The Star Wars franchise has already experienced wildly different reactions towards its theatrical and streaming output, even though the latter has so far only resulted in one show.
The Mandalorian became the most popular thing on TV, with the first season winning seven Emmys from fifteen nominations, while the second has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Television Series – Drama category. Not only that, but fans went wild for the combination of nostalgia, fan service and action-packed storytelling that was deftly handled by showrunner Jon Favreau, and anticipation is through the roof for the upcoming slate of spinoffs.
Meanwhile, the Sequel Trilogy split opinion straight down the middle, with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker coming in for particularly harsh criticism, and that’s without even mentioning Solo bombing at the box office or takings dropping by a billion dollars in the four years between Episodes VII and IX, with most people in agreement that the big screen arm of the mythology is in dire need of some fresh creative impetus.
Where things go from here remains to be seen, but insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that Lucasfilm are leaning towards streaming as the future of Star Wars, which makes sense from a volume standpoint when there’s close to a dozen Disney Plus exclusives in the works. However, there are also three blockbuster movies dated for 2023, 2025 and 2027, and there’s little chance of the Disney-owned brand abandoning the theatrical model given the huge revenue it guarantees.
“Lucasfilm believe streaming is the future and will shift most of their focus there,” says Richtman. “Less on the film side.”
There are definitely going to be many more episodic adventures than feature-length projects in the immediate future, but as one of the Mouse House’s most lucrative cash cows, we’ll hardly be bidding farewell to the cinematic Star Wars experience anytime soon.