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Taking the creator away from the creation

    • 550 posts
    January 10, 2018 6:30 PM EST

    Hollywood and the video game industry has been bent on making reboots, remakes, and sequels/prequels for a while now without the original creator. Star Wars or Fallout, for example. 

     

    Here's a question. If you take out every member from Metallica and replace them with completely new people, is it still Metallica? 

    For me, the answer is no, and I would assume that the majority would share that sentiment.

    So why should we accept a Star Wars movie without George Lucas? A Fallout game without Tim Cain? That's like a Mortal Kombat without Ed Boon.

     

    I guess I would consider a novel made in the universe of a movie or vice-versa to be different than the examples above. While it generally does take the creator away from the creation, it isn't in the same medium and it isn't reasonable to expect one or two creators to make a movie, a game, a novel, etc. over the same concept. I'm still conflicted on that. 

     

    Generally, bringing back old IP's is for the name brand and easy ticket sales. These random people they bring in to make a random reboot of some franchise might like the source material, but at the end of the day, it is about the paycheck instead of the art. At least, that is how it usually goes.

     

    What is your opinion on this topic? It's probably slightly confusing to read, since I struggled putting my thoughts into words. I'll clear things up in the comments if needed.

     

     

     

    • 1441 posts
    January 10, 2018 6:38 PM EST
    With Star Wars at least, I'm generally of the opinion that it doesn't matter in the same manner that comic books don't. I man the Expanded Universe has been a thing for decades now, with different creators adding their own ideas to the universe and so on.

    Really until Disney kicked the EU in the balls, George was only responsible for a portion of the entire work. The original yeah, and he deserves a lot of credit but that's a universe created by dozens of people.

    Will respond more once I get to my PC, but I love this discussion
    • 61 posts
    January 10, 2018 7:50 PM EST
    Ah, the proverbial ship of Theseus...Here's the thing about Theseus's ship though, if it still floats then who cares? These things should be judged by the merit of the product itself and not some weird hero worship or attempt at loyalty.

    Doing it just for a paycheck is a quick way to ruin art, but you can't just assume that's the case whenever the creator leaves a project or assume it isn't just because they stay. I mean, fallout is doing just fine without Cain. It's a different kind of game now, but not in any way a lesser one.
    In the case of Star Wars, the most recent addition was definitely an atrocity...but so far that's been only one bad movie out of the three they've made sans-Lucas. In fact, there's been more terrible movies WITH Lucas than without.
    Btw, Metallica is a bad example because replacing all the members might not make it Metallica anymore...but it might finally be decent music. Lol. Plus, your topic is only talking about replacing one person which they HAVE done in Metallica and you yourself did in fact still call them Metallica, so...I guess you answered your own question.
    This post was edited by Tysoyaha at January 10, 2018 10:38 PM EST
    • 8 posts
    January 11, 2018 1:37 AM EST

    I'm of two minds. Recycling known ip because you already have the dedicated fanbase, and using them for a lazy cash grab is going to reflect poorly on your creation.

     

    Tysoyaha said: Doing it just for a paycheck is a quick way to ruin art,

    ^^This basically.

    However, the idea of intellectual property is a modern invention. All of our recognisable fairy tales were retold a million times over, changing over time as each teller added their own flair. We kind of have this in modern storytelling, through fanfiction, but we are beholden to this idea of 'canon' that the ancient storytellers... played loosely with. King Arthur, Robin Hood, Mulan, the Illiad (Trojan War), are not the creations of any one person, but the result of (centuries) collaborative storytelling. There was no 'lead writer', and anyone who wanted to extend the story in a given setting could, or add new characters to tell a different story (The various stories of the Knights of the Round Table are the best example of this). It wasn't considered fanfiction, if it got popular enough it was as 'true' as the 'original', and these additions are a part of what we consider the 'canon' version of the myth today. While I doubt this ownership-free version of storytelling will ever make a big comeback (D&D anyone?), it does give a different perspective on 'Can a new Star Wars movie by a different storyteller be called Star Wars?' God knows I've read fanfiction and fan theories better than the content that some franchises put forward as canon.

