Reports of the theatrical experience’s death are greatly exaggerated.
We’ve seen several blockbusters in recent months, from “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” to “The Batman,” following the pandemic lockdowns. In between, non-franchise adventures like “The Lost City” and “Uncharted” made plenty of coin on their own.
Yet the biggest franchise in the galaxy has no immediate plans to crash the party.
This week’s “Star Wars” extravaganza announced a new series tied to George Lucas’s vision along with updates on existing projects.
But where are the movies?
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, excoriated by many fans for crushing the space saga, sounded like a politician when asked that very question.
Spoiler alert: You won’t be seeing a new “Star Wars” movie anytime soon.
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The small screen will give us “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Andor” and a new project with Jude Law called “Skeleton Crew.” And, of course, the third season of “The Mandalorian” should drop early next year.
That’s all well and good, and it should boost Disney+ in its battle with Netflix. What about the movies? The “Star Wars” saga dominated theaters for decades. Audiences once camped out in front of theaters to make sure they caught the first screenings back in the analog days.
A “Star Wars” movie, good or bad, was a cultural event.
Now? We hear reports of various “Star Wars” film projects but they remain out of reach or delayed indefinitely.
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- Patty Jenkins’ “Rogue Squadron?” Back to the drawing board
- Taika Waititi’s take on “Star Wars?” Coming soon (but not soon-soon)
How hard is it to make movies in the “Star Wars” universe? Here’s some chilling perspective.
“The Rise of Skywalker” hit theaters three years ago, earning $412 million less than 2015’s “The Force Awakens.”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” flopped, by blockbuster standards, with a $213 million haul, stateside.
Plus, “The Last Jedi” proved wildly successful, but it angered a large component of the fan base with its woke lectures and canon-shattering beats.
These warnings signs clearly have Team Kennedy spooked. Lucasfilm also is out of the Skywalker business, at least on the big screen, so that reduces the number of beloved characters to build upon.
TV offers a safer landing spot for new “Star Wars” fare.
Theatrical releases require an enormous level of marketing and hype, and they’re inevitably compared to the best “Star Wars” films along the way.
The stakes are lower on the small screen. People watch them at home, without the pressures of finding a babysitter or over-paying for popcorn and drinks.
Team Disney has all the resources in the world, literally, to create the very best “Star Wars” movies possible. Yet the film franchise remains in dry dock.
Disney scooped up the “Star Wars” saga in 2012 for a cool $4 billion, clearly hoping to make movies for the foreseeable future. A decade later, “Star Wars” is a small screen affair.
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