in the film because it’s all they can hope for in their lives after being beaten by collectivism for many years into no other option but to hope that they’ll win the lottery or gain an inheritance to earn their freedom from the grind.  But for hard-core Star Wars fans, Han Solo was the self-determined individual who functioned heroically not due to special powers or hooky religions—but by his own actions.  And in The Force Awakens, they killed off that character—for the “greater good.”  The message couldn’t have been clearer from the corporation known as Disney.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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Why Disney Destroyed Han Solo: Progressive activism and attacking “white, American, family men”

I knew there was trouble on June 3rd 2015 when Marvel comics announced that Han Solo had an ex-wife in its comic #6 issue.  I didn’t want to believe it, but after later seeing The Force Awakens, I am 100% sure that what I was watching Disney do was on the scale of the old medieval churches in Europe re-writing history with their printing of Bibles to control the mass population through religion.  Star Wars was becoming something of a religion around the world, and now that the Disney Corporation had paid 4 billion dollars for it they were taking great liberties with very important characters in an attempt to change their original meaning to the overall story.   They didn’t have to, because the property had already been developed by George Lucas over three decades into a positive household name with no signs of abating.  Even more alarming was that Han’s revisionist wife was a black woman named Sana Solo proving that Disney was more interested in establishing progressive values in their ownership of Star Wars instead of just continuing the story that so many loved.   Disney was deliberately smearing the market impression that Han Solo had on the Star Wars stories and they were doing it not to be more successful, but because they wanted to change the meaning and mythic impact of the overall story arc.  That is why if you were listening to WAAM today at 1 PM in the afternoon, you would have heard Matt Clark and I dismantling Disney’s ownership of the Star Wars franchise.  If you missed it, you can hear it again here and above this paragraph in two parts:

I am quite a believer that the Bible has been revised to such an extent by political forces over the years that it has lost much of its original meaning—so I don’t trust it.  One fine example is the missing Book of Enoch which would have been an important part of Genesis.  It is not considered by Jews and many other Christian groups to be part of the Biblical “canon” and knowing that one can only wonder what else has been left out, or added to the stories that have made three of the world’s religions, Jews, Christians and Muslims.  Like it or not, Star Wars has become something of a religion.  Another few hundred years and it will likely have more influence over mass populations than Christianity does today—and that all starts with these seemingly simple stories being shown in our lifetime.  So it concerned me greatly when Han Solo was introduced in Marvel #6 with a black wife—which I didn’t believe at the time.  My wife and I talked about it a bit, I was then involved in a large motorcycle accident which soaked up a lot of time and attention.  I was also involved in a massive international project that was taking a lot of time.  But my concern was so great that I stopped buying Star Wars merchandise at that moment.  I had been reading the books and comics to alleviate the daily pressure associated with my life.  But upon the release of Star Wars #6 under Marvel Comics, I stopped, immediately.

When Marvel took over the comics which were supposedly Pablo Hidalgo approved from the Star Wars story group six months earlier from Dark Horse I was curious that they didn’t show a desire to connect the story material between the two publishing conglomerates.  I didn’t let that bother me too much because comics I don’t consider to be as important as novels—especially the New York Times bestselling books that had taken over the Star Wars canon for two decades in a really positive way.  But under Disney’s ownership of Marvel they had introduced a black woman to be Han Solo’s wife in an effect to emphasize negative character traits of one of the most popular characters in Star Wars Solo was a white guy superman type of character, so I wondered if Disney’s direction was a political one.  Later when I saw The Force Awakens, it clarified it emphatically.   Disney had revised the Star Wars canon personally created by George Lucas to make the stories more progressive politically.  They were essentially destroying a major character for the sake of editing the impact the character had on established mythology.  This was equivalent to the way that progressives have attacked Thomas Jefferson as a real historic figure with the Sally Hemings allegations, or to attack Jesus and his relationship with Mary Magdalene, the prostitute in the Bible who traveled with Jesus and was there at his execution.  We have witnessed revised history taking place in our public schools and colleges for the purpose of erasing history and now it was happening in Star Wars—an entertainment property that was just supposed to be for fun.  Yet Disney was purposely destroying the character of Han Solo because of the impact he had on so many fans as being a very strong, and reliable character. My suspicions were confirmed at the beginning of September when a gay character was included in the new Star Wars novel Aftermath, which I reported a warning to Disney upon release.  CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. 

I’m not against black characters in Star Wars, or even alternative sexual types.  However, Star Wars has always been an updated western, a space opera intended to communicate mythic stories that propelled our society with foundation philosophies.  Until Star Wars comic #6, then the novel Aftermath followed by the confirmation of all my concerns with the movie The Force Awakens, I felt I could trust Lucasfilm with a story canon that was personally managed by George Lucas.   I could read a story in a book or comic and believe that it had meaning to the overall collection of stories that had been canon until the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm from George Lucas.  Now in a very short time, Disney didn’t even try to cover their intentions with subtlety.   They disrespected the long-time fans so much that they counted on sheer numbers to justify their collective activism of taking a deeply traditional story like Star Wars and turning it into a progressive mess.  Disney was showing itself to be much more interested in selling the politics of the Obama White House than in just telling a story set in a galaxy far far away.   Disney was promoting gay sex and interracial marriages over protecting the value of what made Star Wars successful to begin with.  So for me, the only Star Wars canon is the one that took place before Disney took over.  The last official book in the Star Wars canon under the guidance of George Lucas was the very good book The Crucible.  It takes place 45 years after the Battle of Yavin in the film A New Hope  After watching A Force Awakens, which takes place around 15 years earlier I had thought that there was some time travel going on that gave the Star Wars story group an out if things went wrong with their progressive activism, but I’m now convinced that it’s too late.  Disney executives have made progressive concepts their priority which has ruined Star Wars forever, they can’t go back now—they are too committed.  Here is how The Crucible went and is officially the way that Han Solo and the other characters of the George Lucas canon rode off into the sunset of storytelling.

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes–and far deadlier consequences.

Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.

