It’s here! Huzzah.
The sea of geek, cosplay, and generational dweeb banter known as “Star Wars Celebration.” It is known as the ultimate fan experience, and if the Star Wars saga is your jam, there’s no disappointment to be had.
Except, if you heard Disney boss Bob Iger on Bloomberg Television today.
“We have not announced any specific plans for movies thereafter,” Iger said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday. “There are movies in development, but we have not announced them.”
Once the Skywalker clan has drifted off into that galaxy far, far away, Star Wars is going on a much needed sabbatical.
“We will take a pause, some time, and reset,” he said, “because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie. There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.”
As we are caught up in the regalia of the yet unnamed Episode IX (at the time of this posting), there is some light saber shining on the horizon. Those “other movies” have already have us caught up in the ballyhoo of what could be, thanks to the jaw-dropping announcement of Disney+ and it’s suck-it-Netflix-because-we’re-coming-for-your-red-and-black-behind price of $6.99 each month.
We know The Mandalorian is a day-one grab in November. We know about a mysterious Rian Johnson “fundamental” trilogy coming (not related to The Last Jedi). As the Seven Kingdoms comes to their triumphant end, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are coming to LucasFilm / Disney as well.
Why It’s Time for That Hiatus
George Lucas’ pseudo-religious take on the universe has experienced an unfathomable run of more than $9.3 billion at the global box office. The original trilogy and subsequent two trilogies have shaped generations, marketing, merchandise, movie sales, promotions, trailers, cinematography, editing (sound and film), and overall fantasy in writing a script that matters.
But, something interesting happened on the way to Episode IX. Disney feared its investment was losing traction. Thanks to ‘The-Numbers.com,” we have a great breakdown of each movie’s intake:
Buying habits are always going to increase. To gain a true perspective on overall box office success, you need to research cost of living, inflation, residual income gaps, and cultural interest. That said, the first trilogy had its majestic run. Then, the prequels had their critical fart-and-fall-down moments.
Both Episode IV and Episode I had its spike as the “first” in its series. For the most of the graph, numbers share a relative increase. That is, until The Last Jedi. We see a $314 million dip in productivity and revenue.
That’s a disturbance in the Force no one saw coming.
Disney’s new shiny toy needed a bounce back, so when Colin Trevorrow was bounced by the Mouse for the obligatory “creative differences,” the strategy appeared — get that Abrams dude back here to close this thing out.
A saga this rich. A franchise this paramount. A theme this important to film making. They all deserve better. No more rushed films to capitalize on box office blitzes. Let’s get back to profound cinematic storytelling. And so, the hiatus.
It’s necessary. Star Wars isn’t going away, just going on a little team-building exercise to determine what galaxy is next.
There is nothing sadder to sports fans than seeing a legend who just can’t let it go. Bouncing from team-to-team looking for a check in hopes of a glimpse from yesteryear. Yeah, dude, AARP is calling and you need to sit down. Movie franchises are no different. When the writing is getting stale, the actors aren’t as interested, and the fans notice, it’s time to take a break.
The hiatus will salvage what we all believe about Star Wars and get us eager to see what’s next. We will all be better for it, namely Kathleen Kennedy’s small kingdom of acolytes.
Episode IX will be triumphant, whatever they name it. J.J. Abrams will be a hero to yet another franchise. And the fans? We get to sit back, surrounded by our 1980s toys that have never been opened because we give a crap about resale value, and appreciate the saga we were all privileged to enjoy in our prime.
Something better is coming. As Qui-Gon Jinn said to a young Anakin, “Your focus determines your reality.” I’m certain someone at Star Wars Central said that in a board meeting to Bob Iger recently.