When Star Wars returned to our screens back in 2015 with The Force Awakens, the long-awaited sequel reunited the original cast to forge a new chapter in the iconic franchise. Breaking box office records, The Force Awakens grossed more than $2 billion worldwide, and it was just the beginning of Disney's plans for Star Wars. In the four years since The Force Awakens landed, we've had a total of five Star Wars movies (including next month's Rise of Skywalker) compared to the six movies George Lucas made over twenty-eight years.
No Star Wars release has matched the box office (or critical) success of The Force Awakens, and Disney's CEO Bob Iger believes that making fewer Star Wars movies is the way forward.
“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.”
Iger might not have publicly said he has been disappointed with the performance of any of the Star Wars movies, but nobody was happy with Solo. While the well-documented firing of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord certainly played a part in its poor box office, releasing another Star Wars movie mere months after The Last Jedi was a huge mistake. Sure, Disney wanted to launch a Solo franchise and move it away from the previously lucrative December launch. But putting another Star Wars movie so close to The Last Jedi diluted the hype, it became less of an event.
The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and the forthcoming Rise of Skywalker had a December release date for a reason. The new trilogy that was being developed by Game of Thrones creators, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, is no longer happening since their departure. Plus, Rian Johnson's trilogy hasn't had any updates for quite some time. So, could we be looking at a long gap before another big-screen Star Wars adventure? Previously, Disney planned to alternate between a Star Wars film and one of the many Avatar sequels every December. That could still be the case, but I think it's safe to assume that standalone spin-off will be reserved for Disney+.
Regardless of the many faults of Solo, it's the perfect example of oversaturation; even the most avid Star Wars fan struggled to muster the same level of enthusiasm. Arguably, Donald Glover was the only thing Solo got 100% right, Disney+ series now, please.