Stop Making Star Wars Movies on an Annual Basis
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I wasn't born in the 70's or 80's, but I still grew up on Star Wars. It was, and still is, a major part of my life.
Star Wars is one of the most beloved film franchises in cinema history. It all started from a single movie, released in 1977, that was thought to fail. Its unexpected success led to a complete trilogy—with sequels in 1980 and 1983—and eventually, led to the prequel trilogy. This trilogy followed the same three-year pattern, with films releasing in 1999, 2002, and 2005. The movies were supposed to end there.
I remember the day when I found out that Disney had bought Lucasfilm for $4.06 billion. I was immediately full of excitement, but with it came anxiety and hesitation. On one hand, I love (almost) everything Disney creates with all of my heart, as it is another major part of my life. On the other hand, it's Disney, who will milk anything they get their hands on for what it's worth. So far, they have done exactly that. It wasn't long after Disney's acquisition that Episode VII was announced.
So far, Disney has released three Star Wars movies: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Last Jedi. This May, they will release Solo: A Star Wars Story into the wild. After its release, the next film to be released will be Episode IX, the finale to the Sequel Trilogy, in 2019. Up to this point, Disney and Lucasfilm show no signs of stopping.
They have recently announced an all-new trilogy of films, which will be created by Rian Johnson, the director of The Last Jedi. Not only that, but Lucasfilm recently announced another series—possibly a trilogy—of Star Wars films, which are set to be written and produced by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Let's not forget the series of Anthology films they have planned, where standalone films for both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett are currently being developed. That's a total of at least ten new movies in development within the Star Wars universe—if you count the film series by Benioff and Weiss as at least three movies (it's only a guess).
Kathleen Kennedy, the current president of Lucasfilm, recently sat down with the Star Wars Show to talk about the future of the franchise: "We’re sitting down now, we’re talking about the next ten years of Star Wars stories and we’re looking at narratively where that might go. Future stories beyond Episode IX, with these new characters, Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8, but we’re also looking at working with people that are interested in coming into the Star Wars world and taking us to places that we haven’t been yet, and that’s exciting too because it’s a vast galaxy far, far away. The possibilities are endless."
The next ten years of Star Wars stories. Disney is planning to do the exact thing to Star Wars as they have with Marvel. I completely understand why Marvel movies are this way (as they are building up to Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel), but Star Wars is different territory. You aren't building up to something as massive as a war with an Infinity Gauntlet. This is Star Wars: the story of the Jedi, the Force, lightsabers, and incredible characters, such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. It is a saga that has been seen and cherished by millions for decades.
Whenever a new Star Wars trailer has been released in the past, I immediately drop everything and watch it. When watching all of the new Star Wars trailers (starting with The Force Awakens), I always felt an incredible amount of excitement and anticipation. When the Solo trailer dropped, I didn't feel a thing. I ended up watching it, but I didn't feel any sort of excitement toward the upcoming film. Somehow, I knew this would eventually happen: Star Wars fatigue has become a reality. However, I think I might have come up with a remedy for it:
Have Disney stop the annual release of Star Wars movies and start releasing them at least every two years.
If many more films are created within the franchise, I'm afraid that Star Wars will lose the magic we have revered for so long. If the movies were given every-other-year release dates, this would give us time, as consumers, to let each film be thoroughly enjoyed before its successor is released. Releasing films every other year would also help prevent over-saturation and fatigue in the film industry. It will be a mournful day when Star Wars is a thing of the past. Let us do something about it.
Star Wars needs to be cherished, not a reason for greed.
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