I have praised George Lucas often because I think he’s a great filmmaker.   He is too liberal for me, but I respect him greatly.  He does have a black wife, which I don’t think is a big deal and he supports Obama.  I gave high praise for his film Red Tails because it was an important story that needed to be told.   When he sold Star Wars to Disney he did it because he was 70 and wanted to retire—but he had a massive company with over 2000 employees.  It would have been better for Star Wars if Lucas would have just maintained control of his property, but then he couldn’t just let his employees rot—at least in his mind.  So he sold Star Wars to a corporation he thought might preserve it, and washed his hands of the responsibility of being a major employer.  I can understand all that.  I thought it was a good move so long as Disney respected what George Lucas had built.

There is a lot more of George Lucas in Han Solo than in any other character I think.  I’m sure George would say that he’s Artoo Detoo, or Yoda and that Star Wars is all about Luke Skywalker.  But Han Solo is the old drag racer that Lucas used to be—and in many ways still is.  I have read hundreds of Star Wars novels, most of them have Han Solo in the stories so I know the character very well—and he’s what George Lucas wanted to be.  And let me say, Han Solo would have never had a wife during A New Hope.  He had a long time girlfriend who was a drug addict prior to meeting Princess Leia, but he was not a sleep around.  He wanted to be as far away from attachments as possible to protect himself from the obligation of maintaining those relationships and violating his opportunities for freedom.  He wanted nothing more to limit his loyalties to his Wookie friend Chewbacca and to travel the galaxy in his hot rod Millennium Falcon.  Much of his gruffness toward others was an act, just as he deliberately kept the Millennium Falcon looking like a wreck to disguise the power within it—the ship was the embodiment of Han Solo himself.  Solo would have never had a wife, and once he did, he would have never left her. Han Solo is not the kind of character who gets drunk on Nar Shaddaa and wakes up with a wife.  Han Solo was the embodiment of all the cowboys that George Lucas grew up loving as a kid, and he created a character that modern kids could look up to.  That’s why he was always my favorite character, so it was very easy for me to see the revisionist history that Disney was attempting to perform without getting caught.  Only, they got caught.  I know too much about all this stuff not to see it.  I know Star Wars not just from the surface but the structure of it—where it all started from the perspective of the Joseph Campbell Foundation.  I was a member way back when George Lucas was on the Board with Campbell’s wife Jean running things.  I’m not just a fan boy who didn’t want to see Han Solo killed in The Force Awakens.  I’ve studied history and I know the impact of mythology, and why politics seeks to capture stories to control mass populations.  That’s what Disney is doing with Han Solo, destroying him so that they can rebuild him in a progressive way to satisfy their political activism.

Star Wars fans really want to like The Force Awakens.  I’m one of them.  My opinions as of now are in the extreme minority.  Just like a religion, when people find out something is wrong with a mythic device that contains all their foundation thoughts, people tend to get defensive—and some of that could be heard on the broadcast I did with Matt Clark on WAAM radio.  But being in the minority does not make me wrong.  A million fools cannot erase a truth and what Disney is doing will bite them in the ass—because they are changing essential portions of the Star Wars mythology to satisfy current political concerns.  But those concerns will change over the next 60 years and these gay subplots will seem silly to future readers—especially when they seek out the original stories under George Lucas and compare the activism that occurred under Disney.  Disney could have made a lot of money and done something really good by just leaving Star Wars alone and letting the profits from the endeavor follow.  But they chose to be activists politically—for progressive reasons.  Executives at Lucasfilm and Disney looked at Han Solo and noticed that he was a strong, traditional white male, and they wanted to dirty him up.  So they gave him a wife that he was cheating on, and she was a woman of color to make her more of a victim.  Then they had Han leave Leia in A Force Awakens to return to smuggling as if that was all Han Solo was ever good for without his marriage to a woman of stature and prestige.  They purposely muddied up the character to make a point and create more social diversity because that is their value system.  And that is why the Star Wars stories for me ended with The Crucible, a New York Times bestseller that has as much value to me as the novel Lord of the Rings, or The Bridges of Madison County.  Disney by corporate design to elevate minorities, gays, and women in their stories to appear more diverse, politically, took the strongest character in the Star Wars mythology and erased his essence with a revised canon that makes him into a scumbag more relatable to modern audiences.  We are living in an age where a lot of children cannot relate to a Han Solo type, a man who stays with his wife and is loyal to a fault. So Disney tried to weaken the character to appeal to younger audiences—but all they did was cause trouble for themselves.  I’m not the only fan who will reject their product.  Many others over the years to come will follow and Disney will only have themselves to blame.

For me this whole exercise has provided proof of something I’ve long suspected, that mythologies over time are radically redesigned by politics in all cultures to justify the failures of social mismanagement.   The Bible has certainly been altered over the years to reflect the values of the Roman Empire, and the churches of Europe who wanted to use religion as a natural extension of that imperial control.  Modern progressives are trying constantly to re-write history from the vantage point of the conquered Indian to erase the merits of cowboy capitalism in the West.  And China prohibits proper archaeological study of their many pyramid-shaped mounds to suppress the real history of their ancient culture.  Those are just a few examples.  And right in front of our faces we have watched Disney revise something in our lifetimes in spite of the many witnesses.  I read just the other day a defense of the movie A Force Awakens straying from the original plots created in the Expanded Universe by declaring that Solo had a wife in the EU.  No, Solo did not have a wife under the EU.  That plot device was created six months before the release of the 2015 Disney film to justify why Solo left Princess Leia after Return of the Jedi to become a typical white, American male—a Homer Simpson loser who can’t keep his pants on, and is unreliable to family life.  In Disney’s desire to make Star Wars more accessible to women, and minorities, they have deliberately tampered with what made Han Solo one of the most popular characters in the saga—and they did it out of political activism, not intellectual necessity.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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A Company Out of Ideas: The embarrassment of Disney and it’s second-hander employees

As this article blasted onto the World Wide Web Matt Clark and I were hosting a podcast giving the Disney Company and the makers of the new Star Wars a large dose of tough love.  And they deserve all the criticism and then some that we broadcast.  We are in a new day of media, unlike the days of old.  Disney does not control everything—they are in fact experiencing a contraction period as their media empire is feeling the effects of small media types like Matt Clark and I who are not bound by contracts or addictions to swag buying our loyalty at any price.   Quite the contrary, Matt and I have both been huge fans and supporters of all things Disney for many years now.  We offered our endorsements out of real passion, not purchased manipulation—so that relationship was built on trust.  People like Matt and I were the best assets a company like Disney could hope for.  Out of our own free will, we cheered on their behalf in small ways that often avalanched into big market impressions by sheer opportunity.  But, what they are doing with their theme parks—regarding toy guns, and what they have done with Star Wars is really inexcusable.  They are free to take any position they wish, but Matt and I as fans are also free to reject their product and to let people know why.  Disney counts on word of mouth to maintain their strength of their product marketing, but it can also work against them.  And because of their betrayal of key fans like Matt and I, they asked for it.

