After the recent departure of the team behind one of two sets of new Star Wars trilogies that had been in early stages development at Lucasfilm, Disney CEO Bob Iger was interviewed on BBC radio about how he believes Disney produced too many Marvel and Star Wars movies over a short period of time, essentially flooding the market. As a result of this, Iger wants to slow down how many Star Wars movies the company is making.
“I have said publicly that I think we made and released too many films over a short period of time,” said Iger. “I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I’ve not said that I’m disappointed in their performance. I just think that there’s something so special about a Star Wars film, and less is more.”
The original trilogy (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) were produced an average of about three years apart. I was nine years old in 1977 for the first Star Wars film and I remember the wait between 1980 and 1983 for Return of the Jedi felt so long.
There have been eight theatrically released live-action Star Wars films since the franchise was revived in 1999. That’s actually an average of one film every 30 months, so not much different than the original series. Of course there was a 10 year gap between the end of the prequel series and the start of the final trilogy in the Skywalker Saga. The last five years there’s been one live action Star Wars movie a year on average.
How much Star Wars is too much? That question could also be asked as are we delivering enough of the Star Wars stories that fans want to see in media they want to consume it in.
After all, while there may have been games in Star Wars movies, the Star Wars comics have continued. Star Wars is on its third successful animated television series (Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance) and the original is getting a final season on Disney+. And there’s an incessant demand for Star Wars music in the form of soundtracks on streaming services to live concert experiences.
In less than a week we’ll finally be able to watch the first live action television show set in the Star Wars galaxy – The Mandalorian. A second show based on the time Obi-Wan Kenobi spent watching young Luke Skywalker between Episode III and IV is also officially in development.
Then the is the fan created content. Fans are making costumes, art, music, short films, podcasts, etc. Some of it is pretty high quality storytelling too
Any way you count it, and I’m sure I’m missing some stuff (like oh, the theme parks), there’s a lot of Star Wars content out there at all times.
The question is, is there too much feature film content out there? What do you think? How long are you willing to wait for the next Star Wars movie after Star Wars: The Rise of the Resistance debuts next month?
While I agree that the pace of the last five years has, perhaps, flooded the market a bit too much, I don’t think they need to go back to the once every three years pace. What I’d like to see happen is for Lucasfilm to produce one really spectacular Star Wars film that respects the canon, but explores another period in the history of the Star Wars Galaxy. I think the Game of Thrones producers were on the right track going back to how The Jedi came to be. In canon, that’s a 10,000 year gap of time from the current movies. Make one movie about the Dawn of the Jedi and then see if people like it, cosplay the characters, do fan art, and write fan fiction. If that happens then you know you’re on the right track to make more.