The post-George Lucas Star Wars era has proved as profitable as nearly any movie series being released. But can it survive if Disney’s streaming service fails?
From Paramount to Disney to Walmart (yes, Walmart), few companies seem to not have dipped its toes in the streaming service industry. Netflix pioneered the industry with its online, advertisement-free service (a model that it has apparently betrayed recently).
But now Disney, the most powerful entertainment company in the industry, is set to unroll its streaming service in 2019. Disney will be a major player in the ever-competitive streaming industry, but the market isn’t getting any less saturated. Even Disney may pale against established streaming mainstays such as Netflix and Hulu. And if it does, what could that mean for Star Wars?
Getting a live-action TV series off the ground
Jon Favreau is set to take a second attempt at making a live-action Star Wars series for television. The series, which is expected to drop in 2019, will be set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Favreau’s series and Disney’s streaming service are both dependent on each other for each’s success: If a Star Wars series flops on Disney’s streaming service, they’ll be hard pressed to find justification for producing other high-budget television series. On the contrary, if people feel like they have enough streaming subscriptions as is and Disney’s service flops, Star Wars’ budget would shrink and a second season may never be ordered.
But the truth is, Star Wars isn’t a television series. While it has had success in that format, it’ll never come within shouting distance of the movies. But even the movies could be impacted by Disney’s streaming service.
Star Wars movies to stream
Disney will want as many Star Wars movies on its streaming service as possible, even if they can’t quite get them all. That trend will continue on as more Star Wars films roll out—but what if Disney took it a step farther?
It’s an open secret Disney wasn’t entirely happy with Solo’s box office performance. The film raked $391.6 million on a reported $275 million budget. That’s by far the lowest return of all the Disney-era Star Wars movies. Another open secret was Disney’s fluctuating confidence in the movie, requiring far more rewrites and reshoots than a normal film does.
Photo Credit: [Solo: A Star Wars Story]LucasfilmSo what if Disney utilizes their streaming service as a medium for the Star Wars movies they’re more uncertain about? The popular spinoffs aren’t guaranteed box office breakers like Boba Fett or Jabba the Hut could be attempted for streaming on smaller budgets with lower risk.
The Disney streaming service should ultimately be a good thing for it, as the most likely scenario is that it’ll lead to more Star Wars content. But the service won’t be without some risk to the galaxy far, far away.