Though it’s been less than six months since Disney’s $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, the folks at the Mouse House appear bound and determined to recoup every one of those dollars in the most expeditious manner possible. This was driven home by last week’s announcement that starting with Episode VII in 2015, Disney plans to release a new live-action Star Wars film every year for the following five years, and perhaps beyond, with entries in the new main trilogy coming at two year intervals and standalone projects (possibly involving Yoda, a young Han Solo, or Boba Fett, depending on which wildly unsubstantiated rumors one chooses to believe) occupying the intervening years.
For a variety of reasons, a compelling argument can be made that this is, if not the worst idea since Greedo shooting first, then certainly the worst idea since having Darth Vader turn out to be a whiny Canadian emo kid.
5. Franchise Fatigue
No matter how much people love something, you can make them hate too much of it. For evidence, we need look no further than the state of the Star Trek franchise in the second half of the 2000s, when it languished in the abyss of cultural irrelevance until being resurrected by J.J. Abrams’ successful big-screen reboot in 2009. Between 1987 and 2004, there was at least one (usually two, occasionally a staggering three) first-run Star Trek TV series on the air at all times, in addition to new theatrical films being churned out at a rate of one every two to three years.
Then came the critical and commercial failure of Star Trek Nemesis, followed by the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise due to dismally low ratings, and Paramount suddenly found itself with a (formerly) cash-cow science fiction franchise that even its most ardent devotees seemed thoroughly sick of. This should be an ideal object lesson for Disney in how not to handle Star Wars, but it remains to be seen how well they heed it, and the early indications are not good.
This article was first posted on April 24, 2013