Disney Bob Iger Star Wars hiatus movies TV

Solo: A Star Wars Story and the surprisingly mixed reaction to Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi gave Disney a lot of pause last year. So much so that the studio put further Star Wars movie development into a slab of carbonite, a status that Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, says is still ongoing.

On a recent earnings call, the man who heads one of the largest entertainment conglomerates in the world said that the Disney films will go “into a hiatus” once Star Wars: Episode IX – Rise of the Skywalker hits theaters. This echoes his previous comments that the franchise needs some time to figure itself out after Solo disappointed at the box office and it appeared that maybe their rampant release schedule wasn’t actually what fans wanted. Back then he was referring to the slew of origin films that Disney had planned, but now it applies to even more of their efforts.

D.B. Weiss and David Benioff just left over creative differences and time commitments, putting Disney back to square one with film development, and Rian Johnson’s trilogy is nowhere to be seen. His movies never had release dates, rumors of plots, possible production schedules, or anything really, so it’s possible they can just sit until the hiatus is over or maybe get scrapped entirely. Considering the director is in all-out marketing mode for his upcoming Knives Out, we probably won’t learn anything about it soon.

However, if you are hankering for more Star Wars and the upcoming The Mandalorian just isn’t enough, do not fret. Iger says that Disney+ is going to carry on the brand aggressively on the smaller screen. You’ve got the return of Ewan McGregor in an Obi-Wan Kenobi series and the upcoming return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

As if that weren’t enough content, Iger also teased three more Star Wars shows that will be landing on Disney+ at some point. One of those may be the Obi-Wan show, but that would still leave two more mystery shows to be revealed. It seems a bit odd that they’d put the movies on hiatus thanks to oversaturation and then go full bore into saturating their television shows, but streaming is a much different beast than theatrical release so they may think what failed in one place will work in another.

Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a film critic with more than a decade of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and videogames. He runs the website Flixist.com and will talk your ear off about James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.

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5 Comments

  1. Let’s just go back to a Star Wars movie every 3 years in May. Nail down that schedule now for the next 30 years.

  2. Let’s just go back to a Star Wars movie every 3 years in May. Nail down that schedule now for the next 30 years.

  3. This makes me think of one Jim Sterling’s old videos. You can’t win the market with one “perfect” pasta sauce, you win the market with multiple specialized pasta sauces. You’ve got your Space Western fans, your Space Wizards fans, your military sci-fi fans, and your I-don’t-know-what-it-is-but-enough-people-enjoy-it-to-make-“Last Jedi”-a-hit fans. Whenever you focus too much on one you drive away the fans of the others, but if you make versions for each they’ll all have buy something.

    I think that’s exactly what the strategy is with the shows. The Mandalorian is the western, the Obi-Wan series is the heroic fantasy, the Clone Wars final season is the war story. The Johnson movies are… for fans of his last one, presumably.

  4. Poor Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film wasn’t a masterpiece or anything, but I think it deserved better than it got. It felt like a fun romp through an often mentioned, but rarely glimpsed, corner or Star Wars lore. It had a great cast and even Alden Ehrenreich did about as well as could be expected in trying to reprise Harrison Ford’s iconic Han Solo turn (he seemed far more saccharine and naive than Ford’s gruff and cynical take). Despite the turmoil, it ended up with strong direction and great cinematography. I even thought the story ended up being a strong-suit and not an afterthought, with a surprising amount of attention devoted to character development. Plus, all the little details (SPOILERS-like with Darth Maul at the end) made me giddy. It’s wasn’t as good as Rogue One and certainly wasn’t on the same level as the original trilogy, but considering the criticisms leveled at The Last Jedi, it seems like Solo would have appealed to a lot of the fans who really didn’t like TLJ. Oh well…

    1. The ending of that movie got me more excited than anything else they’ve been doing in the Star Wars universe, I really hope they do the sequel.

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