    Good food for thought :) 


    This post was edited by Asher at January 11, 2018 1:38 AM EST
    • 61 posts
    January 11, 2018 7:42 AM EST

    @Asher nailed it. You bring up two completely different points as if they were the same topic. Commercialism can ruin a franchise, but there's also a lot of other things involved that can be detrimental to the quality of a product and bringing in new talent isn't automatically one of them (except when you switch directors out of spite after one already set up intrigue in the first film to be revealed in the next). You can't even claim that losing Lucas made the Star Wars franchise any more commercial because we have so much rose tinted nostalgia for what was molded around marketability in the first place...and yes, it did affect the quality of the movies. For instance, as kids we don't realize how stupid it is that Ewoks can so easily defeat the greatest threat in the universe, and we weren't nearly cynical enough to realize that they were only in the movie to sell tedybears...but looking back at things like that you can easily come to the realization that the people who are brought in to reboot a franchise often grew up with it and probably have more respect for it than it's creators ever did. If the original films are any indication then keeping Lucas on board would have only made the "it's just a paycheck" problem even worse. He's been doing it from the start, if he were invoked in these movies we'd just still be getting excuses from the same fanboys who are complaining now that he's gone.


    This post was edited by Tysoyaha at January 11, 2018 7:46 AM EST
    • 550 posts
    January 11, 2018 4:52 PM EST

    At what point does an IP stop being itself? Dumb question, but let me explain.

     

    Look at the Dark Souls series. Dark Souls (original) was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, while Dark Souls 2 was directed by Tomohiro Shibuya. The core game is the same, but there are a few different mechanics. Despite this, the second game was much maligned by fans (not by critics). It's because Dark Souls 2 wasn't really a Dark Souls game. It had the tropes of the "Souls-like" subgenre. But it had different goals, and a different feel. Dark Souls 2 really focused on player freedom, and that was its strength. Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3 (both directed by Miyazaki) made world design, atmosphere and level design a huge focus. Sure, there is more to Dark Souls than world design, atmosphere and level design, and any Souls-like that makes those priority won't be a Dark Souls game itself. I guess what I'm trying to say is that calling something Dark Souls doesn't make it Dark Souls.

     

    My point is that taking an IP and making products with that label doesn't really mean the products are what that IP is. So the only reason to keep the IP is for the name. The new Star Wars movies could be called something other than Star Wars because the heart of SW is gone, but the only reason that doesn't happen is because of money.

     

    The more I think about my example the more it falls apart, but hopefully my point got across. Just because a product has a fancy brand name doesn't mean it is the same thing, and the only reason to keep the brand name is money. 

     

    John Williams, the famous composer, draws from other older composers. What he does is retelling.

    Saying that Episode 8 is the brand new Star Wars, name and all, is "retelling".

     

     

    • 179 posts
    January 11, 2018 6:46 PM EST

    To me, the important thing is not keping the creator(s) themselves in charge, it's maintaining the spirit of their creation in subsequent followups. The (semi) recent release of Sonic Mania is an excellent example of this. The team behind it had nothing to do with the development of the original Genesis titles, yet despite that they made a game that, at worst, is a worthy followup to the classic Sonic games and at best surpasses them. Why? Because it was made by fans of the original games that knew what made them great and maintained that in Mania. By contrast Sonic Team itself has produced far more misses than hits since the Genesis days, in part because they have a tendency of adding stuff that is antithetical to a Sonic game. Now granted, the easiest way to maintain the spirit of the original creation in sequels is to keep the original creator(s) involved (usually anyway) but as games like Sonic Mania showed, it's by no means required.

    And even then, there are occasionally new entries in certain IPs that I enjoy despite doing little to nothing to maintain the spirit of the originals. For example, I love KOTOR II's deconstruction of the tropes and plot elements we take for granted in Star Wars, despite the fact that in doing so it couldn't be farther apart from the original films.


    This post was edited by Albino at January 11, 2018 6:59 PM EST
    • 1441 posts
    January 11, 2018 6:49 PM EST

    I'm really not following the logic behind the Star Wars example. To me I'd rather use the way they've handled the Expanded Universe (or the old, no longer canon one) if you want to look at how commercialism has ruined a series (IMO). To me, I see that as a clear method of, we need to make more money so we're going to completely invalidate everything that people have been doing for decades so we can create our own canon and people can't complain that our movies aren't canon. There's a huge difference between that fact and continuing the series through 7, 8 and 9...though again, still the same situation.

