Should you give the audience what they want?

TrooperreadsPhil: Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” He decided to create the mass-market automobile instead.

The writers of the new Star Wars film must be feeling glum at the moment. Tasked with creating a new film in the largest franchise in the world for a new owner who expects a return on their massive investment.

So, they looked at the previous 6 films and tried to work out what people liked.

Then they gave it to them.

Unfortunately, in doing this they managed to produce a film that was rather too close to the 1977 original. And boy has the Internet noticed. People who wake up under a Star Wars bedspread, wearing Star Wars pyjamas and eat breakfast from a Star Wars bowl have been taking to forums to complain. I bet there was hardly any work done in any It department for a week.

To be fair, when I saw it, I did wonder quite how stupid the Evil Empire have to be to build a pretty near identical mahoosive weapon and still make it as vulnerable to attack as the previous two. How that made it through plot development is a mystery.

Trouble is, how “new” a story do you go for?

The three prequels were roundly criticised for being dull and over-complicated, so the fans don’t want too much new story.

Imagine if there was a new, simple tale but something else got left out. Perhaps the writers produce the script and skip the lightsabre action as it’s a bit of an anachronism. You’d be deafened by the sound all the fans throwing their Millennium Falcon’s out of their prams…

It’s a problem for those of use with rather smaller budgets. Genre fiction audiences demand a new spin on the same old story. In the world of chick-lit it’s girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back again. At no point must boy turn into a Yeti (that’s fantasy) or girl kill him with a vat of health drinks (Crime fiction).

We’re working on Book 2. Kate and Dave are circling each other but we have a story arc and so they aren’t going to get together properly quite yet. Maybe in a couple of books time. Or the next one maybe. You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

In the meantime, we’ll try to take you on different and interesting journeys. Unless Disney gives us 4 billion dollars and then all bets are off but there will be some cracking songs and a range of collectible action figures.

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