It was the first time in my life that a soundtrack to Star Wars arrived in my possession and I was not in a hurry to listen to it.  I bought the soundtrack because I love John Williams and have most of his music, so I bought The Force Awakens out of respect.  But I have yet to open it and the film has been out for over a week as of this writing.  I just have no appetite for anything regarding Star Wars presently, which is a big shift for me.  It was only a short time ago that was playing Star Wars: X Wing Miniatures and was sitting in a swing on my front porch waiting for new products to arrive in my mailbox.  I enjoyed immensely reading about all the different characters and playing in the galaxy that George Lucas created.  By the time that The Force Awakens ended, nearly everything I loved about Star Wars was destroyed like a Death Star blasting away the history and life of an entire species in just a moment.  It was one of the only real bright spots I saw on the horizon of our cultural mythology, and Disney had purposely destroyed it.

We’re not talking about stupid people who work at Disney, or Lucasfilm.  Kathy Kennedy had been around Spielberg and Lucas for decades and if anybody had learned to make a great movie by their apprenticeship, it should have been her.  J.J. Abrams is a great director.  Industrial Light and Magic—is the best special effects house on the planet.  Everything in their tool box was great to make a new Star Wars film.  It seemed impossible to screw it up.  Instead, what happened was that they proved emphatically what I have been saying about the metaphysics of quality over the years.  A committee of people do not surpass the singular vision of a strong individual leader.  As bad as many proclaim the George Lucas prequels to be, or his special additions, they were vastly better than what Disney came up with considering all their incredible resources.  There was no excuse, yet they failed miserably.

It was hard for me to admit how terrible The Force Awakens really was, so I know other Star Wars fans will dance around the issue for months.  But in the context of years, they’ll slowly realize just what a travesty this latest Star Wars film was to a franchise that many loved.  And it was all consciously done by Disney; they watched the screening of the film and thought they had a great product.  They sold it to the world as their best work and it clearly wasn’t.  It was essentially a fan film made by a second generation of spoiled brats, who had hitched a ride on the coat tails of greatness as perpetual second-handers. Yet nobody noticed within all of Disney’s organization—that is alarming.

It was difficult for me to accept the recent Mad Max film, because in the original, Max had a little boy who was killed by a gang of thugs. In the updated version it was a little girl.  I was willing to overlook that slight change because the film had the original director in George Miller and the film was a dramatic improvement over previous installments.  But it was distracting.  If the movie hadn’t been great, I would have felt toward it the way I do The Force Awakens.  Characters matter and once an artistic entity offers it to the public for consumption, they have an obligation to maintain those characters to their audience.  If they violate that trust, they risk alienating their audience to the characters they’ve created.  Star Wars over the years—Lucasfilm through their publishing arm—did a great job of nurturing their characters along with a sense of continuity.  For instance, a character in the novel Rogue Planet which took place well before the Prequel films appeared as a major character in Star by Star which took place many years later—like 50 years in Star Wars time, and that character had traces back to the Jedi, but lured Jacen Solo to the Sith through mental torture that lasted over many novels.  It was then no surprise that Jacen became a feared Sith Lord.  It was a set-up by Lucasfilm so that the mythology they created could be enjoyed by fans across multiple platforms—movies, books, comics and video games.  You could always trust that most of the Star Wars content was following some kind of ultimate timeline.  So when The Force Awakens borrowed all those elements but changed the names cheapening the stories told before, the whole mythology fell apart instantly.

Then it becomes even more shocking that given all the material the filmmakers had to use, that Disney couldn’t even create a single original thought worthy of a movie.  Everything in Force Awakens is borrowed, from the comparison of the Lord of the Rings plot driving the lightsaber quest to find Luke Skywalker hidden on a remote island—to a third Death Star (this time called Starkiller Base).  Every act of The Force Awakens is nearly copied from A New Hope—the movie comes across as a remake of Robocop—or Total Recall.  The big difference is that there aren’t any memorable moments of wisdom in the new movie to solidify the content. At least in Phantom Menace there are lines of Jedi wisdom—in A Force Awakens, there is nothing—astonishingly.  The filmmakers robbed the Expanded Universe of content and the original movies, and then passed it off as an original work of art disgracing all the good minds that did create new plot devices in past installments.

It wasn’t that long ago that I bragged about Star Wars having an essential conservative moral to their stories.  After all, in the novels, Han and Leia, as well as Luke lived somewhat happily ever after.   They did save the galaxy many times, but they had fun together doing it.  There was a lot of pain, but there were a lot of laughs and they all did it together, loyally.  In the later novels, right before the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, a new Sith order had imbedded itself into the Galactic Senate of the New Republic and had begun to subterfuge politics into a New Sith Order—and they had the entire media under their thumb.  They were actually magnificent stories done on a huge scale, and Han, Leie, Luke and the Millennium Falcon and some of the children of the primary characters were rising up to become easy stars in their own way.  One of the greatest characters in Star Wars was Mara Jade who was an assassin who worked for the Emperor in the original trilogy and eventually became Luke’s wife.  They had a son named Ben who was a great character.   In Force Awakens, they named Ben after Han and Leia’s son who is the ultimate villain, Kylo Ren—essentially Darth Caedus from the Legends series.   I could literally go on and on.  If The Force Awakens had made a superior movie to the books, all could have been forgiven.  But they didn’t.  Instead the butchered the story in a very disrespectful way.  Han Solo, not in a million years would have walked out onto a bridge with no sides and confronted a bad guy—even if the bad guy was his son.  He NEVER would have done it.  He might have said, “hey kid, I’m going to blow this place up.  I love you—now get your ass out of here.”  But he never would have lowered his weapon and pleaded with him to come home like a guilty father trying to rescue a child from jail.  What Disney did was disgraceful.

