For some, it is a golden era for Star Wars. We are anxiously awaiting the final chapter of a new trilogy of films. We have spinoff films exploring other portions of the franchise’s galaxy. A new animated series is set to premier soon while waiting in the wings are two new trilogies from filmmaker Rian Johnson and Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as well as a live action series being prepped for Disney’s upcoming streaming service by Jon Favreau.
But for others, it seems that there is too much Star Wars, and one of them is Disney CEO Bob Iger. In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the Disney honcho stated that the franchise might be seeing a “slowdown” when it comes to new theatrical films set in a galaxy far away.
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. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.
Honestly, this might not be the worst idea Bob Iger has ever had. (That would be his decision to place the second season of Twin Peaks on Fridays at 10pm back when he was in charge of ABC.) Lucasfilm is pretty much dedicated to one thing at this point – Star Wars content. And it does appear as if there is some stress around the edges of that process that can be seen. While the reshoots that Solo underwent were unprecedented for a film project, the studio’s other Star Wars spinoff film, Rogue One, also went through reshoots that restructured its third act. The studio has also parted ways with directors Josh trank and Colin Treverrow over their planned Star Wars projects, necessitating some scrambling and reshuffling of schedules in the wake of their individual departures.
I grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy. While the three year wait between each installment was something mandated by the realities of film production at the time, the space in between also made the films feel like special events. That is not to say that I want to see the theatrical arm of the franchise go back to that schedule. But at the same time, I don’t want to see Star Wars films pumped out with the regularity of product from Lucasfilm’s corporate sibling Marvel Studios. It makes sense for Marvel to have a new film every couple of months. Their storytelling is drawn very much from comic book traditions, so it seems right that they release their films in a way that recalls the regular trips to the drugstore newsstand (in olden days) or the local comic book shop (like now).
Maybe it is a good idea to let Star Wars films have a little bit more room to breath between releases to preserve that feeling of specialness about them. There will certainly be enough Star Wars related content coming our way on Disney’s streaming service to satisfy a fan’s Star Wars hunger between big screen outings.