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TLJ and the "New Coke"

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Shadowblade, Jun 5, 2018.

?

Did TLJ make you more or less enthusiastic for SW in general?

  1. Less enthusiastic for SW

    31 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. More enthusiastic for SW

    19 vote(s)
    30.6%
  3. No change

    12 vote(s)
    19.4%
  1. Shadowblade

    Shadowblade Clone Commander

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    Some might have heard of the 1985 marketing ploy by Coca-Cola to change their old coke formula. They were losing market shares, and needed to expand in competion with other soft drinks. SO they decided to change things up. It is considered a classic example on how things can turn bad if you tamper with an established brand.

    Providing the wikiink here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke

    Though market research/test groups showed an improvement in taste with the new formula, But especially this result from the test results can be interesting: " About 10-12% of testers felt angry and alienated at the thought, and said they might stop drinking Coke altogether."

    Marker sales initially improved, before a backlash took roots and they dropped heavily. It seemed the people who did not like the switch were a minority, but a very vocal and vehement at that. Peer pressure and negativism spread like wildfire.

    "The company hotline, 1-800-GET-COKE, received over 1,500 calls a day compared to around 400 before the change.[5] A psychiatrist whom Coke had hired to listen in on calls told executives that some people sounded as if they were discussing the death of a family member."

    In time the executives realized the mistake, and rolled the whole ting back. As you are probably aware of, they have been very successfull with Coca-Cola Zero in later years, while keeping the old classic...differentiating without damaging it's core familiar product.

    "The Coca-Cola Company spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out where it had made a mistake, ultimately concluding that it had underestimated the public reaction of the portion of the customer base that would be alienated by the switch. This would not emerge for several years afterward, however, and in the meantime the public simply concluded that the company had, as Keough suggested, failed to consider the public's attachment to the idea of what Coke's old formula represented."

    Can one argue that with the "new" take on SW TLJ introduced, changing the SW formula, is similar to the coca-cola debacle?
     
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  2. DarthWarEagle

    DarthWarEagle Rebel General

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    Great post and a good analogy. When you are dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars it is probably worth listening to your fans.
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    It's an interesting thought.

    I think simply put: sure, people don't like change.

    What differentiates this are two things, in my opinion:



    1) With the coke example, we can assume that the old formula stopped being made in favor of the new formula. This means, old coke became harder and harder to get off the shelf, so people who preferred were actually being denied what they enjoyed.

    This isn't the case with film, obviously. Even if you don't love where new Star Wars is going, you'll always hvae the previous films.



    2) Somewhat related to the first point- as a consumable, there is comfort in something never changing. If you want coke, you want coke.

    With a movie franchise, you don't just want the same thing regurgitated over and over again. That's a big criticism of ROTJ and The Force Awakens, in fact. You need something new and fresh. Of course, ideally that thing will not strive too far from the series' identity, so I can see how that could be a point of contention for some people.
     
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  4. Shadowblade

    Shadowblade Clone Commander

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    View attachment 47818
    Yes, those are important things that seperate them. Yeah, the old will always be there, as will the EU for the continuation.

    Oh, at least we got one definetely new thing in ROTJ
     
    #4 Shadowblade, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2018
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  5. Rayjefury

    Rayjefury Force Sensitive

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    I remember when this happened, it was disastrous for Coca Cola. They had a legitimate impetus for attempting a change (loss of market share) but the average consumer who enjoyed Coke didn't see that or weren't aware. What they knew was something they had always enjoyed just fine was being changed for reasons that seemed superficial (change for the sake of change - rather than change to acquire more of the market). And the push back was long and loud.

