Franchises And Thoughts

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I’ve started to question the value of franchises.

This may sound strange in many ways.

  • You may wonder “what the hell took you so long?” as we try to figure out why Spider-Man movies keep getting remade.
  • You may wonder why I care, because I’m bang alongside crazy creativity, cosplay, fanfic – and I haven’t really mentioned this.
  • You may wonder if I’m becoming a crotchety old geek. I’m not, I’m still cool and still love being a Pyro in TF2.

So let me explain exactly what started this. It all has to do with Grand Moff Tarkin.

For those of you who don’t recall, yes, that’s the guy played by Peter Cushing in the first Star Wars film. Commander of the Death Star, didn’t take crap from Vader, and looked like he was permanently bitter at life.  I figure it’s because the name “Tarkin” sounds like an artificial fabric winter coats are made out of.

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Oogieloves experience Oogiehate and Oogieindifference

I’m sure you’re disappointed to hear that the Oogieloves film has tanked terribly.  This may be record tankitude.

I of course don’t follow children’s television much, unless it’s about Hasbro’s marketing departiment going “WTF” over brightly colored pony fandom.  However I had seen the posters for this film when I went to watch a Rifftrax and figured it was some other franchise I’d ignored.

Turns out as I dug deeper it was an independent kid’s film, best summarized by a commenter at gawker as trying to look like a franchse.  I thought it was a franchise and am kind of surprised to discover it’s bounced around for 3 years before coming to theaters to fail.

So I’m getting the impression this little failure is an example of trying to create “insta-franchise” that didn’t work.  Can I understand why it was tried?  Sure – if people think it’s a franchise they may feel it’s reliable or predictable – franchises don’t even have to be “good” per se to succeed.  The thing is that a franchise builds on a series of past experiences, of which people had none to go on.

I also think a lesson can be taken in the internet age, the one of instant fame and viral effects.  Yes those things can build a franchise, yes you can create something fast, yes you can get attention.  But you can’t pretend you have something you don’t have.

The Oogieloves could learn a lot from the Kardashians and Honey Boo-Boo.  This, by the way, is probably something I’ll never type again.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at