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Star Wars Should Embrace TV and Stop Being Films Entirely

Promotional poster for season 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Image: Lucasfilm

Just as we’re about to get a new Star Wars show in the form of Andor—the second of three shows this year, if you need reminding—the movie side of the franchise took another noticeable hit. Rogue Squadron, a film originally planned to be directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins for a December 2023 release, has been pulled off the release schedule. Whether that was a realistic release date or not considering Jenkins reportedly had other projects on her docket, it looks like a new Star Wars movie won’t come until December 2025, if even then.

As there’s been show after show for George Lucas’ sci-fi franchise, the cinematic side of things has noticeably gone through some hurdles. Things began in earnest with the rocky development of 2018’s Solo, which saw a change in directors from Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Ron Howard, and whose subsequent underperformance killed Disney’s plans for solo films for Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (And maybe even Jabba the Hutt?) Subsequently, there’s been headline-grabbing news about the movies that followed, be it discussions about Rise of Skywalker trying to call do-over after The Last Jedi (after losing original director Colin Trevorrow) or Kevin Feige being brought over from Marvel to help right the ship. And remember when the Game of Thrones creators were going to do a Star Wars movie, until they weren’t?

Promotional poster for Star Wars: The Mandalorian season 2.

Image: Lucasfilm

Things are quite messy in a movie universe far, far away, no question. But if there’s any bright side to this disjointedness from the films, it’s that the expanded media has really gotten a chance to thrive in the last couple of years. The High Republic books have managed to carve out a niche for themselves by winding back the clock and making the most out of a time where the Jedi weren’t being set up to be wiped out by a nihilistic cultist. What video games we’ve gotten have been fun throwbacks to the old PS2 days, and the comics have been reliably doing their own thing with one event after another.

On their own, these would all make for healthy ways to keep the franchise going, but they’re all getting an extra boost from the TV arm. Since The Mandalorian wowed audiences back in 2019, Lucasfilm’s managed to reliably put out a show or two spread out over several months. Not all of them are as good as their premises initially seem, and on an actor level, the TV side of Star Wars has had its controversies, namely Gina Carano’s parting ways with the company after her transphobic tweets, and Rosario Dawson’s now dismissed allegations of assaulting a trans person. Depressing as it is to say, in spite of those, creating and releasing a Star Wars show appears to be a considerably easier task.

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