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Disney wants to expand Star Wars storytelling with new movies, TV shows

Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Edition
Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Edition (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Disney wants to deliver new and exciting stories while avoiding market fatigue.
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger hints that we could see movies for big events with certain TV characters.
  • He also suggests that expanded visions of character and timeline stories from the films could make their way onto Disney+ as new series.

When Disney bought Star Wars from Lucasfilm back in 2012, plenty of fans were worried about what would happen with the iconic sci-fi legend. Nearly a decade into that deal, we've seen plenty of positive aspects of the purchase, including the assumed expansion of movies, TV shows, theme parks, and merchandise aplenty. But Disney isn't done with Star Wars by any means, despite wrapping up the 40-year Skywalker saga with mixed reviews.

In an interview on The Star Wars Show, Disney CEO Bob Iger talked about the future of Star Wars television and movies in a more open-ended way than we've seen from the company so far:

I love the ability to really be agnostic in terms of what platform it's being made for. And so it could be, down the road, that a TV show becomes a movie and a movie becomes a TV series. I'm not making any announcements here or not, but I think it's important for us to be agnostic.

What we see from Iger is an acceptance that movies aren't always the right way to tell a story, and that TV shows don't always need to live on to see the next season. Disney experimented with "A Star Wars Story" only twice; the very successful and well-received Rogue One, and the mixed Solo, which cost Disney more money than it clearly wanted to spend. While the $120 million spent on The Mandalorian was a bit of a leap of faith on Disney's part, it clearly paid off given the series' popularity and the fact that season 2 can't come quickly enough for fans.

Every kill in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus, per episode

Iger expounds upon this point with the idea that shows like The Mandalorian are designed to tell stories between the big movie releases, and that movies based on characters in these shows could very well get their own movies, as well.

The beauty of all this is that we'll continue to tell stories between now and whenever the next film is, and while we're doing that, we will work to find what makes the most sense to be released as a big-screen experience

Iger, and Disney's, change of tone seems to be reflected in upcoming Star Wars projects that we know about. Successful characters and stories like Obi-Wan Kenobi are getting their own series, albeit in Obi-Wan's case it's seemingly "just" a 6-episode mini-series that helps bridge the gap between Episodes 3 and 4 in a way that a movie can't, but without the filler that a TV series might bring.

That's great news for Star Wars fans who were worried about mainstream fatigue kicking in were Disney to push hard on releasing content every single year. Iger isn't saying what's on the table, for the time being, but given the success of most Star Wars properties from Disney, it's clear the company is playing it safe and trying to handle the property better in the coming decade.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
3 Comments
  • "Star Wars" fatigue was (and still is to some extent) setting in because of the moronic content and idiotic characters that flooded the franchise with the dismal Disney Trilogy. "The Rise Of Skywalker" for example is a horrible mixture of mediocre storytelling and subpar, underdeveloped characters, engulfed in an unrelenting cacophony of special effects and all encompassing visual onslaught, meant to distract from the barebones nature of the movie. It's a schizophrenic conclusion to one of the worst movie trilogies in recent years, one that managed to diminish and also partly destroy the original saga. What has partially saved the franchise was "Rogue One" and now "The Mandalorian", plus the excitement of what future Disney+ content could add to "Star Wars". For me in particular, that would be the "Rogue One" prequel series as well as the mentioned Obi-Wan miniseries. PS The untitled Obi-Wan project was always meant to be a miniseries. Ewan McGregor made that clear at the outset, that he wasn't going to commit to a multi-season show. Plus he will produce the show as well and maybe even co-direct some of the episodes with Deborah Chow.
  • I'll be watching The Mandalorian again
  • In spite of being a huge Sci-fi fan I've never liked Star Wars. How many Stormtroopers does it take to kill one Jedi? Apparently about 6 million.