A few days ago, Lucasfilm announced a slate of new projects under production. Disney is really doubling down on the Star Wars Galaxy by expanding the world as much as possible.
One thing most fans will most likely have noticed is the number of shows Lucasfilm have in production. The announcement included 9 new shows coming to Disney+ in the future, including the Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic and Lando. In comparison, only 2 new movies were announced, Rogue Squadron and an untitled Taika Waititi film.
With the lack of new movies, it seems like Disney has almost given up on the films entirely.
The Original Plan Was for a Lot More Films
Most people will remember their plans to release a Star Wars movie every year. Starting with 2015s The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm would release a new film alternating between stories in the main series and spin-off movies. This plan gave us the mush reviled sequel trilogy and the two spin-off films Rogue One and Solo.
Looking to the future of Star Wars, new mainline trilogies were planned to be helmed by The Last Jedi director Ryan Johnson, and former Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss. In between each film, the rumoured spin-off films were to be an Obi-Wan movie, a Boba Fett movie and even an origin story for Yoda.
After the critical failure that was the sequel trilogy and the commercial failure of Solo, Disney really needed to rethink their strategy.
Their saving grace was the success of the new season of The Clone Wars, and The Mandalorian. Which were both exclusive to Disney+. Being both critical and commercial successes, these shows drive up Disney’s subscriber numbers significantly.
I don’t think Star Wars films will ever stop being made, but Disney is no longer looking at shows as less than their cinematic counterparts. They even converted the rumoured Obi-Wan film into a series that will premier on Disney+. The show will even feature Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader and facing off against his old Master.
Something as big as a rematch between Obi-Wan and Vader would normally be saved for the big screen. Shows are usually used for side stories and big plot points or fan service is saved for the big screen. It’s interesting that Disney sees their shows as big enough to add in such a huge moment.
Is this a sign that Disney is planning to end the Star Wars film franchise?
No. But it does tell us that they don’t see the cinema as the only medium for Star Wars stories.
How Long Before We’re Diagnosed With Star Wars Fatigue Again?
New Star Wars media is great and everything, but this could be too much of a good thing. Disney’s original plan to make one film a year gave fans what was dubbed as ‘Star Wars fatigue’. The idea that fans are getting bored with new Star Wars material.
Just look at what happened to Solo. A film starring a fan favourite character, a cool western motif, spectacular performances and the live-action return of Darth Maul should have been a slam dunk. It even got some pretty decent reviews and is a pretty decent film in my opinion.
However, the film was released only months after The Last Jedi, which had a mixed reception at best from fans. Coupled with the fact that it wouldn’t be continuing the main storyline, most fans decided to skip Solo since they couldn’t really be bothered.
If we get a new season of a Star Wars show every year, fans will be pretty happy. But if Disney gives us multiple seasons of new shows, with a different setting, time periods and story-lines every year, some of them are going to be skipped.
This isn’t the end of Star Wars movies. And perhaps Disney will return their focus to the films once they’ve established their catalogue of Disney+ original content.
But for right now, Disney is determined to establish their streaming service at the ultimate place for Star Wars content.
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