In 2012, the Walt Disney Company inked a massive deal with George Lucas to acquire Lucasfilm, which of course includes the “Star Wars” franchise. The films are among the most successful in movie history, which is why it was so lucrative. Disney had to hand over just more than $4 billion to Lucas, instantly giving him $2 billion in cash and the rest in Disney stock that will make the final price even higher.
Almost immediately after acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney announced that they had ambitious plans for the “Star Wars” series. After the original trilogy was released in the 1970s and early 1980s, there was a large gap until 1999 when another trilogy was released. Disney said a new trilogy was on the horizon, with “The Force Awakens” releasing in late 2015, as well as more standalone “Star Wars” films that so far have included “Rogue One” and “Solo”.
While the newest trilogy concludes with “The Rise of Skywalker”, there are at least three more “Star Wars” films for Disney coming out by 2026. This means in an 11 year span, there will have been eight movies in the series. That might sound like a lot, but it’s worth noting that Disney also churned out 23 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the same span. However, the latter had much more critical success and only seemed to get more popular as it raged on.
Now, Disney CEO Bob Iger is saying that the plans for “Star Wars” might have been too ambitious, and that the company “might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast.” It was “Solo” that was the tipping point, as it didn’t perform up to standards for Disney and had them reconsider their pacing for the films.
Not all hope is lost for Iger, though. “I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company,” Iger said. “And the talent we have at the company is better than it’s ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.” Disney acquired Fox in 2019.
Another “Star Wars” trilogy was just around the corner after the first Disney set finished in 2019, set to kick off in 2022, but those plans might have changed. Rian Johnson, who directed “The Last Jedi”, said “The truth is (Disney is) still figuring out their schedule, their game plan, so if it’s possible for me to squeeze in another film before or while working on that, I will.”
One major goal for Iger in the upcoming “Star Wars” plans is to have more diversity in front of and behind the camera. The company wants a female director with the upcoming trilogy. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy says that Disney is currently “trying really hard” to make it happen.