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We’ve known since the day they bought Lucasfilm that Disney had big plans for Star Wars. First, they announced three new entries in the saga beloved by millions, and then they announced more. We’re getting films based on side stories and standalone films for individual characters. There are several of these in various stages of production already. Exactly how many Star Wars films is Disney planning to make? Well, they’re planning one a year for the next six years. After that, they hope to continue to make one a year, every year, forever.
Episodes one through three were not the prequels. The entire franchise has been the prequel up to this point. According to an extensive feature in Wired Magazine, the plan for Star Wars is to continue to make films until people stop buying tickets. The next three years of Star Wars are set in stone. The Force Awakens hits next month. The anthology film Rogue One is currently in production for a release date in 2016, and Episode VIII will hit in 2017. It’s not clear at this point what’s planned for 2018, in between Episode VIII and IX. The plan for a young Han Solo story appears to be the furthest along at this point as we know the movie has a director, but there are also plans for a Boba Fett film as well as at least one, if not three, being considered about Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While it’s easy enough to look at this as Disney viewing the franchise as a never-ending ATM machine, and to some extent, that certainly is obviously true. That shouldn’t be the only thing to take away from this, though. They’re using their success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a template to recreate the same magic with Star Wars. While the MCU has been immensely profitable for Disney, it should not be overlooked that it has also created a fantastic series of films. They haven’t just made financially successful movies, they’ve made good movies. While opinions do vary, of course, by and large the Marvel films have worked on every level.
And Marvel has nothing on Star Wars when it comes to the fan base. The MCU has turned people into Marvel fans, but Star Wars already has all the fans. If they can continue to make solid movies those fans will go to everyone. They may not buy all the tickets up in the first evening after a while, the uniqueness will eventually wear off, but if the films are still good, those fans will continue to come.
Does the prospect of an endless stream of Star Wars movies fill you with joy, or dread? Let us know in the comments.