Star Wars: The Force Is Strong, but the Movies Are Flatlining

Star Wars: The Force Is Strong, but the Movies Are Flatlining
Image credit: Legion-Media

Five years have passed since Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hit theatres on December 15, 2017, and it is a good time to evaluate the current state of the Star Wars franchise, given Episode VIII's massive impact on it.

Well, for the Star Wars movies, the impact looks more like a near-fatal blow. As we've covered before, fans should not expect to see any new Star Wars movies in theaters until 2025 (and that if the current projects won't fail), a six-year gap since Episode IX.

This is particularly glaring, given that early plans after Disney acquisition included the nearly MCU- like rate of at least one movie per year.

Certainly The Last Jedi was not the only source of this disaster, and its director, Rian Johnson had a frankly unenviable job, with all the (empty) mystery boxes J.J. Abrams left to him in The Force Awakens, but what he did on that job ensured that the sequel trilogy would be a mess of three disjointed, plot holes-ridden movies.

You might not agree with the assessment that The Last Jedi was a Star Wars movie made by the director who hated Star Wars for the people who hated Star Wars (though almost every article praising Episode VII proves this assessment).

You might consider Abrams the ultimate culprit, instead. Or you might even think that the sequel trilogy was good. But the facts are obvious: the movie side of the franchise is practically flatlining, and it is not clear what, if anything, can realistically revive it in foreseeable future.

On the other hand, Star Wars seem to be thriving on Disney+. Sure, the franchise's live-action series side had its share of subpar entries (The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi ). But The Mandalorian did well, and is poised to keep doing well in its upcoming third season, scheduled to premiere on March 1, 2023.

Andor, while having relatively small (but dedicated) audience, did at least well enough to be renewed for Season 2, which we should expect sometime in 2024, and earned considerable critical acclaim.

The Ahsoka live-action series is in the works, and is also scheduled for 2023. And to support this strong live-action lineup, the second season of The Bad Batch animated series is set to be released on January 4, 2023.

Now, none of those series are massive hits. But they are doing well enough to provide Star Wars with a strong stream of content, which doesn't seem to be in danger of drying up any time soon. 2023 looks like a good year to be a Star Wars fan (unless you can't stand Dave Filoni and his works).