In the time-honored Disney tradition of beating a good thing to death with a stick (or a lightsaber), Disney CEO Bob Iger yesterday claimed that there are “at least three” Star Wars spin-offs in the works. The films will be released between 2016 and 2018, coinciding with the “off” years for the main trilogy, with plans to stretch the spin-offs into the indefinite future.
The wording “at least three” indicates that there could be a few more spin-offs besides those originally planned. We’ve already had rumor of Han Solo and Boba Fett spin-offs, and there has been some talk of a Yoda origin story being added to the mix. Whoever will take center stage, we now have the potential of seeing one Star Wars film a year starting with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015. This really could go on forever, just as long as Disney can keep making a buck off it.
Feelings about whether or not spin-offs are a good idea must really depend on how you feel about Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars. On the one hand, these films have the potential to expand a beloved cinematic universe and provide us with the origin stories for many of our favorite characters. On the other hand, do we really need yet another endless franchise stretching out into the vast unknown? Does anyone care how Boba Fett got to be Boba Fett, or where Yoda came from? Just how good can these films be to justify them taking up space at the cinema?
No matter what fans or non-fans want, Star Wars will remain a major franchise up until people stop going to see the films. The first test will come with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015. After that, the success or failure of the Star Wars franchise will depend on how much money consumers want to spend.