I knew there was a reason those movies went bad, but it's sad to blame it on action figures. I love action figures. The article implies that action figures became the only thing keeping Han Solo alive.
But this article also contained a neat metaphor from Billy Wilder, by way of Kurtz, about writing a story:
“I took a master class with Billy Wilder once and he said that in the first act of a story you put your character up in a tree and the second act you set the tree on fire and then in the third you get him down,” Kurtz said. “ ‘Empire’ was the tree on fire. The first movie was like a comic book, a fantasy, but ‘Empire’ felt darker and more compelling. It’s the one, for me, where everything went right. And it was my goodbye to a big part of my life.”