Marvel Studios May Begin Emulating Star Wars’ Transmedia Universe


Both Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm are under the auspices of Disney and both have their own highly successful cinematic universes. Yet their philosophies when dealing with them have been quite different. For the most part, MCU canon is restricted to movies and TV shows (though there have been occasional semi-canon comic book preludes to the films).

Star Wars has a different strategy, creating what they’ve dubbed a ‘transmedia universe’ in which everything is part of the “New Unified Canon.” For example, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker takes place in the same continuity as recent video game Jedi: Fallen Order, The Clone Wars animated show and several ongoing comic book series.

Both have their upsides. The MCU’s style allows the general audience to easily keep track of what’s going on while Star Wars‘ encourages fans to seek out (and, more importantly, purchase) as much supplemental material as possible to see the ‘full’ story. But now it seems that Marvel Studios are changing tack to follow the Star Wars model. This may be a result of Kevin Feige heading off to work on his Star Wars project, too, as he’s sure to bring over many of his favorite creatives to assist him, so some cross-pollination of philosophies is inevitable.

The Expanding the Universe short released on Disney Plus back in November hinted at this shift in direction, so we may soon get more comics, novels and possibly video games set within the MCU canon. That last one may prove tricky, though, as the company has just begun establishing a separate high-profile video game line, introduced in Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 and set to continue with Marvel’s Avengers later this year.

However they choose to go about it though, let’s hope that they keep the focus on the live-action material. One of the things I like least about Star Wars is its willingness to shove important character development off to ancillary materials. For example, many important elements of Kylo Ren’s backstory have been relegated to the Rise of Kylo Ren comic series.

If this does prove to be the case, expect to see a major marketing push from Disney and Marvel Studios to establish this. With the launch of the high-profile Disney Plus shows, the MCU will soon be equally split between big and small screens and here’s hoping for some good material to come from this shift.

Source: EpicStream