Star Wars: Episodes I-VI Won’t Be On Disney’s Streaming Service Until 2024


Disney’s upcoming streaming service, currently known as Disney Play, is going to shake things up online when it launches next year. The subscription channel potentially features the entirety of Disney’s vast catalogue of movies, stretching all the way back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and every Marvel Studios film to date. But there’s one major Disney IP that won’t be featured in its entirety on the service, for a while at least.

Of course, I’m talking about the prequel and classic trilogies of Star Wars, which will only be available from 2024. Though Disney owns the pics after their 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm (though the rights to A New Hope is a bit more complex), the TV rights are currently licensed to Turner Broadcasting, meaning they can only be screened on TNT and TBS.

This deal was inked in 2016, just prior to Disney formulating their plans for their own streaming service – a decision that’s clearly come back to haunt them in a big way. At the time, Turner Broadcasting paid $275 million for the six Star Wars movies in question, and while they’ve indicated they’re willing to sell the rights back to the Mouse House in exchange for a big chunk of money and some replacement programming, there’s been no sign of that actually happening.

While the classic Star Wars films (and the less classic prequels) might be missed, it’s not as though the platform will be wanting for content from that galaxy far, far away. Not only will it feature the Disney-produced films that have released since The Force Awakens, but also a new series of The Clone WarsStar Wars: Resistance and, most excitingly, Jon Favreau’s big budget live action Star Wars series, which is targeting a budget similar to Game of Thrones.

This deal is also inevitably going to put Disney in competition with Netflix, which could spell disaster for their suite of Marvel shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and so on. But according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, the contract they have with the House of Mouse allows them to keep making the shows until they cancel them – which is certainly good to hear.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.