Skeleton Crew might determine the future of Star Wars Television

The success or failure of Skeleton Crew might determine the fate of Star Wars Television and the type of content LucasFilm produces for TV in the future.
Star Wars Celebration 2023 Studio Panel
Star Wars Celebration 2023 Studio Panel / Kate Green/GettyImages

Skeleton Crew is one of the Star Wars live-action series set to release later this year. The show is set during the timeline of The Mandalorian and is reportedly a coming-of-age adventure story that stars Jude Law. Even before its release, Skeleton Crew seems like a gamble, considering the sudden downward trend being experienced by streaming services.

Post-pandemic, the future of franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars, which relied heavily on online subscribers for views seems in jeopardy. There's an overall fatigue due to the high volume of shows that have come out over the past 3-4 years. It's pushed Disney CEO Bob Iger to reevaluate Disney's strategy going forward. Now, Iger is pushing creators to focus on theatrical releases and reducing the number of TV series.

The impact of this can already be seen on the Mandoverse, with The Mandalorian getting on the big screen bandwagon with The Mandalorian & Grogu going into production later this year. Aside from that, a few other Star Wars films are in the pipeline, including a crossover film to be directed by Dave Filoni, which is separate from Jon Favreau's Mandalorian movie.

Jude Law
Star Wars Celebration 2023 Studio Panel / Kate Green/GettyImages

This puts all the upcoming shows, especially new ones, under a lot of scrutiny by Lucasfilm and Disney+. As well received as Andor was by critics and a section of fans, it never generated the numbers that The Mandalorian did. Besides, no amount of dissatisfaction with Season 3 of The Mandalorian was able to impact viewership numbers for Season 3, which remained relatively high. Like Andor, Skeleton Crew is a unique tale set in a galaxy far, far away. It will have to go beyond the reception Andor got and produce numbers up there with The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The mission for the upcoming Star Wars series is clear; critical acclaim alone won't cut it. Shows like Skeleton Crew, The Acolyte, and Andor Season 2 need to generate a high amount of views for other shows with unique storylines to be greenlit. Otherwise, Disney might think twice about the type of content they put out. Barring The Mandalorian, which has been a success with fans and critics and won multiple awards, no other Star Wars series has become a global phenomenon.

It's now or never for other shows to make their mark and attract viewers. Otherwise, Star Wars television as a whole might suffer in the long run. At the end of the day, entertainment is a business, and Disney is a corporation that hopes to make money off its products. For that to happen, shows need to generate high viewership numbers or get the axe.

Skeleton Crew premieres later this year on Disney+.

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