One Star Wars Show Could Predict The Franchise’s TV Future

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Star Wars future

The new live-action series Skeleton Crew is set to join the Star Wars universe later this year. Set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, this coming-of-age adventure could determine the fate of the franchise in the realm of television as shows struggle to manage dwindling viewership numbers in the post-pandemic era.

Franchises like Marvel and Star Wars, which rely on subscribers for viewership, find themselves navigating viewer fatigue due to the volume of shows over the past few years. Disney CEO Bob Iger has taken note of this trend and is steering creators towards a focus on theatrical releases, signaling a reduction in the number of television series like Skeleton Crew.

Jude Law in Skeleton Crew

This strategy is already leaving its mark on the Star Wars universe, with The Mandalorian preparing to make the leap to the big screen with The Mandalorian & Grogu entering production later this year. Additionally, various Star Wars films are in development, including a crossover directed by Dave Filoni, distinct from Jon Favreau’s Mandalorian movie.

As a result, new additions like Skeleton Crew, The Acolyte, and Andor Season 2 will be under scrutiny in terms of performance. While Andor received acclaim from critics and a segment of the fanbase, it failed to match the astronomical viewership numbers of The Mandalorian. Although fans of the latter were dissatisfied with Season 3, it had minimal impact on viewership, which remained high.

Scene from The Mandalorian season 3

New shows face a unique challenge as the mandate for upcoming Star Wars series states that critical acclaim alone won’t suffice. Skeleton Crew, The Acolyte, and Andor Season 2 must not only replicate the positive reception of their predecessors but also amass large viewership numbers, as their success will determine the fate of future projects.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s evident that Disney’s entertainment endeavors are a business, and Star Wars is no exception. For the franchise to thrive, shows like Skeleton Crew need to resonate with a vast audience or face the possibility of cancellation. With the exception of The Mandalorian, which has achieved widespread success, no other Star Wars series has earned global phenomenon status.

Created by Jon Watts and Christopher Ford, Skeleton Crew was officially announced at Star Wars Celebration in May 2022. The series stars Jude Law alongside Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Robert Timothy Smith, Ravi Cabot-Conyers, Kyriana Kratter, Tunde Adebimpe, Kerry Condon, and Jaleel White.

Star Wars Skeleton crew

Skeleton Crew follows four children trying to find their way home after getting lost in the galaxy due to a discovery on their home planet. Production began in September 2022 in Los Angeles and concluded in late January 2023, with child actors revealed in April of that year. The series promises to deliver a mix of adventure and danger, exploring the kids’ perspective in a world that can be nurturing and threatening.

However, the show promised to appeal to audiences of all ages, as executive producer Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy aimed to tell a story that appeals to everyone, not just children. Skeleton Crew, consisting of eight episodes, is scheduled for release on Disney+ later this year.