If all the theatrical movies don’t lead to franchise fatigue…
Following the announcement that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be making a series of Star Wars films, Disney CEO Bob Iger ]said there will be “a few” Star Wars TV shows created for Disney’s own streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Iger stated:
“We are developing not just one, but a few ‘Star Wars’ series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app. We’ve mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the entities that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn’t completely closed, we can’t be specific about that…I think you’ll find the level of talent…on the television front will be rather significant as well.”
As for what these TV shows will be about or whether they will be live-action or animated, that’s unclear. Last November, Iger announced there would be a live-action TV series launched on Disney’s upcoming streaming platform, but there’s no word on how many of the multiple shows will be live-action.
This news — coupled with the announcement about Benioff and Weiss — has given fans a lot to look forward to. But maybe that’s not entirely a good thing.
For some fans, exploring the Star Wars universe beyond the “Skywalker Saga” is exciting and will be welcomed whether it comes on the big screen or a streaming platform. For others, having time pass between franchise installments allows anticipation to build for the next film, and that makes the whole experience more exciting. Being inundated with new Star Wars content multiple times a year could create franchise fatigue.
Personally, I’m looking forward to any upcoming Star Wars projects. But I also can’t pretend my opening night Last Jedi screening didn’t feel somewhat less special when I went in with the knowledge that I’ll soon be doing the exact same thing for Solo. Though the two films are not telling the same story and there will still be anticipation leading up to the next chapter of the “Skywalker Saga,” waiting a few months for a Star Wars film is not the same experience as waiting several years for one.
Then again, franchise fatigue isn’t a death sentence. While many cite Marvel films as an example of a bloated franchise that tires audiences and critics out with the constant stream of films, Black Panther is proof that can change. Reactions to the film hold it up as a film that will revitalize the MCU and “save blockbusters.” Black Panther is unlike other Marvel films and its originality has made its mark on audiences before even being released by outselling every other superhero film in advance ticket sales. No matter how many installments there are in a series, a good, original film can find a way to shake off franchise fatigue.
If Disney follows the Netflix model with its streaming service, that means there would be opportunities for the show creators to flex their creativity and for the studio to surprise audiences. Whatever you thought of The Cloverfield Paradox, its unprecedented release strategy proved that some of the most thrilling film moments can come from streaming platforms. That’s not to say anyone would expect Disney to start surprise releasing Star Wars films or shows, but rather that non-theatrical releases can still garner attention and excitement from fans.
Multiple TV shows could also bring in new directors to the world of Star Wars. There are a number of female directors who are due for a chance to take on Star Wars, and while Disney might still be hesitant about recruiting one of them for a film, doing so with TV episodes could be a more appealing alternative. With new voices in the creation process and original stories being told, the franchise would stand a good chance of not sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity.
The streaming platform that will host the Star Wars shows will debut in late 2019. Benioff and Weiss will also begin working on Star Wars when Game of Thrones finishes airing in 2019.