When Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced the return of Star Wars back in 2012, fans could rejoice in knowing there may never again be a time without Star Wars. For a while after the purchase, decades between trilogies and years between films were a thing of the past. Between the Saga films and the spinoff anthology movies, there was a constant supply of Star Wars, enough to sate even the most voracious of fans. Plus, given Disney's success with its Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seemed inevitable that Star Wars would eventually move to a model of multiple films a year.
That was then.
Now Star Wars is pumping the brakes and dropping out of hyperspace with a lurch in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Bob Iger recently admitted that it was his mistake to push out too many Star Wars films too fast and that we can expect some slowdown from the franchise. He indicated that moving forward Disney would be more careful about the volume of how many Star Wars movies come out and the timing of when they arrive.
Now, this move could be seen by some as premature or an overreaction to Solo's performance. Regardless of whether timing is what felled Solo at the box office or if it was just one of numerous issues that did it in, the impetus to take a more restrained approach in the future is the right one. In fact, I think a Star Wars slowdown is exactly what Disney needs right now. Here's why:
There Will Still Be Plenty Of Star Wars On TV
Even if a slowdown means that we have to wait a little longer between movies, there will still be plenty of new Star Wars content for the avid fan to enjoy. Star Wars Rebels is over and a new animated series is coming to Disney Channel next month. Star Wars Resistance will tell stories in a time period we haven't seen explored yet, between the end of The Return of the Jedi and months before The Force Awakens. If that animated series skews a bit too young for you, no matter, that's not the only Star Wars TV series on the way. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning next year to finish up its run. Beyond that, Jon Favreau is working on a live-action series for Disney's upcoming streaming service. The wildly expensive series will be set 7 years after Return of the Jedi and will hopefully have the kind of high quality storytelling we've come to expect from prestige television. So despite any big screen slowdown, there will still be plenty of Star Wars content on TV in the years ahead to keep fans happy, to say nothing of the other in-canon materials like the novels and comics.
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
To be clear, we will never again experience the kind of frenzy that accompanied the return of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, that magical time before The Last Jedi when fans of the prequels and fans of the original trilogy came together as one in excitement for the return of their favorite franchise. Those who felt burned by the prequels were excited about Star Wars again and the sins of the past were forgiven. We'll never have a drought like that again but a slowdown in frequency of any kind will do a service to Star Wars. For those who didn't like The Last Jedi, time will theoretically allow their frustrations to ebb and their desire to see a new Star Wars movie grow. And the same will apply to any future movie that receives a divided reaction. I'm not saying that fans that hated a movie will come around on it, but passions die hard and even the Prequels have come to be appreciated more than they once were. A slowdown in the frequency of Star Wars films makes people miss them more and that makes them overlook past offenses to get excited again.