I have a pretty good idea what’s at work here, so they deserve the ridicule.  Star Wars has been something I have valued, and these idiots just butchered it—so they get what they get.  Disney was more interested in making a progressive film than a good installment to the Star Wars saga.  They were intent to push out the conservative values of the founder, George Lucas—who these days is a flaming liberal.  But while he was building his companies, he was very conservative.  Disney as a company expected to rip-off and re-write the stories and outcomes away from conservative viewpoints to much more progressive perspectives.  This is why The Huffington Post and The White House love this new Star Wars and why people like Matt and I hate it.  Disney has declared war on conservative America and that has never been clearer than in their new Star Wars film.  I didn’t want to believe it was possible, but it is.  And just because I’m a fan doesn’t mean that I’ll give liberalism a free pass just because they put the name Star Wars on it.  If anything, that makes it more worthy of attack, which Matt and I are relishing in—and will continue for what Disney has done to something we both have valued for many years.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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‘The Force Awakens’ Killed off Han Solo: Why the prequels were a lot better and how Disney blew it

Piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssed off, that is the feeling I have walking out of The Force Awakens.  

Sadly, the news I was so excited about three years ago regarding the new Star Wars film is tragic—the worst of what I feared might happen, did.  Taken by itself, The Force Awakens is a very good movie, the acting is good, the special effects everything that you’d expect, the directing, the writing all very good—then there’s the music by John Williams—upper level wonder.  Unfortunately for Disney, Star Wars is much more than one movie now and Disney did exactly the wrong thing.  Like rumored, they abandoned the Expanded Universe and they killed off Han Solo in the first movie of a three-part trilogy which was my favorite character.  While on the business side I can understand why they did—Harrison Ford was 73 at the start of The Force Awakens, so it’s not a bad idea to start planting the seeds for future characters.  However, killing off Solo without having the context of the greater story developed over the last two decades is extremely problematic for the Star Wars franchise.  Here’s why.

About 15 years ago a super Star Wars fan was talking to me about the novels that came out every few months and wondered why I wasn’t reading them.  I explained that if the books didn’t come straight from the mind of George Lucas that I didn’t consider them part of the Star Wars canon.  However, the novels leaned very much on the character of Han Solo and his marriage to Princess Leia and their three children Jaina Jacen and Anakin.  So figured I’d give the books a try.  I had tried the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn and couldn’t accept it, but decided to try again with Vector Prime.  It was a great book—although Chewbacca died—and I was hooked.  I have since read most of the Expanded Universe novels which have greatly over-shadowed the original movies in sheer content and emotional story arcs.

I thought there was a whale of a story developing at the end of Apocalypse involving The Abeloth and that The Force Awakens would be about that massive galactic conflict—which would have been great.  Disney could have given the hard-core Star Wars fans what they wanted while giving a new generation of fans what they wanted.  The old characters could have faded out leaving the new very strong character of Jaina Solo to have filled the boots of her father nicely—and that would have been appropriate.  Everyone could have had what they wanted out of Star Wars.  But that’s not what Disney did with the help of J.J. Abrams, and Kathleen Kennedy.  They thought they knew better than all the minds who had been guiding the Star Wars stories through three decades of New York Times best sellers so they screwed with the story with a progressive agenda which was the worst of my fears.

If they had stayed with the Expanded Universe storyline, they could have still had a Latino lead character, a black character and a strong female lead to reach all their target demographics.  But they did more than that—they weakened Han Solo considerably and made him a self-sacrificial parent who threw himself on the sword of Kylo Ren at the end.  He and his marriage to Leia obviously went bad and the kids were damaged leading to his son (Ben) turning to evil.  Suddenly the very strong characters of the Expanded Universe were modernized into dysfunctional parents who had screwed up their children and felt guilty about it.  At the end of The Force Awakens, “General Leia” is alone with no signs of family—except the daughter Rey to find out who she truly is.  This is probably the most disappointing aspect of The Force Awakens—in the novels the son of Han, Jacen falls to the dark side over many books and his intentions were always good.  Han stayed with his wife for many years and they had a pretty good family life.  Han was always a rock solid person in those stories giving Star Wars geeks the father figure they didn’t have in real life—and it worked well in a mythological way.  The daughter Jaina was the new light of the next generation—The Sword of the Jedi.

J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan essentially took the big themes of the novels and retold the story of Jacen’s fall to the dark side moving around the names of the characters and having him confront his sister—in an epic lightsaber battle.  Knowing all that felt cheap to me.  It took Star Wars from an epic pinnacle of the highest mythological order and dumbed it down to be simply another Avengers movie.  It was fun to look at, but the content was certainly watered down from the types of bold stories that were told in the novels.  I will probably see future Star Wars movies just to see what they do and how they look—like I would a superhero type of film—the many times the Batman story has been told, or Spiderman—even Superman.  But with Star Wars, Disney had a unique opportunity to build on a massive story arc, and they screwed it up—rehashing the old by putting their own stamp on it in a way that did a disservice to the fans who helped carry the franchise for so long with their loyal support.  Clearly the emphasis by Disney and Kathleen Kennedy was to weaken the original characters from the bold embodiments of their youth into guilt driven losers in the future—which might make them relatable to a larger audience who feels the same anxieties.  Of course they had to plant the seeds of an interracial romance—which felt forced—and was distracting.  Han returned to his days as a smuggler instead of the reliable family man that he was in the books.  Luke was in hiding feeling guilt for creating Kylo Ren though his failure in teaching future Jedi—which in the books Luke had built an entirely new Jedi Order.  In the books all the lead characters were strong and determined personalities who had suffered through unimaginable sorrows, but were still people a reader could lean on and trust to do the right thing in the end.  In The Force Awakens it is obvious that the all the old characters were flawed, especially Han Solo.  This was obviously a conscious choice to make him more relatable to the modern viewing audience instead of just trusting the story the way it had evolved over the years with great success.

