When Disney first announced “The Force Awakens” for 2015, the first “Star Wars” movie in cinemas after the last part of creator George Lucas’ prequel trilogy “Revenge of the Sith” back in 2005, fans of the franchise were ecstatic at the prospect of new stories from the Galaxy Far, Far Away. When Disney next revealed its plan to make a “Star Wars” film every year, episodic installments alternating with spinoffs, the same fans became cautious. Following the divisive, and then subpar, receptions to “The Last Jedi” in 2017 and “Solo” this May, Disney and Lucasfilm have decided to “slow down”.
According to Fortune, Disney CEO Bob Iger has taken into consideration the box office bomb of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” to begin spacing out their prospective future “Star Wars” productions instead of making it an annual occurrence. Iger conceded that such a pace in release of new films in the franchise was “too much, too fast,” and that the studios were taken off-guard by the levels of “franchise fatigue” even for a legendary big-selling property like “Star Wars”. Thus, disgruntled fans can expect “some slowdown” in the consecutive productions of any more upcoming movies.
“Solo”, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, is now cemented as the first “Star Wars” movie to have lost money in its cinematic run, about $50 to $80 million owing to only a $393 million total global earning to at $275 million production budget, despite receiving decent enough reviews from critics. What Iger did not address is perhaps the possibility of audience sabotage by boycotts and similar means, precipitated by a minority of fans who have been vocal in their dislike of the direction and themes of the movies after the sequel trilogy Episode VIII “The Last Jedi” arrived in theaters December of last year.
Also left unsaid by Bob Iger is the current status with the other planned spinoff films in the “Star Wars Story” anthology, which are alleged to each star bounty hunter Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. All he did say about ongoing “Star Wars” productions is a brief update on the yet untitled Episode IX, saying that director J.J. Abrams, who was also in charge of “The Force Awakens”, is busy working on it. It is also interesting to note that Episode IX has been declared as not only the conclusion of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy but also the end of all episodic installments of the franchise, which focused on the Skywalker family of Jedi.
“Star Wars – Episode IX” from Disney and Lucasfilm is due to premiere on December 2019.
Image courtesy of Business Insider