You can say a lot of things about the way Disney has been handling the Star Wars franchise since getting the rights from George Lucas…but you can’t say they aren’t getting their money’s worth. For better or worse, Disney is committed to this whole “new Star Wars film every year” strategy, and with only three films so far, it has already paid off to the tune of $4.3 billion in worldwide grosses. That’s .3 billion more than what Disney paid for it so, putting aside the cost of production, and then adding in ancillary sales (toys, digital sales, Blu-Ray sales, etc.)…look, it’s made a lot of money for Disney already. And it’s become pretty clear that they will not let this gravy train get too far away from them, even for a little bit.
But even by that standard, by god, there are a fuck-ton of Star Wars things in development. Of course there’s Star Wars: Episode IX, and who knows what other “main” entries starring Rey, Finn, Poe, etc. Then there’s the spin-offs, including Solo: A Star Wars Story, potential sequels to Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the in-development Obi-Wan spin-off. And don’t forget the rumored Boba Fett and Yoda origins too!
But, hey, that’s not all! There’s another animated series to come after the end of Star Wars: Rebels, and apparently “multiple” live-action Star Wars TV series that Disney plans on releasing on their new streaming platform. On the game side of things, there’s Respawn’s Star Wars game, and the torn-apart husk of Amy Hennig’s single-player adventure, and don’t think for a second that EA isn’t already prepping Star Wars: Battlefront III for release alongside Episode IX. And just when you thought we were done, there’s STILL the newly announced mystery trilogy that Rian Johnson is working on. So, altogether, that means there’s 14 Star Wars related pieces of pop culture coming within the next decade, at the very least. And that’s still not factoring in the literally hundreds of comics and novels that will also be released in that time period. My point is this: there’s a lot of Star Wars stuff happening right now, and it’s becoming just a tad bit overwhelming.
…So why not add another big movie series to the pile, huh! That’s what Lucasfilm apparently thought today, as they announced yet another set of films in development for their gigantic media universe. And the announcement of more Star Wars films alone wasn’t the real bombshell here: it was the people behind it that got people talking. David Benioff and D.B Weiss, still deep at work on finishing off Game of Thrones, will apparently be writing and producing Star Wars movies as their first after-Thrones activity. Because when you’ve spent a decade inside a hugely popular genre world, why not immediately jump into another?
For what it’s worth, the pair seems eager to jump into the SW universe, even if they’re aware of the massive responsibility such a jump will bring on them. Said in a joint statement to Lucasfilm:
“In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since. We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.”
You’ll notice the emphasis they put on “as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones” is complete. Obviously the first film in this new series won’t be coming for a while, what with Thrones not coming to a close until next year. Then again, considering the amount of other Star Wars films waiting in the wings, I doubt that will be much of a problem.
Which is really what puts a damper on this news for me overall. On the surface, the possibility of these guys making a Star Wars movies could be promising (if they bring their A-game, rather than their “Beyond the Wall” game). And though I’ve preached it every time we get one of these new movie announcements, they in particular seem up to the task of making a compelling Old Republic based story about the power struggle between a fully powered Jedi and Sith going head to head (you know, the movie we all would like to see anyways.)
But, man, I’ll be honest: I’m already close to burning out on this franchise, way faster than I ever thought possible. For some reason I could handle dozens of Marvel films and still be excited for the next, but the possibility of like 10 more Star Wars movies over the next few years just doesn’t get me as excited as it once did. I don’t even know if it’s a problem with how Lucasfilm has been running things, or a problem with just me overall. But if we could just hold off announcing new Star Wars movies for AT LEAST a year or so, and just work on developing the ones we already know about…that would be great.
Of course, I’ll still see all of them in the theaters, and write thousands upon thousands of words about each one. But I won’t do it ENTHUSIASTICALLY, Lucasfilm! And isn’t that the most important thing of all — my enthusiastic consent?
Also published on Medium.