The overextension of Star Wars shows, and why it’s a problem

The Mandalorian season 2 Chapter 16. Photo: Disney+.
The Mandalorian season 2 Chapter 16. Photo: Disney+. /

Here’s why the influx of new Star Wars shows may not necessarily be a good thing.

The release of a new Star Wars movie is meant to be an event. After Solo bombed, then Disney CEO Bob Iger announced to the press that the franchise would be taking a break after Episode IX. In other words, the franchise would be temporarily winding down. This made sense: casual fans could only consume so much Star Wars before it became stale. Maybe it was time for Lucasfilm to focus on the novels, comics and games, letting the rest of the franchise cool down for a while.

For some time, I actually managed to convince myself that that was where the franchise was heading.

But now we have The Mandalorian, the breakout hit that secured 10 of millions of Disney+ subscriptions. Many Star Wars nerds who had been turned off by the incongruity of the sequels found their own branch of the universe that wasn’t steeped in external debate. Fans cheered at the fanservice, from Bo-Katan’s logical spotlight to Ahsoka’s guest appearance to Boba Fett… actually doing something cool in live-action!

Little did we know that Lucasfilm was surreptitiously trying to use the second season of The Mandalorian to unload half a dozen new properties onto us.

Star Wars is going to suffer from overexposure in the coming years

Considering that this is Disney we’re talking about, the above sentence doesn’t seem particularly surprising. There’s even a part of me that’s surprised that it didn’t happen sooner. Either way, here we are.

There’s a reason why Star Wars movies are supposed to be events: mainstream audiences and hardcore fans alike are supposed to anticipate them with bated breath. If you’ve achieved that, then regardless of any individual film’s quality, you know for sure that people care about your product.

But what I suspect we’ll get instead is a groan and a sigh: there’s only so much Star Wars anyone can take before it starts becoming routine and trite. Lucasfilm is exhausting the goodwill of its fans. And for what? To keep them subscribed to Disney+ for another year or so?

I love Star Wars just as much as the next guy, but I also prefer quality over quantity. I don’t want the talented directors and writers from The Mandalorian to be spread across several shows, as awesome as that might sound initially. It brings back memories of the gradual collapse of the Marvel Netflix shows, whose audiences and writing quality lessened with each passing year.

Only time will tell if this coming Star Wars era will be a massive success. I certainly hope it will, but for now, I’m not very optimistic.

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All of the upcoming Star Wars series will air on Disney+.