David Benioff and DB Weiss, also known as “D&D” among Game of Thrones fandom, will be responsible for the next Star Wars film. Based on how Game of Thrones season 8 is playing out, that’s a horrifying thought.
Fandom has been divided on when exactly Game of Thrones fell apart, but it’s safe to say that D&D were signed on to be part of the Star Wars franchise before the tide had fully turned against them in the public eye. Based anecdotally on my own fandom observation, up until ‘The Last of the Starks‘ it felt like less than half of my fandom spaces felt the writing was objectively terrible. Now it feels like well over 90% of the people in my fandom spaces think things have gone off the rails. Of course, your mileage may vary with these numbers depending on what spaces you hang out in, but the shift across social media has been quite dramatic regardless.
So what does this mean for us? Will their films have the same logical issues as the last season of Game of Thrones? Will the plot be rushed? Or will it not have these issues because the story will be theirs from the beginning? I don’t have a lot of faith even with that caveat, though. David Benioff was partially responsible for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which had the notoriously awful version of Deadpool. It seems even adaptions have been done fairly poorly with at least one of the Ds. That doesn’t give me a lot of hope here.
If Disney wanted to, I’m sure they could cut ties with D&D. They did it with James Gunn with a very specific clause in his contract. Disney lawyers are notoriously scary and they could, if they so choose, wiggle their way out of it legally. But I’m not sure the people who make these decisions care about the backlash the show is getting. The most recent episode set a viewing record despite its catastrophic narrative flaws. Most executives are focused on the bottom line, and right now the bottom line looks good, online backlash be damned. They didn’t oust Kathleen Kennedy despite the online backlash (and, for the record, I am personally a Kathleen Kennedy defender, but that’s neither here nor there).
As long as it’s profitable, they’ll keep the people in charge of the projects right where they are. The bottom line with the James Gunn situation dictated both his firing and then subsequent rehiring. It was one of the few times where online backlash actually made it up the chain, but they went back on it when it looked like their decision would make them lose more money than keeping him fired.
The chances of Disney ever seeing this random article here is low, so me begging them to reconsider these contracts is a useless endeavor, but I’m sending all my prayers out there into the universe and hope that things change course. I hope Disney feels pressure from this particular bit of online backlash despite their historical apathy towards it. Please, universe. We need Disney to save the franchise from this potential disaster.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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