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Disney wants to expand Star Wars storytelling with new movies, TV shows

Disney is trying to avoid viewer fatigue while still delivering regular, new content


What you need to know

  • Disney wants to deliver new and exciting stories while avoiding market fatigue.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger hints that we could see movies for big events with certain TV characters.
  • He also suggests that expanded visions of character and timeline stories from the films could make their way onto Disney+ as new series.

When Disney bought Star Wars from Lucasfilm back in 2012, plenty of fans were worried about what would happen with the iconic sci-fi legend. Nearly a decade into that deal, we’ve seen plenty of positive aspects of the purchase, including the assumed expansion of movies, TV shows, theme parks, and merchandise aplenty. But Disney isn’t done with Star Wars by any means, despite wrapping up the 40-year Skywalker saga with mixed reviews.

In an interview on The Star Wars Show, Disney CEO Bob Iger talked about the future of Star Wars television and movies in a more open-ended way than we’ve seen from the company so far:

I love the ability to really be agnostic in terms of what platform it’s being made for. And so it could be, down the road, that a TV show becomes a movie and a movie becomes a TV series. I’m not making any announcements here or not, but I think it’s important for us to be agnostic.

What we see from Iger is an acceptance that movies aren’t always the right way to tell a story, and that TV shows don’t always need to live on to see the next season. Disney experimented with “A Star Wars Story” only twice; the very successful and well-received Rogue One, and the mixed Solo, which cost Disney more money than it clearly wanted to spend. While the $120 million spent on The Mandalorian was a bit of a leap of faith on Disney’s part, it clearly paid off given the series’ popularity and the fact that season 2 can’t come quickly enough for fans.

Every kill in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus, per episode

Iger expounds upon this point with the idea that shows like The Mandalorian are designed to tell stories between the big movie releases, and that movies based on characters in these shows could very well get their own movies, as well.

The beauty of all this is that we’ll continue to tell stories between now and whenever the next film is, and while we’re doing that, we will work to find what makes the most sense to be released as a big-screen experience

Iger, and Disney’s, change of tone seems to be reflected in upcoming Star Wars projects that we know about. Successful characters and stories like Obi-Wan Kenobi are getting their own series, albeit in Obi-Wan’s case it’s seemingly “just” a 6-episode mini-series that helps bridge the gap between Episodes 3 and 4 in a way that a movie can’t, but without the filler that a TV series might bring.

That’s great news for Star Wars fans who were worried about mainstream fatigue kicking in were Disney to push hard on releasing content every single year. Iger isn’t saying what’s on the table, for the time being, but given the success of most Star Wars properties from Disney, it’s clear the company is playing it safe and trying to handle the property better in the coming decade.

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