Star Wars has been around for nearly 45 years, and while we all love some version of the movies, it’s the content outside of film that has produced most of the galaxy’s stories.
There will be more Star Wars films—we know this to be true. However, recent history has proven that the future of our favorite galaxy far, far away is on the small screen. In fact, looking at what’s coming down the pike for Star Wars, at the time of this writing at least, we know far more about what’s coming to the world of TV than we do film.
The Skywalker Saga, and Star Wars films in general, are very divisive. There’s the Original Trilogy camp, who is critical of the other set of trilogies. Then there’s the Prequel Trilogy camp, who just wants to love their Star Wars without trouble. And now we have the Sequel Trilogy camp who are still trying to figure themselves out in life in general. If the last 7+ years have shown us anything, Star Wars fans are incredibly toxic—and I’m one of them!
Not so much anymore—I mean, my fandom of the sci-fi franchise has never been stronger. I read the books, watch the shows, and love pretty much anything with the Star Wars logo on it. But in my late teen/early 20s, I was part of the fandom that ragged on the Prequel Trilogy. It took me nearly another decade to realize that those movies are someone’s Star Wars the way IV, V, and VI are my Star Wars. And that’s what we, as a fandom, need to realize—Star Wars is generational. These movies, at the end of the day, are meant for kids. Of course, I’m going to hold on to the Original Trilogy with all my heart; that’s what nostalgia is.
Star Wars outside of film
I think a part of the reason our fandom can be so toxic is that when it comes to the films, there are only 11 of them. Ok, yes, a huge part is because people can be straight-up mean—if you’re in that camp, hopefully, you grow out of it. But we’re so protective of these stories we grew up with that we can be nasty in our defense of it; thinking that these new stories somehow threaten or invalidate what has come before.
I don’t see that outside of those 11 films. Not at the scale, we see it when talking about the Prequel or Sequel Trilogy. Yes, people are upset about the EU novels not necessarily being canon anymore, but outside of that, I don’t get a sense of meanness within the Star Wars book community. Unfortunately, I think the writers of those things receive most of that directly, but it’s rarely enough to make a huge discourse about it.
And look at The Clone Wars animated show—it’s very much a Prequel Trilogy era show that is beloved by most fans. In many ways, Dave Filoni’s work (and the entire cast/crew on that show) on The Clone Wars painted the Prequel Trilogy films in a new light for many of us. I certainly have a new appreciation for those films now than I did when they first came out.
Rebels is another animated show that is beloved among Star Wars fans. While it doesn’t tie in directly to any of the trilogies, it still delivers on everything we want out of a story set in the troubled galaxy far, far away. Good vs. evil. The Force. Lightsabers. It very much feels like Star Wars without tying directly into the movies.
Star Wars TV moves to live-action
When Disney+ was announced, it was no secret that Disney would use their IP to help sell the service. They paid a pretty penny for Star Wars and have only begun to milk it for what it’s worth. When The Mandalorian was announced, I’m sure I was into it. I mean, Jon Favreau—who helped launch the MCU—and Dave Filoni—the savior of the Prequel Trilogy—were both involved. What I didn’t know was how excellent the show was going to be. How much it felt like Star Wars. Watching The Mandalorian felt like I was watching Star Wars as a kid all over again.
Part of the reason is that the creative team simply nailed it. They also were able to keep secrets about this show, which is unheard of these days—spoilers are everywhere! Those surprises helped generate excitement about the show. Speaking of excitement, keeping the release schedule to weekly vs. dropping them all at once to binge I think was huge—we had something to look forward to each week. Star Wars sat with us for eight weeks. It was nearly five hours of the story—something you couldn’t get in even two movies. It’s like Star Wars was meant for episodic TV!
The future is shining the brightest for Star Wars on TV. Yes, we know more films are coming, but the details are scarce. Meanwhile, we are weeks away from Obi-Wan Kenobi with shows like Andor, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, and potentially Lando all on the horizon. More will certainly be announced at Star Wars Celebration later this month too.
The future of Star Wars is looking great and it’ll be on the small screen. Let us know what you think in the comments below!