The news that Disney and Lucasfilm have shifted Star Wars movie release dates shouldn’t shock the fandom much. Production delays are pretty standard now thanks to the pandemic. But Star Wars fans will be Star Wars fans.
Since Star Wars movies have been around for a while now — nearly 50 years, in fact — you’d think we’d be used to waiting a while between one film and the next. Sure, we got five Star Wars films in just as many years in the 2010s, but that era seems to have passed.
What many people aren’t used to is the wide accessibility of “updates” like the one Variety provided earlier this week. Every time someone is maybe possibly sort of attached to a project, we hear about it. Every time a director backs out or an actor “might” appear, we hear about it.
We hear about it because it’s Star Wars. Because it’s Disney. Because even though all these things are very normal inside Hollywood, the internet has trained us to think that anything that looks like an upset means the entire ship is going down. (It usually is not.)
I was burned by Disney Investor Day 2020, and maybe you were too. I don’t work in the film industry and I can only speak as a fan of the franchise. But as much as I appreciated the hype at the time, so many — too many — of the projects announced on that stage have seemingly disappeared never to return. Ahsoka, literally, lives. Andor is good and will continue being good in 2024. Taika Waititi is drafting. But that Lando series? The droid thing? Are they safe? Are they all right?
Don’t talk about Rangers too loud, you might upset it.
And nothing hurts more than watching that teaser for Rogue Squadron knowing it may never get its chance to shine.
Release dates are a part of doing business. Important people need to know what’s actually coming to theaters and when. We — the fans — don’t need to know until it’s time to buy tickets. But we do know, and because we know, many of us are going to expect those dates to stick.
And it’s not productive to point fingers or make assumptions, especially when you’ve never worked in the industry and don’t know how it works on the inside.
We can and should be excited about these movies without obsessing over when they may or may not actually make it to theaters.
I want to put my energy toward being excited for the next era of Star Wars movies, not toward obsessing over when they’re coming.
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