Disney has unveiled so many upcoming films and TV shows that we’re wondering if it’s worth any of your time?
Do you like Star Wars? You’d better because Disney + users are going to receive a lot of it. Some are projects many have been actively anticipating for well over a year now, such as the limited series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has had fans slavering at the mouth for the return of Ewan McGregor.
Given the success of the Mandalorian, the minds at Disney have had the bright idea to greatly expand the Star Wars brand on their streaming service. Given the backlash Star Wars has received in recent years regarding Disney’s treatment of the brand leads one to wonder if they have learnt their lesson?
Solo: A Star Wars Story, was a box office bomb, only grossing $393.2 million worldwide on an estimated budget of $275-300 million. Disney had planned to release a new Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future. That plan has since been scrapped after the release of Solo. Their new plan seems to do the same thing but on a streaming platform rather than the cinema.
It makes some sense. Dumping all your content onto a streaming platform is not the worst idea, especially in Disney’s case as in comparison to their competitors, Disney + is sorely lacking in content. It still seems risky given the viewer burnout that appeared during the theatrical release of their blockbuster, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
Since their success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney has attempted to follow a similar model of production and marketing for their Star Wars films but have been met with less success. Avengers: Endgame, saw a very positive response as a conclusion to the Infinity Saga with its record-breaking opening of $1.2 billion. The film managed to satisfy both fans and shareholders. In contrast, Rise Of Skywalker, attempted to end the Skywalker Saga in a similar fashion but instead of adoration, the film received derision and the lowest rating on Rotten Tomatoes of any of the live-action Star Wars films. While still a financial success, it was not something Disney could ignore.
So as Disney has announced plenty of new Star Wars content, they have announced just as much, if not more, Marvel content. This makes financial sense, but it also makes creative sense. Marvel has a wide range of characters that are each unique and can provide a potential wide variety of stories. Star Wars doesn’t seem to share that same luxury. Despite having an entire galaxy worth exploring, Star Wars seems limited in the kind of stories that it tells. So will any new narratives Disney create be worth any of our time? Sort of.
Star Wars has an entire expanded universe with Disney taking great strides to set-up potential spin-offs. This is the case with the announced Bad Batch. The titular ‘Bad Batch,’ were introduced in the Disney produced seventh season revival of The Clone Wars (2008-2020).
Supervising director, Dave Filoni, had a story to tell for the show’s finale and that part is fantastic. The problem is that it’s only the last four episodes. Disney used the popularity of The Clone Wars to set-up spin-off’s that only seem to hurt the credibility of the original show. It doesn’t help that the Bad Batch themselves are unimaginative characters that would struggle to support an entire series on their own.
If the rest of Disney’s Star Wars line-up is planned around a similar model of introducing characters in one popular show to set up another, then most of what they are offering may be a waste of time. The fact that The Mandalorian season two revealed a live-action version of Ahsoka in anticipation of her own limited series, means I have few hopes that Disney will stick the landing.
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