    If we're to extend the analogy here, it may behoove Disney and LFL to do less "clap backs" and more fan outreach and mea culpas. One thing in which I am confident is that if you need to change what is established to gain market share, you're already in trouble. It's probably better just to create a new product than to change an old one (and I'm surprised this lesson hasn't been well learned by now). McDonald's cannot change it's fries, Coke can't change it's formula, Kentucky Fried Chicken can't change it's herbs and spices. There are things that come to define your product so much that in order to go a new direction you have to do so in a new vehicle/product. They can introduce new products, but changing ones that already work is a recipe for disaster. If Rian only ever directed the new trilogy he may have become a fan favorite (because he would essentially be "playing with house money". He had nothing to lose, no boundaries he couldn't cross, it was a new product). But his radical retcon of the series centerpiece to fit his vision of subversion (I believe) has come at great cost to the franchise. With all the competent writers and directors out there, why would shackle yourself to Rian Johnson if it appears he will be a drag on sales for a new Trilogy?

    If past is prologue, and if the fans finally have Disney's and LFL's attention, I think what I have asserted before will come to pass, you will never get another TLJ story. You may get the beautiful visuals, but you won't get a subversive story ever again, and you won't get one that CHANGES the characters into something unrecognizable once they're established forward. Your analogy is an apt one and a great observation.
     
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  6. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Guest

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    I think fans would welcome a new story, with new characters, but not the changing of current characters with long established traits. Han and Leia stayed mostly the same, save for Leia's space flight, though we were aware she had the Force. Luke was changed but fans didn't get to see the change. Fans were expected to accept that he changed this much because it was 30 years and stuff happened, but fans never saw that stuff that happened. GL did this with Anakin to some extent, and only after the CW series could I remotely accept this element of the PT due to his change from movie to movie feeling so unnatural.

    Then of course there's the difference that we knew Anakin had to become evil Vader, while Luke, I think most assumed would always be a force for good. Yes, he returns to fight the good fight by the end, but I think RJ took things a bit too far for some fans. Change is hard and it's a delicate thing.

    As much as we have the OT, if you want us to watch Solo, don't sour the milk with TLJ (for some of us). If you don't, we'll stop buying what you're peddling and keep watching the OT. Or, to continue on the Coke analogy, we'll keep buying Classic Coke and not buy Cherry Coke (even if it's good in its own right) due to your new idea of Onion and Garlic Coke that we mostly didn't like.

    (I realize many will argue that TLJ has nothing to do with Solos performance, and for those of you who believe this, I apologize, but I believe most think it has had some effect, but I will grant you that we really just don't know how much.)
     
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  7. ZDTemplar

    ZDTemplar Rebel Trooper

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    What, precisely are these big changes people are constantly talking about? What are we killing? It's still stories about galaxy-threatening dark v. light.

    Is the change that they want SW to become the Marvel franchise, where it's more action/comedy, rather than action/fantasy? If so, I think marvel-level of comedy is a big mistake for SW.
     
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  8. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    I think what has added to this is not just the change its that change came halfway through a 6 pack of coke. The force awakens got record numbers to buy into the brand, with what was very much and tried and tested formula. Then the next film came out with the very obvious intention to subvert the viewer's expectations.

    The best analogy for this film has always been Iron Man 3. The way they handled the Mandarin angered millions of fans, many fans felt like they were basically been trolled, they were excited about seeing Ben Kingsly play the classic villian and when they didn't get that and it was all a misdirect revealed in a SNL style sketch it left many fans annoyed. However, lots of fans loved the switch, liked their expectations been played with.

    Its a similar case with this trilogy, many people feel they were brought on board and sold one type of story, then director of the next wanted to play with those expectations, some loved it. others wanted the story they feel like they were sold in the force awakens.
     
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  9. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    That's an interesting way of looking at it.

    If we were to continue this analogy, I might add that it could also be like some people thinking that the coke tastes off at different times while going through the pack, while others notice the difference but end up liking it more, and even others never really see a significant difference at all.

    That's the weird problem with people having subjective taste in movies.
     
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  10. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    And in both cases the subversive films are far better than they get credit for but people can't get over those subversion tactics to appreciate them IMO
     
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  11. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    The 'Special Editions' say "hi" :D
     
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  12. Kabe

    Kabe Rebelscum

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    A sequel that subverts the viewer's expectations is a good sequel. TLJ is a lot like The Empire Strikes Back, which also pissed off a lot of people. Also remember that ESB blazed a lot of new ground relative to the previous Star Wars movie in terms of world building and visual style.

