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Ever since the Lucasfilm purchase was finalized in 2012, the Star Wars franchise has been part of the Disney empire… I mean, family, with The Force Awakens being the first movie to kick off this new era. So when it was announced that Disney was launching its own streaming service, Disney+, it was expected that Star Wars would feature prominently. Now it’s been officially announced that along with all the original Star Wars programming already announced, all of the Star Wars movies will be made available on Disney+, including the pre-Disney ones.
In case you’re wondering why this is surprising, it’s because last summer, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that pre-2019 Star Wars movies would not be available on Disney+ at the beginning due to licensing rights. It was also reported around the same time that Turner Broadcasting System owning the TV rights to most of the Star Wars movies prevented Disney from folding them into Disney+, and since this deal didn’t expire until 2024, the Mouse House was working to buy those rights back.
Evidently the company succeeded, because all the Star Wars movies will be viewing options on Disney+. However, don’t expect all of them to be available right at launch. The first two Star Wars trilogies, The Force Awakens and Rogue One will be there on Day 1, with The Last Jedi, Solo and Episode IX coming within the first year.
Episode IX not being available at the get-go makes sense, as Disney+ will be launching before the movie even hits theaters. As for The Last Jedi and Solo, I suspect the delay getting them to Disney+ involves Disney letting its old deal with Netflix run out. Once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before these are added to the streaming service’s catalog.
Star Wars was always going to be one of the main Disney+ draws, so for those of you who had been hoping that you’d be able to watch all the movies set in a galaxy far, far away on the service, your wish has been granted. It’s also logical to assume that more upcoming Star Wars movies, like the Rian Johnson trilogy and the film series being worked on by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, will be thrown onto Disney+ after their theatrical runs have ended.
Of course, these movies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Disney+ Star Wars content. So far two live action original shows have been announced: The Mandalorian, which is set in the decades between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and will be available on Day 1, and the officially-untitled Cassian Andor and K-2SO series, which sees Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk reprising their respective Rogue One roles.
On the animation side of things, along with housing the previous seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Disney+ will also debut the show’s seventh season, which will be comprised of 12 episodes. One would imagine that Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Resistance will also be thrown onto the service eventually, but so far there’s no official word on those two shows.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Star Wars franchise, which continues with the release of Episode IX on December 20. In the meantime, browse through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are opening later this year.