While Star Wars was originally seen as a slow-drip franchise -- with the first six movies coming out in the span of 28 years -- that's definitely no longer the case. Disney spent $4.06 billion to purchase Lucasfilm in 2012, and now it looks like we're going to be getting at least one new Star Wars title a year for the foreseeable future. Given this massive change, some have begun to question the sustainability of the storytelling model -- and it turns out that one voice in that crowd is none other than Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. He recently told me,
I will say they should pace themselves, because you don't want to over-saturate it. I said to Disney, 'Really? Five months after we come out comes [Solo: A Star Wars Story]? Can't you at least wait until Christmas?' But they've got things booked - they're doing Marvel and their own movies, so that's beyond my [purview.]
Mark Hamill dropped this noteworthy opinion on me when I had the pleasure of sitting down with him earlier this month during the Star Wars: The Last Jedi home video press day in Dublin, Ireland. Having discussed the way in which the most recent movie in the franchise legitimately subverted expectations, I asked Hamill for his thoughts on the future of Star Wars movies, and his response included his own personal concerns regarding over-saturation. He apparently went as far as to question the studio about delaying Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story until later in 2018, but ultimately realized those kinds of decisions were made by people above his paygrade.
If you've been following the development of the Star Wars franchise in recent months, then you know that Solo: A Star Wars Story is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to in-the-works features. J.J. Abrams is currently prepping Star Wars: Episode IX to come out in December 2019, and Disney has hired both Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to develop their own brand new trilogies set within the canon. That's seven years-worth of blockbusters if the titles are released annually -- but it sounds like if it were up to Mark Hamill the slate would unfold a lot slower.
Of course, the key to the longevity of the Star Wars franchise will ultimately be finding ways to tell new and interesting stories, and the good news in that realm is that the sky is the limit. While many fans do have a very narrow, specific idea of what a Star Wars film should be, Mark Hamill believes that there really aren't any limitations to the kind of narratives that can be set within the beloved universe. He explained,
Well, there shouldn't be [a limit to the storytelling], as it's a canvas that's so infinite. With the standalone films they can all have their own identity. Rogue One can be gritty, and like a war film... I'm assuming, I don't know, but I would assume that Solo will be more comedic-ly oriented because he's a rogue, a scoundrel, and a gambler, and a womanizer and all those things. So I think the advantage of the standalone films is that they don't have to follow the formula of a trilogy, so they can establish their premise, get it on, get it done and get out leaving the audience wanting more. So there's infinite possibilities.
You can watch Mark Hamill discuss the future of Star Wars movies and his concerns regarding the idea of "too much" by clicking play on the video below!
Only time will tell what kind of affect so many developing Star Wars films will have on the movie ecosystem -- but for right now things are going rather swimmingly. After all, the last three films in the franchise are considered some of the biggest blockbuster successes of all time, all currently ranked in the Top 25 for worldwide grosses. The idea of people being totally sick of Star Wars is a totally foreign concept right now, so we probably shouldn't expect the train to slow down any time soon.