Since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio hasn’t been shy with expanding the Star Wars universe on the big screen. In the last four years alone, an entirely new trilogy for the Skywalker Saga has come to fruition – along with standalone movies Rogue One and Solo. Not to mention Disneyland’s roll-out of Galaxy’s Edge in the parks and The Mandalorian coming to Disney+ next month.
It’s an overwhelming amount of content for Star Wars fans to digest, after a history where a bit of patience benefitted the franchise. When the original batch of films were made (including the prequels), moviegoers had to wait three years before revisiting a galaxy far, far away. Anthony Daniels, aka C-3PO, is the only actor to have appeared in every main Star Wars film and he has some thoughts on Star Wars fatigue. In his words:
I think they did overstep the mark and got overenthusiastic. People became satiated. Star Wars went full tilt and overfed the audience.
So there is such a thing as too much Star Wars! Although Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO has a supporting role in the franchise, he’s likely been hard at work in and out of the suit for the past few years more than ever before. He would know better than most about whether Star Wars fatigue is a valid problem Disney has bestowed on fans, and he agreed to The Times the House of Mouse overstuffed screens too fast.
At this point, it seems the studio is used to instant gratification for fans. Marvel movies are doing good? Let’s release a MCU movie three times a year. Those live-action remakes made money? How about we do three more in 2019? This isn’t even a over dramatization – Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home came this year from the Marvel side and Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King on the Disney live-action side. That’s all without mention of Toy Story 4, Frozen II and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
The most obivious manifestation of Star Wars fatigue was in 2018 when Solo hit theaters just five months after The Last Jedi. The movie about Han Solo’s origin story might have been a huge hit years ago, namely just because it was of the Star Wars universe, but it vastly underperformed with a $392 million worldwide gross in comparison to the franchise usually breaking the $1 billion mark.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has admitted the studio went too hard, too fast with putting out Star Wars content. He said Disney will ”be a little bit more careful about volume and timing” in the future, starting with a hiatus after Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker comes out. There’s still tons more Star Wars in the works though, with a trilogy from Rian Johnson, film by the Game of Thrones creators and a Obi Wan and Rogue One spinoff series coming to Disney+.
Heading into Rise of Skywalker, it looks as if it could be Anthony Daniels’ last movie as C3PO when the movie hits theaters on December 20.