Is yet another Star Wars project a good thing?
By Joe Harker
Disney loves money, Star Wars makes money, therefore Disney wants more of Star Wars.
To that end they've contacted David Benioff and DB Weiss, the writers behind HBO's Game of Thrones, to work on a new series of movies independent of the current trilogy and Rian Johnson's planned trilogy. They'll have the run of that galaxy far, far away and may be a key part of the future of the franchise after the current trilogy comes to an end.
The new series will slot in alongside the upcoming Episode IX, a trilogy helmed by Last Jedi director Johnson, the Solo standalone movie, the live action TV series planned and any future standalone films intended to fill the annual gaps between episodes. That's a lot of Star Wars appearing over the next few years which could delight fans, but could ultimately be too much of a good thing.
There may be a serious case of franchise fatigue due for Star Wars as Disney plans to release a movie every year. The Independent worries Disney is "milking the Star Wars franchise harder than a thala-siren" by releasing so much content. It could harm the idea that a new Star Wars movie is a must-see event, instead downgrading it to a regular occurrence at the cinema.
Another risk with the sheer volume of content planned is that quality could drop and lead to "a galaxy of bad content". Audiences queue around the cinema to watch the new Star Wars films but a steady stream of average or bad movies could damage the brand itself until it is no longer quite as special.
Benioff and Weiss may also not be the guaranteed successes that Disney presumably hopes for. While Game of Thrones is still regarded as one of the best things on TV there are many who argue that it has declined in quality since they started moving further away from the source material and had greater freedom to make the show their own. The most recent season has been likened to fan fiction with many moments to satisfy the audience but some instances where the internal logic of the show doesn't hold up and some plot points seemed convoluted. While Disney will provide some oversight on the project Benioff and Weiss may be better when adapting the work of someone else.
There is also the issue of representation. Even if fans are happy to see more Star Wars projects they may also want more diverse writers and directors. Writing for Variety, Maureen Ryan has worked out that of the 24 writers, directors and creative leads that have worked on Star Wars 23 have been white men. The only person not to fit into that category was Leigh Brackett, a woman with a screenplay credit for The Empire Strikes Back.