In the company’s latest earnings call, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger announced that the Star Wars film franchise will be taking a “hiatus.” Disney-Lucasfilm instead will be focusing on bringing additional Star Wars TV series to Disney+ – similar to recent moves from Marvel. With the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3 finale Avengers: Endgame, the superhero franchise has partially shifted its focus away from movies to the development of news shows like Loki and WandaVision.
This move does not come as a surprise to many members of the Star Wars fandom. Fan reaction the sequel trilogy has been tepid at best, and recent films underperformed financially. The Rise of Skywalker, which serves as the conclusion to the nine-film “Skywalker Saga” is the lowest-grossing movie in the sequel trilogy, and received mixed reviews from critics. In addition, 2018’s spin-off Solo was a box office bomb, and commentators have attributed this result to a poor release date, fatigue, and fan backlash to the controversial The Last Jedi.
Not everything related to Star Wars is dire for Disney, however. The launch of the company’s Disney+ streaming service was a major success, due in part due to The Mandalorian, the wildly popular Star Wars show that debuted alongside the platform. Spin-off movies Rogue One and Solo (despite its poor financial performance) were also generally well-received by the fanbase, in contrast to the more divisive reaction the sequel trilogy garnered. And gamers have reason to rejoice as well, with EA’s hit game Jedi: Fallen Order being deemed a return-to-form for Star Wars games, and DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront II improving greatly since launch.
And while Lucasfilm redoubles their efforts and reassesses their film strategy going forward, Star Wars fans can still look forward to more content to watch. The long-awaited 7th season for the classic 3D-animated show The Clone Wars will debut this month, and a series revolving around rebel spy Cassian Andor and droid sidekick K-2SO from Rogue One is in the cards. Finally, to the joy of Baby Yoda fans everywhere, Iger disclosed that season 2 of The Mandalorian will debut this October.