    But I personally don't agree with "The New Coke" analogy. TLJ went against many's expectations in terms of plot and characterization, but for me it still sat squarely in the Star Wars universe. It maintained overall visual and stylistic continuity with previous films (despite a few small things that didn't quite work for me).

    And at the end of the story, Luke is the hero again, and the villain has been proven wrong. The basic mythology of Star Wars may have been questioned or dissected to some degree over the course of the film, but it was never overturned or replaced.
     
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  13. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Coramoor

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    No, but one could argue that the minority of Star Wars fans who didn't like The Last Jedi may never quit telling people how much they didn't like The Last Jedi.
     
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  14. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    A good point in this thread is all about The Last Jedi been a significant change in direction. And there are lots of people, from both side who feel it was a big change in direction, but there are those (again from both sides) who think it wasn't a shift at all. People see and taste things differently.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 6, 2018 ---
    Personly I thought in both cases the subversion tactics got in the way of the story. And in both cases what they subverted the story for was not as exciting as what could have been.

    But everyone has different views and tastes, I wonder if in general people who like Iron Man 3 like the last Jedi and vice versa.
     
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  15. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Coramoor

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    One small note about Coca-Cola... Before the new Coke debacle they were trailing Pepsi in the United States. New Coke generated so much publicity that when they brought back Coca-Cola classic they passed Pepsi in United States and have never relinquished the lead.

    Outside of the United States Pepsi continues to lead and people think Pepsi taste better. Obviously they're wrong because Coke is the best.

    Feel free to vote this one off topic as well @Shadowblade. Let the anger flow through you.
     
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  16. Shadowblade

    Shadowblade Clone Commander

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    Well observed. Yet, remember, Coca-Cola actually had to backtrack to make that happen. Some actually think it was a very clever PR ploy. Creating an uproar and divide to get brand attention before going back being the plan all along. Most believe Coca-Cola just *** the pooch though.

    Perhaps Marvel is Pepsi, and SW the Coca-Cola of our time. And perhaps that sweet, sweet marvel humour just doesn't ring too well with the SW crowd :)

    (Disney own them both, so this time they will make money no matter what :))
     
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  17. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    I thought it enhanced the story.
    The Mandarin twist updated and moved on from a dated and tired early Hollywood Asian character stereotype. The bigger crime was the studio pushing away from the original female villain Shane Black wrote for the male villain.
    It ends up being a story about a broke Tony Stark in need of being put back together.

    The Last Jedi is a story about a broken Luke Skywalker in need of being put back together.

    People went in wanting stories on Iron Man and the Legendary Luke Skywalker. They got human stories instead.

    I don't think they got in the way of stories at all. They were the stories. They were different than what we are conditioned to expect.
     
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  18. Shadowblade

    Shadowblade Clone Commander

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    Yeah...but I though in Ironman 3, we had a Tony Stark not really acting that much out of character. I mean...he was still the same cocky guy, just suffering from a little PTSD. Broke or not, didn't change his personality much....still being somewhat of a "insert Batmans adopted son". He was the same guy as always, just with a little extra going on to keep it interesting. Jake Skywalker is a different story.

    Perhaps you comparison fits in some way...but I think we can agree that the character choices were more pronounced in TLJ than Ironman 3. Ironman did not get the same amount of laurels by critics for "going in a new direction as "TLJ"....nor the baclash. I think we are talking different magnitudes of change.
     
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  19. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Watch the first Iron Man.

    Then, watch Infinity War.

    The Tony Stark you see in that movie is definitely a changed person over that time of... about ten years.

    Luke had about 35. And granted, most of that is not currently covered in current media, but we do get enough back story to rationalize where he is when we see him in TLJ.

    That's why this "Jake Skywalker" thing is ridiculous beyond measure.
     
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  20. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    "Broke or not, didn't change his personality much"
    Yes it did. He was much less brazen, he was more humble at times...just like Luke was still Luke in certain moments and when it mattered most.

    "A little PTSD" is a very dishonest approach to the conversation and surefire sign I don't think furthering it would go anywhere positive.
     
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