There has been an effort from The Alliance to Save the Star Wars Legends Expanded Universe shown at the link below to save the storyline of these movie from just this kind of misery.  But, Disney didn’t listen and they’ll pay for that.  The Force Awakens will make a lot of money, but it won’t be as much as they could have made.  They just handed the next generation a bunch of loser characters not quite sure of themselves putting an emphasis on progressive values instead of American traditional ones.  The Force Awakens is about sacrifice and the greater good whereas a theme which always ran through the original trilogy was individualism and following a personal bliss.  Han Solo as the individual always had the answers to save the Luke and Leias of the galaxy from their altruistic tendencies.  In The Force Awakens it is Han Solo that needs saving from his guilt over failing their son in ways that aren’t yet shown.  Essentially the decision to turn Han Solo from an Ayn Rand type of character into a Shakespearian tragedy was meant to erase his lineage of strength into something modern audiences could identify with.

The result for me, and I’m sure many others, is that I completely reject these new stories by Disney.   I just came out of seeing a premier showing before it opened officially on December 18th 2015 and my sorted emotions tell me that this story in The Force Awakens is not real.  I can’t accept it as cannon.  It’s actually pretty stupid.  It represents another case of activist filmmakers trying to plant progressive Huffington Post values into a very traditional American story for the sake of unifying the world around common values.  To do that they dumbed down the American influences of individuality, and created a much more “inclusive” universe that was the obvious intent they had in making the film.  People like Arianna Huffington will love this new Star Wars.  John Wayne would have hated it.

I can deal with the death of my favorite character.  What I have a problem with is weakening their presence out of a desire to appeal to a weakened society—where movies are made by committee rather than by strong individuals.  The Force Awakens obviously understands that few people have intact families these days and that people can’t relate to the type of strength that Han Solo projected which has carried the franchise quite frankly for forty years.  They made a conscious decision to weaken Solo—hand over the Millennium Falcon to a “girl” (his daughter) and reflect the values of the present global community instead of the values of the story itself.  They cheapened Star Wars in ways that will be very costly in the years to come.  So while the movie was beautiful to look at and had many elements that are respectable on the surface, the underlining message was feeble and a tremendous disservice to the fans who have stuck with the story religiously all these years.  Star Wars had a chance to be above modern politics, but the filmmakers failed to carry it to those lofty heights.  Instead, they surrendered to the currents of modernism—and the movie shows it desperately.  The movie felt to me like a fake and something to reject—which is not what Disney wanted, I’m sure.  Forever for me, and many like me, there will always be the Expanded Universe where Han didn’t leave his wife and fail his children with some “force bending” scheme of time to save his daughter from the wrath of her brother, Han’s failed son—and the Jedi master Luke who lost his pupil to the dark side.  I’m sure there is a story of redemption in the next episodes, but by then—who cares.  Disney already screwed up the story with renamed characters and repeated themes which were already told in the novels years ago.  And in that respect, The Force Awakens fails in every way that it never intended.

The prequels were a LOT better.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


The Liberal Radicalization of Disney: How progressive voters are built from youth

As I wrote this article it was during the election night of 2015. One year later we’d be electing the next President of the United States and several congressional and senate seats. As Ohio decided whether or not to legalize marijuana caving in to the endless amounts of money spent by progressive groups funded by George Soros types to essentially dumb down the public to the extent that there is no resistance to their global efforts—I can’t help but think of the American Indian who was given easy access to liquor to make them more easily conquerable. Pot advocating by progressives is intended to lower the morality of our nation so that we can be more easily conquered by global interest. It’s very clear that is the intention behind the effort and the money propelling it—the goal is to dismantle traditional America through drug induced emphasis followed by a progressive oriented government school program. And that radicalism is certainly present in the entertainment industry. That was the basis behind a discussion I recently had with Matt Clark on his WAAM radio show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The topic was Star Wars and the Disney Corporation and how both were being shaped by progressive influences.

Lately I have been less interested with elections because they don’t have much effect currently. For instance, in Ohio if marijuana fails, it is a 100% chance that it will be back on the ballot likely within the year, just like school levies, and the casino issue from a few years ago. These idiots will keep putting it on the ballot until it passes—they will continue in spite of what voters indicate—their goal will be to wear down the public until they cave—so the effort should be viewed as a military exercise, not a democratic endeavor. I don’t see much hope in any of these elections until we get personalities in office who will stand up for the republic concept. Paul Ryan is a perfect example of this whole effort—he was elected a Tea Party darling, but has now moved toward establishment protector. He’s the new Speaker of the House based on his past reputation as a reformer, not as a current conquered personality. The process of lobbyists destroys good people and leaves us all yearning for authentic personalities which is too infrequent. I hope for a Donald Trump to shake up this mess. Without him, or someone like him—I don’t have much hope for the future of politics.

But I do find hope in Disney and the new Star Wars property, which Matt and I discussed in a way that should be very useful to all concerned minds. Disney doesn’t hear enough good criticism from their customer base to navigate by, and I sincerely hope that articles like this one, and the radio content that Matt and I provided helps them. The same lobbyists who bend politicians backwards, and constantly advocate on behalf of marijuana are those who push Disney as a company to move always to the political left—or to be threatened with lawsuits, boycotts and other types of radicalism designed to destroy a traditional social position. Disney out of all the production companies out there is best poised to stand for traditional American values, but there is a real risk that nutcases within the Disney organization will start populating Star Wars with gay characters and progressive tripe just to appease the elements of evil that are so prevalent in our present society.

I spent the last three articles on this topic because it is one of the most important of our time, a major movie is coming out that will touch just about everyone’s life in some way or another. But these filmmakers are not George Lucas of the 1980s, the conservative Ayn Rand type of dystopian individualist—it is the evolution of a tight group of friends from Kathy Kennedy all the way through Steven Spielberg who have mellowed over time and are now quite liberal in their activism. Wealth and the California culture have tamed their once conservative spirits. For instance, one of George Lucas’ best films is THX-1138 which was essentially a movie version of Ayn Rand’s Anthem. Lucas would not make a movie like that now—but when the first Star Wars came out, he was very much a limited government advocate where his Rebel Alliance would have been considered Tea Party Patriots in our contemporary world. Over time George become more like Darth Vader than Han Solo which was certainly reflected in the prequel films.

