The Future Of Star Wars Isn’t Movie Theaters

Apparently, moving forward, LucasFilms is going to focus on Star Wars streaming options rather than movie theater offerings.

By Doug Norrie | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

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Star Wars, as a franchise, didn’t really need to make a “comeback” per se, but realigning some of the stories for a more cohesive experience felt like something of a priority after the sequel trilogy of films. And with the release of The Mandalorian over the last couple of years, they seem to have gotten just that. So it’s not really all that much of a surprise that the studio looks like it’s really going to lean into the small screen experience for the franchise. According to insider Daniel Richtman, the future of Star Wars isn’t going to be in the movies, but rather the streaming offerings. 

Star Wars wanting to put their focus into the streaming offerings rather than possibly another set of massive movies going forward seems to make a lot of sense on paper. For starters, there’s a logistical angle here. No one is sure when, if ever, movie theaters either in the United States or worldwide will return to full functioning capacity. And even if, regulations-wise they do, will audiences have an appetite for the packed theater experience with streaming options already readily available?

And then there is just the trajectory of the Star Wars franchise in general. We all know, at this point, that there are competing factions within the studios about who should control the vision of the stories and the overall universe. On the one side there’s Kathleen Kennedy, head of LucasFilm, who’s overseen the much-maligned, though financially successful sequel trilogy that culminated with The Rise of Skywalker. 

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And then there’s Jon Favreau who is currently manning the Disney+ Star Wars offerings including The Mandalorian. The show has become a fan and mainstream success over its first two seasons telling the story of the titular bounty hunter and his rescuing of Grogu, better known as Baby Yoda.

This show is much more aligned with traditional Star Wars canon and apparently, Favreau is the choice of George Lucas to tell stories going forward. Considering the sheer volume of streaming minutes put into just this one show, it makes sense that they would move in the direction of the small screen. 

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Disney+ already has a number of very cool Star Wars stories coming to the streaming service over the next couple of years, ostensibly stemming from the world of The Mandalorian. There’s the miniseries The Book of Boba Fett plus shows Ahsoka, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Acolyte, Lando and Rangers of the Republic. This is lined up to be a massive offering of programs and there’s even talk that these stories could eventually retcon the events in the sequel trilogy through the use of the Veil of the Force. 

Does this mean the end of the big-production, huge-budget, much-anticipated Star Wars films we’ve come to know and love? I doubt it, but those just won’t be the focus going forward. Considering the state of the world, plus the massive success LucasFilm has had with the * stripped-down* shows, this direction makes all the sense in the galaxy. Though time will tell the ultimate direction, from what we know is coming on Disney+, it seems like they’ve already chosen their path.