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The Star Wars galaxy is in a weird place right now. However, moving forward, it sounds like Disney CEO Bob Iger is committed to his "less is more" mantra when it comes to rolling out Star Wars movies.
This should be a time of celebration and bittersweet farewells, with Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker due to hit theaters next month. That will end the nine-film Skywalker Saga that started more than 40 years ago. There's also the imminent arrival of The Mandalorian on Disney+, Star Wars' first live-action series, which has gotten raves from its early first-look reviews.
However, as usual, the dark side is balancing the light. There's still lingering anger after Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, disappointment from Solo: A Star Wars Story, and now the news that the Game of Thrones bros aren't even making their Star Wars movies anymore. They dumped Star Wars for Netflix, home of umpteen Adam Sandler movies. Way harsh, Tai.
Disney CEO Bob Iger must be having a good year, despite all that, since his company now owns just about everything, including several $1 billion-plus movies from 2019 -- as well as the $2 billion-plus Avengers: Endgame, which is the highest-grossing movie of all time.
But Star Wars. What to do about Star Wars?
Bob Iger is now making the rounds to promote his new book The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. During an interview with BBC Radio, he talked more about Star Wars films and clarified his position on the recent over-saturation:
I have said publicly that I think we made and released too many Star Wars films over a short period of time. I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I’ve not said that I'm disappointed in their performance. I just think that there’s something so special about a Star Wars film, and less is more.
That meshes with what Bob Iger told the New York Times not too long ago, in reference to releasing the first two Star Wars movies in the new trilogy, and two spinoffs in Rogue One and Solo, in quick succession:
I just think that we might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast. I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company, and the talent we have at the company is better than it’s ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.
However, in his new comments, he wanted to be sure no one misinterpreted his words as being disappointed in the new Star Wars movies. He's not piling on or agreeing with detractors, he's just maayyyyybe agreeing with the concept of "Star Wars fatigue," which even Mark Hamill said he felt to a certain extent.
Bob Iger's new book sounds like quite a trip. When it comes to Star Wars, he writes about how George Lucas was disappointed in The Force Awakens. Iger added that he wanted Lucas to sign a non-disparagement clause asking him not to publicly criticize any of the Star Wars films. That did not work out. But if Iger wanted to keep George's trap shut, you can imagine he's not going to say anything disparaging himself, whatever he might really think.
What's the future for Star Wars movies? The Skywalker saga will have an ending in The Rise of Skywalker, which arrives in theaters December 20. But with the Game of Thrones showrunners not making their rumored Jedi movies, that leaves ... just the Star Wars movie Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is working on, and whatever is happening with Rian Johnson's movies? That's separate from the content coming to Disney+, which includes The Mandalorian and the Obi-Wan series, which started as a movie.