The neverending Star Wars train might be slowing down. There are reports coming out of Hollywood that the “keep making all the Star Warses we can make” model might not quite be panning out as intended.
The main episodic story will still be going ahead, but the spinoff anthology films. the ones subtitled ‘A Star Wars Story’ might be taking a bit of a breather, according to Collider who claim to have insider knowledge.
Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second and most recent of the spinoffs, has been something of a disappointment both critically and financially – it’s done fine, but not compared to, well, the other Star Wars films. A few factors other than the film itself were involved, of course – it came out a mere five months after The Last Jedi, had to compete with Avengers: Infinity War and by its very nature as a spin-off origin story was arguably inessential.
No specific films had been announced in the spinoff series though there’s a hell of lot apparently in development, with rumours of a Boba Fett solo film (potentially directed by Logan’s James Mangold) and even talk of Ewan McGregor revisiting Obi-Wan Kenobi in the time between the prequels and the original trilogy. And come on, you know they’d have got to a Chewie film eventually.
There’s still plenty of Star Wars on the go, though – Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still planning “a series of films”, details of which are yet to be revealed. Rian Johnson, writer-director of The Last Jedi, is working on a trilogy. And, of course, Episode IX is coming in 2019.
If the cancellation of the standalone films is true, is that a good thing? It’s hard to say – the nature of the spinoff means it’s easy enough to see them as a cash-grab that makes Disney a few hundred million bucks every so often. But it also feels like there are some really interesting stories that could be told in the Star Wars universe that don’t need to revolve around the same set of characters we’ve been looking at for forty years. Rogue One and Solo were both heaps of fun and served to satiate the fan thirst for deeper Star Wars storytelling.
The Star Wars Story series seems like the perfect opportunity to experiment – let’s see stories that took place thousands of years before, or thousands of years after, the Skywalker family tiff that everything else seems to revolve around. Let’s see films that star with “An even longer time ago…”