The Mandalorian is off to a great start. The centerpiece of the Disney Plus launch has been warmly received by fans and critics and lived up to its ambitions of presenting a slightly different viewpoint on the Star Wars universe than we’re used to. Now, it seems that Disney are so pleased with the series that they’re wondering if it could make it on its own in theaters.
Speaking at the Variety Business Managers Breakfast yesterday morning, Disney Chief Creative Officer and chairman Alan Horn hinted that they’re actively considering the prospect.
“The Mandalorian is already proving to be a big thing, so if that series proves to be so compelling that we reverse engineer it into a theatrical release, a two-hour film or whatever, O.K.”
Honestly, this is a terrible idea. The first episode of The Mandalorian was 40 minutes long. If we presume that the remaining seven episodes are roughly the same length then, in total, the entirety of the show will be about 5 hours and 20 minutes.
Now, if you can “reverse-engineer” that narrative down to two hours, you’re essentially sending a message that three hours and twenty minutes of your incredibly expensive new TV show is filler. Alternatively, you’re going to end up with a deeply confusing two-hour film with godawful pacing.
And besides, The Mandalorian (and other associated Star Wars shows) are supposed to be the exclusive content driving subscribers to Disney Plus. Releasing a bad film that’d effectively be an advertisement for the service is really dumb. On top of all that, Disney have just said that Star Wars is taking a hiatus from cinemas as it’s felt that audiences want a break after the release of The Rise of Skywalker.
So yeah, a bad idea all round. If you want to put the character on screen, just commission a proper feature-film spinoff for The Mandalorian and do it right.