Jet into hype space to escape the dark side
The money generated by the latest Star Wars movie is huge, not least because of the hype
We all deserve a break from the intense intrigue, back-stabbing and political manoeuvring of 2017. That’s why we will be watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a movie about intrigue, back-stabbing and political manoeuvring.
But it’s all done in a distant time in a universe far, far away with lightsabres and a cast of fabulous young actors.
Well, mostly young. Mark Hamill — the original Luke Skywalker — will be making a return for the fifth time. Only Chewbacca (six), R2-D2 (seven) and C-3PO (nine) have put in more appearances.
At 66, Hamill is still the star of the franchise.
The Last Jedi took US$220m on its opening weekend, second only to the $248m haul of The Force Awakens in 2015.
The franchise’s 10 episodes have cost $926m to produce but have returned a staggering $8bn at the box office worldwide. That’s the equivalent of R11.5bn ... R11.2bn ... R11.1bn — damn this Ramaphosa rand.
The money is huge not least because of the hype.
When Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau wore a pair of Chewbacca socks during a visit to New York earlier this year, it resulted in a light-hearted Twitter conflict.
William Shatner, star of Star Trek, tweeted: "@JustinTrudeau I thought we were friends? Chewbacca socks?"
There is already hype over whether or not The Last Jedi has hit the mark or spun off the script. While it has very high scores from critics, its fan ratings have been low, leading to speculation that it is breaking with too many traditions.
Either way, it promises a great escape from intrigue, back-stabbing and political manoeuvring on this planet.