The release of Rise of Skywalker in December, the final entry in the Skywalker Saga, marks the last film on the Star Wars slate in the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean we don’t have more Star Wars coming. November 12th will see the premiere of The Mandalorian with the launch of Disney+. Sometime in 2021/2022, there will be an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor on the streaming platform. But there are no new films scheduled for release. Not even in the planning phases now D.B. Wise and David Benioff dropped out of their proposed trilogy citing time management issues with their massive Netflix contract.
To this, I say hurray!
Not long after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney CEO, Bob Iger, promised there would be a new Star Wars film every year. For many fans, that was a dream come true. I was among those who were super psyched at first. But when I sat down to think about it, I realized having a new Star Wars movie every year seemed exhausting. I loved the movies, but having only six movies made the series special.
Mass production rarely leads to excellence. Ask anyone who has loved a small restaurant that became a franchise. Quantity is the alter in which quality is sacrificed on. This is not me handing out bad critiques of the newer Star Wars movies. With the exception of Solo, I have enjoyed the current additions to the franchise. Rogue One is towards the top of my favorites list. The Last Jedi had me in tears (the good kind) with its message of “the force is for everyone” and its attempts to move the lore away from the Skywalker family.
But cracks in the “new Star Wars movie every year” promise showed when Rain Johnson confessed he made his movie separate from the one Abrams had planned. Shooting the two films so close together allowed Johnson to execute his vision with little insight from Abrams. Abrams and Johnson are two very different filmmakers with two visions for the franchise in mind. The disconnect in the storytelling was very evident with the treatment of Rey and her parentage. It is easy to assume the disparity will become more prevalent with Rise of Skywalker.
After the underperformance of Solo, Iger saw the error in his plan to milk the beloved franchise for all the coins. He even shouldered the blame stating the undertaking was “a little too much, too fast.” Iger stated there would be a slowing in production.
Wise and Benioff’s departure for a new trilogy should be seen as a gift to Kathleen Kennedy (the president of Lucasfilm) and Iger. But not in the way many fans see their leaving as a gift.
The Star Wars franchise is set to end the Skywalker saga and center the story around a new set of persons. Taking a giant step back and giving the ending of this new trilogy breath for a few years. The fans and the studio need this time for how it all ends to fully sink in. It is easy to forget, Empire Strikes Back was met with lots of hate and backlash when it was first released. Now, it stands at the top of most Star Wars lover’s lists.
I know everyone wants to drop in names of the next person or group they want to take on the next Star Wars trilogy, but how about we shift that conversation to one about taking a break. Franchise fatigue is a real thing and has set in for many fans.
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.