Disney is in trouble with Star Wars. They had a lot of success, but also great obstacles, and today’s situation is really not easy. It’s been almost three years since the last movie hit theaters, and we still don’t have details on what’s next. Today, if Star Wars continues to make the buzz, it is thanks to series like The Mandalorian. But how did Disney get there and what is its new strategy? Here are 5 things to know about Star Wars issues.
- Post-apo postlogy
- Where are the movies?
- What works too well
- A New Hope
- What about games then?
The following text is a transcript of the video above
Star Wars is above all a film license, the films are precursors in many technical and artistic fields. At first, the project looked like a children’s film on set, but in the 1970s, Georges Lucas created a behemoth that revolutionized the relationship to special effects, sounds and music. You have to imagine that 45 years ago, we made a robot speak just by beep beeps, and if we wanted to troll, I would say that he has more charisma than some of the main characters! But today, when it comes to Star Wars movies… Get ready to pull out the boxing gloves, because postlogy is synonymous with fighting. There are plenty of reasons why we have come to this, but the result for the public is disastrous.
Between those who hate episode 8, those who defend it as they defended their own child, those who absolutely hate the whole postlogy… In short, when it came out, poor episode 9 didn’t have a single chance. And let’s be honest, he was not without flaws. Still, when Disney bought the Star Wars license in 2012, they proudly announced a new trilogy, with a film every two years, and between each film, a spin-off also for the cinema. So one film a year, a crazy ambition, which is the major part of the problem, by the way. They certainly did not expect to find themselves, 10 years later, with a postlogy that created so many problems. Their goal was certainly to create an extended universe around this postlogy. They started with books, Battlefront 2’s single-player mode, and Star Wars Resistance, a very average animated series. And since then, it’s been an interstellar vacuum, or almost.
Where are the movies?
For the moment we only know that the former CEO of Disney said, 4 years ago, that the firm was going to be careful in terms of the number of films and the timing in the future. We must admit that since then, they have kept their word. Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron movie is known to be released in 2023, but production has been pushed back; and two more movies are slated for release, in 2025 and 2027. The plan is to release an Avatar or Star Wars movie every year. But these future films are very mysterious. We don’t know if we’re talking about a trilogy with Squadrons. We do not really know where is the project of Taika Waititi, the director of Thor Ragnarok. We don’t really know what Ryan Johnson, the director of episode 8, is doing, supposed to make a trilogy. With Benioff and Weiss, the creators of the Game of Thrones series, freshly recruited, that’s a lot of projects that seem to be at a standstill, or even canceled altogether.
So should we be worried? Yes and no. There seem to be constant issues of artistic disputes that push movies back, but at the same time, it’s precisely the rush that is the root of all the problems with Disney-era movies. Remember Solo, the unloved spin-off, which brings together two radically different visions in one and the same film, for one result… Well, let’s say it was interesting, that there were good things, but that the film was damn disjointed. So, we kind of want to tell Disney to take their time. The good news is that they can afford it, since Star Wars lives on through another medium.
What works too well
We talked about Disney’s original plan, which is to make a trilogy and spin-off films, the famous A Star Wars Story. Rogue One is the perfect example. The film has its flaws, but it was well received. Solo on the other hand was a nightmare. As a result, the Obi-Wan film, which had been rumored for years, was canceled… Fortunately, the project still existed, and was adapted into a Disney + series. The big Star Wars hit of the past few years can be found on Disney+. The Mandalorian has become the darling of the license, and almost manages to get everyone to agree. Once again, Star Wars has become such a hot topic after the postlogy, that having a successful Star Wars series was unexpected. The REAL first live series of the license did not disappoint, quite the contrary.
And suddenly as much to tell you that the Mandoverse is gone, since we have already had the right to Book of Boba. Filming for the Ahsoka Tano series has finally begun, and appears to be connected to Star Wars Rebels and Bad Batch, the animated series. This is a real problem for Disney, because when you have big movies in theaters and series on Disney+, you have to have the general public on board with the postlogy. The series are aimed more at fans, which was already the case with Clone Wars. Today, we have the right to the opposite. When we look at new goodies, toys or stuffed animals, we see a lot more Grogu than BB-8. So we have two main points for Star Wars: the postlogy that they are abandoning, and a Mandoverse that works better than expected and on which they will capitalize, but how far? While waiting to find out, a third way seems to be open to them.
A New Hope
When you’re Disney today, you can’t tell a story in any timeline. We understood that they avoid postlogy, and that they don’t seem ready to go further in the future. The original trilogy still works, we saw it with the success of Rogue One. The Obi-Wan and Andor series that will be released this year also proves it. But you have to be careful because they touch on a part of the universe that is already very sanctified, with heroes that should not be brought out anyhow. This is why Disney is placed a little before this trilogy, to illustrate the rise of the Empire and the first Rebels.
The recent surprise is the resurgence in popularity of the prelogy. Criticized in the 2000s, whether because the children of that time have grown up, or by comparison effect with the unappreciated postlogy, its sympathy rating goes up. And Disney in the 2010s completely ignored the prequel, but that’s starting to change, with references in more recent releases.
In short, Star Wars is a universe full of possibilities, but the already existing markers are starting to be blocked. This is why a new timeline had to be launched, and it is the High Republic that does this work. And for once, we find a bit of the idea of cross-media that purists were able to experience with Shadow of the Empire in the 90s. It started with books and comics, but not only: we have manga Star Wars, and that’s not often, but also audio books. We feel that the ambition around this High Republic is accelerating, with the series The Acolyte, which should be 8 episodes and be released on Disney +. The story should revolve around the dark side.
So finally to dodge the postlogy and the old trilogies, Star Wars creates other periods, a bit like the MMO The Old Republic continues to do, following the excellent KOTOR. I have no doubt that the High Republic will have fun making references to the future as we know it, but it at least gives a refreshing vision of the license.
What about games then?
We’re on JV, it would still be silly not to talk about the games. We were talking about it just now with KOTOR, it is sometimes the video game that creates new interesting timelines to exploit. And besides, let’s start with him! KOTOR is going to have a remake in 2023, and we can hope that the Old Republic period will be entitled to other projects afterwards. Star Wars Hunters is also special. It’s an arena game that doesn’t really aim to have an in-depth scenario, planned for this year on smartphones and Switch. But the other projects are starting to pile up.
Already, we have Jedi: Fallen Order 2. We said earlier that the period between the prelogy and the original trilogy is filled to the brim, and this game series comes to add a little more. We should have news very soon, at the end of May 2022, for a release in 2023. The Jedi Cal Kestis is still a Jedi who survived the purge, it’s quite close to what Obi-Wan saw in the end, except he doesn’t baby-sit in the desert. We find a universe close to the Star Wars Rebels animated series, especially with the inquisitors who hunt jedi.
Quantic Dream, developers of Detroit: Become Human, have announced Star Wars Eclipse. Analysts say it won’t be released until 2027. So I don’t know whether to be that pessimistic, but it’s clearly an ambitious project. It will therefore take place in the High Republic, and it is the first game clearly planned for this period, proving that this stage wants to become a hot spot for the license in the coming years, taking its time to set up the things and not repeat the mistakes of postlogy.
Finally, two other projects are announced: a strategy game by former developers who worked on XCom and Civilization. The other project is even more vague. It would be an open world created by Ubisoft. Where, when, how, we don’t know. But we are promised a great adventure.