I actually think that Disney has become so radicalized that there is probably talk behind closed doors that two gay characters should have a legitimate romance in a future Star Wars movie. The reason Matt and I covered this topic on the radio is because there have been threats from more conservative groups looking at the new Star Wars and seeing the alarm signs that the new heroes are a woman, and a black guy, and the villains are mostly white males. While having women and dark-skinned protagonists isn’t a big deal to me, I can see why people would be concerned—because it certainly strays from the original formula—old white man, young white man, middle-aged white man, hairy beast that is a male—and a mouthy feminist. Then of course there are two male droids—unless R2D2 tries to pull a Bruce Jenner. Even worse is Kathy Kennedy’s comments to a women’s summit recently shown above where she specified that her goal as a CEO of Lucasfilm was to put more women in the movie making business.

Kennedy said she had been recently to a taping of a Saturday Night Live and noticed that most of the camera operators were men, not women. She attributed this to a possible union rules issue and bosses who hired men over women—which is a typical progressive belief. She went on to say that her goal was to inspire women to become more camera operators and behind the line talent. That was interesting. Then, if you consider recent statements by Carrie Fisher to the new young actress Daisy Ridley to not to allow herself to become sexualized in the future Star Wars films there is plenty of evidence that some serious progressive radicalism is percolating on the horizon of one of the most powerful entertainment vehicles in the history of the world.

What these old women represented by Fisher and Kennedy don’t understand about people is that a fair number of women want to be sexualized for the attention it gives them, and that the reason for that attention is biological. That is part of what made the original Star Wars films so powerful. Princess Leia went from a radical feminist to a conquered love interest. By the third film she was in a hot bikini looking very sexual and it went down in history as one of the most memorable costumes in history. If Kathy Kennedy thinks that she’ll expand the market share of Star Wars by going in reverse, she is sadly mistaken. Han Solo conquered Princess Leia through testosterone induced masculinity. When Lucas tried to soften the Han Solo character up for Return of the Jedi into being a nice, understanding equal to Princess Leia, the story doesn’t work. What did work was the metal bikini that Carrie Fisher wore. So there is a real risk that Kennedy is going to screw the whole thing up. I think people will still enjoy the movies, but they won’t be in the same passionate way. If Star Wars gets softened under progressive influence, there is a real risk of the whole thing being destroyed and with it, a major ray of hope that traditional families across the world have as an entertainment option that is safe for their children.

My interest in all this isn’t just because I like Star Wars or Disney. It’s because the release of this film is nearly on scale with the Biblical Armageddon. When this movie is released, it will soak up so much of the news cycle and the Christmas shopping efforts ahead of the Holiday that people will forget that Santa Clause and Jesus are central to the festivities. Star Wars will be all-encompassing. This is one of the biggest things to happen in our lifetimes. I know it’s only a movie, but it’s not. It’s much more than that. Only time will tell how well Disney navigates through this mine field. I’m not ready to boycott Disney over any of this. But if they try to cram gay rights, feminism, and gun control down our throats the way that marijuana, high taxes, and democratic tyranny through corrosive elections have been imposed on us, then I will drop Star Wars in less than a second as an entertainment option, and I know millions of others will as well. This year it’s not the elections that will determine our future—it’s a movie that comes out next month. And the fate of humanity literally hangs in the balance. We’ll see.

When the first Star Wars films were released, Nancy Reagan had a program urging children to say “NO” to drugs. Marijuana was used by kids—lots of kids, but it had a stigma against it imposed by the righteous forcing it underground. Now progressive parasites have put marijuana into the mainstream and they are seeking to break down the pillars of conservatism in Ohio hoping that all blocks of a delicate electorate will topple. If Issue 3 fails, activists will be right back at it for 2016, or 2017—however long it takes for them to impose their conquest. The foundation for the cause of that erosion comes from a lack of resolve established in the human understanding of good versus evil in a very black and white type of way. That is why Star Wars and the condition of Disney are more important than many of the ballot issues up for discussion during the 2015 election. If Disney fails and with it, Star Wars—there isn’t much for good-hearted people to put their effort behind. That is the risk that is before us and the merit of the pre-election coverage on WAAM radio with Matt Clark. The results of an election are less important than the condition of the minds of the people who vote in them. Cultural events, like the opening of a new Star Wars film and a corporation like Disney that was built on family values says a lot as to how elections will be conducted in the future—and that is what is at risk presently.

If you haven’t yet watched all the videos on this article, you should do that now, then read this article again.  It’s all very important to our future.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Robert Tracinski, Rich Hoffman and Matt Clark on WAAM: Why ‘Star Wars’ is better than ‘Star Trek’

Matt Clark had me on his show to actually co-host with him as we spoke to Robert Tracinski who writes for The Federalist. He had written an interesting article about how it was unlikely that J.J. Abrams could screw up the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, so long as he stuck with the formula. There were some condescending aspects to Tracisnski’s article which I was willing to overlook, because he was right about a lot of things. But more than anything Tracisnski had been dismissive of the original trilogy as not being very good—which I thought was odd. So I was eager to talk to him. It only took a few moments into the interview however to learn the root of his issues—he was a Star Trek fan and had only come to Star Wars through his children. His position was that Star Trek was philosophically superior to Star Wars and that these new movies were kid stuff that he was enjoying with his children. Listen to that interview here:

I don’t care much for Star Trek, to me it is the United Nations in space. While Robert Tracinski is not a liberal and is a pretty committed Objectivist, which is Ayn Rand’s philosophy—it was clear to me quickly why Robert didn’t like Star Wars much in his article. I disagree with him on a number of topics regarding the formula of Star Wars, or its appeal. I think the Star Wars films are deeply philosophical; especially The Empire Strikes Back—much more so than Star Trek. I mean, people are not lining up across the world to see the latest Star Trek movie, and Star Wars isn’t as popular as it is because it’s just adults living out their childhoods once again through a movie. It’s more complicated than that. As we were talking to Tracinski, because of his background with Ayn Rand I kept wondering if I had met him someplace before, so I wanted to cut him some slack. Everyone comes to things in their own time and if he came to Star Wars late in life through his kids—so be it. One aspect that Tracinski got right in his article was the perception that Han Solo is the key to the franchise—so I stuck to that topic in our conversation.

