Saturday, November 11, 2017

Weekend Headlines - Star Wars News

The Walt Disney Company's quarterly earnings call Thursday revealed Disney is developing a new trilogy of Star Wars films with The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson as well as the franchise's first live-action television series to air exclusively on Disney's own streaming service, launching in 2019.

Disney currently runs the animated Star Wars Rebels — now in its fourth and final season — on Disney XD, also home to animated micro-series Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. Despite Star Wars standing among Disney's highest-earning franchises — Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office, and Rogue One more than a billion — there's a noticeable lack of a galaxy far, far away on the small screen.

With Disney's foray into streaming, that's going to change. Disney's recent attempt to purchase 21st Century Fox came, in part, as a means to acquire more titles to increase the size of their library offerings with shows like Futurama, so it was to be expected that Disney would bring exclusive new Marvel and Star Wars offerings to their streaming service to further entice potential subscribers. (Disney is also mining hit franchises like Monsters, Inc. and High School Musical to bring even more fresh content to the stand-alone streaming service.)

Disney launching their own "Netflix" gives Lucasfilm even more opportunity to explore corners of the Star Wars galaxy that the films can't — or won't. Rian Johnson's forthcoming "blank slate" trilogy will move away from the Skywalker saga, and Disney has complete freedom to launch as many live-action Star Wars series as they want, unburdened by any kind of episodic ties or constraints.
That doesn't mean any Star Wars TV show has to be TV-MA — although the opportunity is there, and a more mature or darker take on Star Wars is more likely to hit a streaming service than a movie theater — but streaming isn't bound by the same rules as a $200 million dollar blockbuster, which has to play things relatively "safe."

*See next post*