by 👨💻 Graham Pierrepoint
Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm some years ago was nothing short of a surprise, and was seen as something of a coup. Fans of Star Wars had been crying out for a ‘proper’ extension to the franchise for many years, through division over the prequel series and beyond. With the release of The Force Awakens in 2015, Star Wars was well and truly back on the menu and a hot property again. Since then, it’s been followed up with Rogue One (a prequel), The Last Jedi (a sequel) and Solo (another prequel). That’s one Star Wars movie a year for the past four years. While it seemed that the House of Mouse was still very much on a crest of a wave with the franchise, recent issues have forced them to rethink their Star Wars strategy completely.
Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, recently advised The Hollywood Reporter that we shouldn’t expect a new Star Wars movie every year from now on. While it’s clear that the firm still wants to press on with the hugely successful franchise and its colossal Marvel Studios wing, it’s thought that the recent failure of Solo at the box office may have led to a complete rethinking of the release schedule. Solo managed to claw almost $400 million altogether but is still seen as a loss based on production and marketing costs – making it the first Star Wars film ever to be considered an outright flop.
“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made – I take the blame – was a little too much, too fast,” Iger explains in conversation. “You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films (…) but I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing.”
▶ Disney To Slow Down Production On Some 'Star Wars' Projects
Star Wars has always had a fairly divided fanbase – with many claiming The Last Jedi to have been a huge misfire despite critical acclaim and big box office numbers. It’s clear that things perhaps need to be paced a little differently for these space operas to start having the same effect they used to again. We’re due an entirely new trilogy after the current line ends, for example, and reported spin-offs surrounding popular characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett were lined up. Where do they stand now? Let’s wait and see.