Matt and I spent the first segment of his Saturday WAAM show talking about Disney and their progressive activism with a gentle warning about messing with the formula of Star Wars and the impact that might have on their massive investment. Matt and I love Disney—the Uncle Walt version. I love that Disney is a family friendly entertainment group—so I am willing to overlook a little of their liberal activism. Something that Robert Tracinski did bring up on his show that was true.  George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were the best conservative filmmakers coming out of the 80s. I personally think they were both seduced by Bill Clinton in the 90s and have lost their minds since. The reason their early films were so successful was because they all had conservative leanings to them. Once both directors had achieved their monstrous success and essentially stepped away from the Objectivist roots of their film careers, their movies started making a lot less money. Without question George Lucas was at least attracted to Ayn Rand in his early days—when she was at the height of her influence—and Han Solo was a character that represented that struggle within George. As he become more liberal with age and success—perhaps feeling a little guilty that all his liberal employees were constantly berating him for his capitalist tendencies, he softened up on his stance for individualism and began to accept collectivism to a much higher degree, which was clearly represented in the prequel  films—which were noticeably absent of the Han Solo type of character.

Where I disagree with Tracinski about the prequel films is that I don’t think George Lucas ever intended those films to be successes. They were dark movies about the failure of a Republic—and have great political merit to them. They are very philosophical from the position of how poorly constructed philosophies can destroy a body of government. Even though Lucas had been moving to the left—politically, his message about the failure of groups to detect evil, and how institutional failure is indicative of all government cycles is powerful stuff that set the stage for some pretty deep storytelling. As much as people dismiss the prequel films as silly, they are important in the larger scope of the intended message. The movies did lack heroics on the scale of a Han Solo, but that was on purpose. A lot of characters including Yoda and Obi-wan Kenobi made mistakes that they spent the rest of their lives correcting. So the films were never supposed to be heroic repeats of the original trilogy. For that story Han Solo was the savior, he kept Luke alive, married his sister Leia and that set up the events of these new films. Solo is an Ayn Rand character and Disney even with all their activism against conservative causes—can’t ignore that the magic of Star Wars isn’t Luke Skywalker, or anything about the Force—it’s about Han Solo’s position against hooky religions and ancient weapons not being as competent as a good blaster at your side.

Just a few days before Matt and I had our radio show together Harrison Ford was on with Jimmy Kimmel dressed up for Halloween as a hot dog. It was a funny segment and of course Ford was asked about the new Star Wars film. I thought his comments were interesting to say the least. He stated that nobody would be disappointed—at all. That was a remarkable statement considering what’s at stake. He knows the potential cost of over-anticipated hype—so his comments had me very curious in relation to Disney’s strategy going forward. Han Solo is going to be playing a larger role in Star Wars than he has in the past largely because the character tests well demographically. His children will without question be the subject of the new stories but Disney will find every opportunity to insert a younger Han Solo into the movies at every juncture. To be successful at that, Disney will have no choice but to adopt the obvious aspects of Han Solo’s Objectivism view points—his natural conservatism and love of capitalist endeavors if they want Star Wars to continue being successful.

After Matt’s show I spent time at my children’s house going trick or treating with my grandkids—and kids. Late into the night my oldest daughter and I spent time talking about Han Solo and how it seems obvious now that Disney will find a way to put him in the stand alone films as much as possible just to use him as a springboard to success. Like Robert Tracinski and I spoke about on Matt’s show, without Han Solo, I think the Star Wars saga crashes and burns. If they try to turn him into a sacrificial collectivist Disney will lose a lot of money because people will reject the premise. The ticket buying public will only accept the Objectivist Han Solo—and nothing less—the hero who acts in his own self-interest. Even though the moment at the end of A New Hope was intended to show that Solo was able to act for others, the need to save Luke at the last moment was out of Solo’s self-interest because he was starting to like the kid. Like I said, Star Wars is a lot more philosophical than people give it credit for, and I’d think that as much as Tracinski likes Ayn Rand, that he’d prefer Star Wars over the United Nations in space—Star Trek and all that “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” crap. Screw Spock and his pointy ears—he’s a damn collectivist. Solo is a rugged, gun slinging individualist who acts out of his own self-interest. That’s why Star Wars is better than Star Trek.

We’ll see what happens, time will tell. It was a good conversation that was worth listening to, especially given what Star Wars will mean when it opens in a few weeks. There will be no escape; the opening of The Force Awakens will impact just about everyone no matter where they live. It will be impossible to not notice something about it as the merchandising around Christmas will be everywhere. Just watch the Duracell commercial shown above. Star Wars will literally be everywhere in just a few weeks of this writing. There will be nothing like it ever—history is being made both commercially and philosophically. The question will be whether or not The Force Awakens will be as anticipated on the 19th of December as it was on the 18th after people start seeing the movie. To be as successful as Disney needs it to be people will need to see the film several times. And to have that kind of power over the mind of fans—Han Solo will have to be a part of it with an Objectivist approach—otherwise the whole thing falls apart. It’s not the lightsaber battles and space antics that make Star Wars so great—it’s the Objectivist leanings of its basic premise:

Han Solo—“marching into the detention area is not what I had in mind.”

Luke Skywalker—“but she’s rich.”

Han Solo—“How rich?”

Luke Skywalker—“More wealth than you can imagine.”

Han Solo—“I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.”

Luke Skywalker—“you’ll get it.”

Han Solo—“I better!”

Luke Skywalker—“You will!”

Han Solo—“Alright kid, what’s your plan?”

That’s Star Wars—it’s an Objectivist love fest designed before George Lucas was overly liberalized. It’s also why twice during the broadcast with Matt that I uttered to his millions and millions of listeners—“Han shot first!” When Lucas changed Star Wars in 1997 to have the bounty hunter Greedo shoot at Han first in the Mos Eisley cantina fans were angry. It was a liberalized mistake for Lucas to cave under the pressure from the liberal film community to make Han Solo not appear as such a blood thirsty killer. But Solo acting out of self-interest shot first because that is the nature of his character—he’s an Ayn Rand survivalist and the heart of what makes Star Wars great.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The Best Thing About ‘The Force Awakens’: John Williams

Matt Clark and I over the weekend did a rather important show about the new Star Wars picture and the radicalism of Disney from its employees based on an article I wrote several weeks ago. You will be able to listen to that broadcast on WAAM radio soon. However, Matt had on a guest that was late to the call at the bottom of the hour and needed to fill some time while his producer got him on the phone. So we had to come up with a bit of off-script content to bridge the gap. I brought up something I had been thinking about a lot in anticipation of the new Force Awakens Star Wars film based on persistent fears that the expectations were just so high. There was a real danger of walking away disappointed. I realized after a lot of thought that the primary reason I was looking forward to the new Star Wars film was for one simple reason—I want to hear new Star Wars music from John Williams. Everything else is literally secondary. To understand why, watch this old 20/20 segment about John Williams from 1983.

