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It’s undeniable that Solo: A Star Wars Story massively underperformed, fueling a narrative that Star Wars as a whole is in trouble as opposed to simply experiencing the inevitable first dud. According to that version of events, the franchise has been listing ever since 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which “only” made $620 million dollars in theaters domestically, easily becoming the top movie of the year. That, however, is far less than the $936 million of 2014’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and therefore a sign that The Last Jedi — and, goes the argument, Disney’s handling of Star Wars in general — is actually in trouble.

The fact that The Force Awakens was a much-hyped event that not only resurrected one of the most beloved movie franchises of all time, but also brought back the original cast to the franchise for the first time in 30 years — and, as a result, a trick that couldn’t really be repeated two years later — is dismissed in the “Star Wars is in trouble” telling.

Nonetheless, let’s go with the idea that Star Wars is in trouble, for the sake of argument. Are volume and timing really to blame?

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