    Note: I'm assuming that there are a few good reasons behind retconning the previous EU, it's just I'm salty and want to ignore facts :P Still, I can't deny that I would bet that money was a huge reason, whether it's not having to pay royalties to whatever book they're using (if that's how it would work), or if there were just legal complications that would slow them down, or any number of different, money-costing reasons for ret-conning them.

    Maybe if the argument was based around the fact that they essentially retconned large swathes of Star Wars Lore just to make the movies, then to me what they've done is change what Star Wars is to me. Episode 7-9, Rogue One, Solo, whatever else they're cooking up, all of it Star Wars, but it's a Star Wars that exists only because they 'ruined' (for lack of a better word) the old stuff.

    But yeah, just making a continuation of Star Wars without George Lucas, well as I said earlier, don't care, they've been doing it for decades so it isn't 'evil' for a big corporation to do it, even if 90% of their reasoning is to make MONEY!

     

    Dunno about Dark Souls so that's impossible for me to talk about. I don't know, for me games are just nearly impossible to categorize here. Because teams behind games (unless they're indie developers with like, 3 people working on a one-off game) changes constantly, I doubt there's a single franchise that has most of the same team behind each game and while you could say that X is the leader of the project, the fact is that there are still dozens if not hundreds of other people who made that particular game what it is. Plus then you've got people doing things like remaking games using new, modern engines (usually for free to be fair) or Age of Empires HD Edition, and the following expansions. That's essentially a group of fans remaking the old AoE games, but they're doing an excellent job and was part of the reason we're getting an AoE 4.

    Just think it's not all negative really. 

    • 697 posts
    January 16, 2018 1:07 AM EST

    Albino said:

    To me, the important thing is not keping the creator(s) themselves in charge, it's maintaining the spirit of their creation in subsequent followups.

    Tysoyaha said: Here's the thing about Theseus's ship though, if it still floats then who cares?

    My gif won't gif. I like these points. But the gif said it better. 

    fixd


    This post was edited by Legion at January 16, 2018 1:14 AM EST
    • 197 posts
    February 27, 2018 11:58 AM EST

    Tysoyaha said:

    @Asher nailed it. You bring up two completely different points as if they were the same topic. Commercialism can ruin a franchise, but there's also a lot of other things involved that can be detrimental to the quality of a product and bringing in new talent isn't automatically one of them (except when you switch directors out of spite after one already set up intrigue in the first film to be revealed in the next). You can't even claim that losing Lucas made the Star Wars franchise any more commercial because we have so much rose tinted nostalgia for what was molded around marketability in the first place...and yes, it did affect the quality of the movies. For instance, as kids we don't realize how stupid it is that Ewoks can so easily defeat the greatest threat in the universe, and we weren't nearly cynical enough to realize that they were only in the movie to sell tedybears...but looking back at things like that you can easily come to the realization that the people who are brought in to reboot a franchise often grew up with it and probably have more respect for it than it's creators ever did. If the original films are any indication then keeping Lucas on board would have only made the "it's just a paycheck" problem even worse. He's been doing it from the start, if he were invoked in these movies we'd just still be getting excuses from the same fanboys who are complaining now that he's gone.

     

    yes. I can’t agree more. Everything is merchandised like mad these days, and it was back when I was a kid as well. I can remember seeing Empire in the cinema as a kid, and Return, and you’re right - all that stuff didn’t dawn on me. But then, Spaceballs came out when I was 12, and made fun of all the tricks movies use to increase merchandising, and I started to think about it. And yeah, it’s art, but it’s also art that is expected to pay the salaries of everyone involved in the project, so the fact that some part of it is for the paycheck doesn’t bother me that much. Generally speaking, and I hope this doesn’t come across like I’m speaking with my eyes closed while sipping a glass of overpriced wine, because that’s not how I mean it, but if I really want art or creation for the sake of creation, I’ll probably choose to find it in something that’s not meant to be a blockbuster, no matter who’s sitting at the helm.