I was a strange kid—which should have been assumed based on a casual reading of my millions and millions of words. There are a lot of people who get paid decent amounts of money for writing far less than I do about far, far fewer topics. Yet I know that I have to write otherwise my head would explode with too many thoughts. I have too many hobbies, too many passions, too many philosophical quandaries that reside at the root of politics that if I don’t get them out and onto some kind of page to look at I may well explode with enthusiasm. So I have to write because I opened the door to something when I was very young that I have never closed. I only wanted to be one thing when I grew up—but I was caught between two worlds really. There was no other job that I wanted to be involved with than a director of movies. The trouble was I also had a pretty powerful physical aptitude. Creative types tend to enjoy escaping from reality and creating what they do in a vacuum of contemplation—whereas I didn’t. I wanted to be in the thick of reality at all times, which flew in the face of the film industry. But at age 13 in 1983 when that 20/20 episode came out on John Williams I wanted to be a film director so that I could work with people like him. What I learned eventually, and much later that there really isn’t anyone like John Williams, the great composer and conductor for some of the most powerful and important movies our American culture has ever produced. So that 20/20 episode was very important to me—I watched it over and over again on a new device called a VHS video tape. I had recorded it and showed it to every member of my family whenever there was some gathering trying to share with them the passion I felt for John Williams music. Most of them didn’t understand.

John Williams is the most important musical personality of the millennia—more so than Beethoven, Mozart, Bach or anybody else. Many years later as I worked at Cincinnati Milicron in Oakley, just north of downtown Cincinnati I listened to all those composers religiously on NPR radio while I worked as a tear-down person for rebuilt machine lathes. The other workers had a typical unionized approach to work, they watched the break clock closely—paced out their day making sure not to produce too much too quickly, and they listened to a lot of classic rock. I wasn’t adverse to rock and roll—there is a certain magic to it blaring from a radio in a machine shop—a freedom that is healthy and defiant in all the right ways—but its not very intellectual. Rock music is very linier—which has never been something I was interested in—rock music equals a can of beer resulting in unstable personal relationships. I enjoyed it for its ambiance, not for the lifestyles that draped off it—the limited vision of the world and lack-luster ambition typical of its fans. So I listened to my radio tuned to NPR’s classical station in Cincinnati and listened to the greats for hours on end while I worked. I was the only one who did this within the entire facility which eventually was dismantled and is now covered by the upgraded development occurring around the Rockwood shopping complex. I have always thought that if more people listened to that classical station with me that the employees would have been smart enough to see the writing on the wall years ago, and Cincinnati Milicron would not have eventually closed down their Oakley facility—but that’s a story we’ve covered before. For this purpose, I considered classical music to be the supreme type of music a human being can listen to—and among them at the very top is John Williams. There is nobody better—and I’ve listened to them all.

Most classical composers wrote their music for some play centuries before they ever appeared on NPR radio. So to me it was not deficient to look at John Williams as one who will eventually surpass the memory of all the obvious musical minds in the future. Movies are modern plays, so a film score is tomorrow’s classical music that will play on NPR radio in the future, all the time. These days however if anybody happened to look at my iPod they would only see two primary names on the entire 10G device, John Williams and Hans Zimmer. There are a few others, but 95% of my iPod is filled with those two musical film composers. Of those two, Hans Zimmer is clearly the student of the master, John Williams. I don’t see them as comparable in any way—other than they both make music. Nobody writes music like John Williams—I listen to him nearly every day in some fashion or another and I never get tired of the way he strings together compositions.

As we were sitting at the bottom of the hour trying to get Matt’s guest on the air, I thought about why I was eager for The Force Awakens by thinking about what I liked most about the recently released trailer—the final one before the film opens on December 18th. It was the scene from a series of clips where the Millennium Falcon was entering hyperspace from the inverted direction speeding into blue light accompanied musically by an upgrade from the previous Han and Leia theme. That was fresh music made just for this trailer and it was stunning in how it helped invoke curiosity. John Williams understands just the right notes to put on a page for what is happening on the screen. The way he tells stories through music is extraordinary, and it was his music that I wanted to hear most regarding the new film.

I meant it when I said it on the air, the Disney Company could put hand puppets on the screen for The Force Awakens and I wouldn’t care so long as I had yet another opportunity to listen to a film score by the great John Williams. He enjoys making swashbuckler type of compositions and really thrives in the type of story that Star Wars is, so it typically brings out the best in him. If the story is not something I can get into, I will at least enjoy the John Williams music—which is what I am looking forward to most. It’s not often that the entire world will attend a musical concert that is classical in nature. Literally the entire planet will be attending a John Williams concert when The Force Awakens opens just ahead of Christmas 2015. And there is nothing negative about that.

Music doesn’t need language—it transcends social limitations and reaches for the pit of our very souls for understanding. Based on that 20/20 clip, it was obvious then that John Williams was on a crash course with destiny as the greatest composer of all time—at least over the last 1000 years—because there has been nobody like him ever. He’s just the right mix of everything musical. No matter how much I listened to Bach, or Mozart on NPR radio, when they would occasionally put on some John Williams music—from any movie—it was clear that a master had assembled the notes. With that in mind there isn’t much Disney can do to ruin Star Wars so long as John Williams is the man behind the music. Star Wars will always be good so long as the music from those movies are made by the 83-year-old composer who was always ahead of his time and is the best that ever occupied nostalgia. Film music is considered low-brow entertainment among the art critics of our day—but that’s because they’re in the back of the train. Eventually those art analyzers will catch up to what I’m saying today—that John Williams is the primary reason that millions will love the new film and it will be the largest and most diverse opening to an orchestral concert in the history of earth—and that is enough to give anyone goose bumps because the impact it will have on shaping our future generations will be paramount. I suspect that The Force Awakens score will be the grand fortissimo to a long and prosperous career.   But more than that, it will be the last act of a brilliant mind, who would rather write alone all day behind a piano than do anything else—which is why he has been and will always be the greatest.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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