'Star Wars' is not what it used to be; it isn’t the same galactic force of the days gone by. There used to be a time when people used to go crazy for even the dream of a new 'Star Wars' movie. But it is all so different now; there are more detractors of the 'Star Wars' franchise then there are supporters.
The franchise went through a rough patch before, 'The Phantom Menace' was not well received, and 'Jar Jar' almost ruined the whole movie, but the franchise survived, and by the end of 'Revenge of the Sith' most people were content with the trilogy of films. It wasn’t mind-blowing as the first trilogy, but at least they tried to do something new with the series.
Newness was a factor for people not totally writing off the franchise, but there was also something else, which allowed the franchise to survive the mediocre first and second installments in the prequel trilogy. To put it simply, time, the time between successive movies was the reason why the franchise gets relatively less hate, and time is the reason why the new 'Star Wars' movies are failing.
So, What went Wrong with the 'Star Wars' Franchise at Disney?
Before we get into it, first a word from the CEO of Disney and what he thinks is the main reason for the lack of interest in the new Star Wars franchise. Bob Iger said, “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.”
This is exactly true; just look at this timeline for a moment, 2015-'The Force Awakens,' 2016-'Rogue One,' 2017-'The Last Jedi,' 2018-'Solo,' 2019-'The Rise of Skywalker.' We’ve seen four (will become five this December) Star Wars movies in five years. When the studio announced they would be releasing one Star Wars movie each year, it sounded nice at first, but now living through it, the whole thing is tiring.
You might say 'Lord of the Rings' was released one after the other with only a year’s gap between them, but the thing is the movie was shot all at once with the intention of releasing it simultaneously because it is one coherent story, but even for the 'LOTR' franchise this format did not work.
'Hobbit' series was neither well-received nor performed as hoped at the box office because people were tired by the time the third movie rolled into town. The same is the case for 'Star Wars'; it is taking so much emotionally out of the fans with each installment, there is not enough breathing room for the fans to recalibrate themselves.
Watch: The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens; the first Disney Star Wars movie
When the whole world is in the thick of arguing why the new 'Star Wars' movie worked or did not work, there was already another movie to see, and this was not allowing the fans enough time to process everything. A year is not enough to deal with the death of 'Han Solo'; a year is not enough to deal with the character changes made to 'Luke Skywalker.'
Fans are not only invested with the franchise, they are part of the whole experience and if there is just not enough time for fans to get sad, happy or feel emotions, by the next time another Star Wars movie comes to town, there is just not enough interest or emotional attachment for the fans to buy a ticket and experience the film inside a theatre.
The original and prequel trilogy released the movies in about three years’ interval, which allowed everyone time to take every single bit of information in and anticipate what happens in the next one. The oversaturation of the market is the reason why the 'Star Wars' franchise is not doing as well as expected.
'Star Wars' was a prestigious property; there was no haste in making multiple movies all at once in fear the fans might lose interest in the franchise. The series was released for the first time in 1977, and to this day, the franchise is relevant gives the idea of the generational power of the franchise.
Watch: The final trailer for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Father to son, mother to daughter, 'Star Wars' franchise was like a family heirloom passed down to the next generation to care and love the same way they did, but now it is just a mechanized, processed, once every year obligation no one is ready to commit to, which is why the 'Star Wars' franchise is failing.
'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' will be released this holiday season on 20 December 2019. This will be the ultimate test for the 'Star Wars' franchise whether it reaches for new ground or lose the amount of love and faith of fans who stuck with the franchise for this long.
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