While there were various factors, including a weak marketing campaign and reshoots that doubled the budget, the biggest is the fact it arrived just six months after the controversial The Last Jedi, and marked the fourth Star Wars movie since 2015. There was an oversaturation of the market, and Disney CEO Bob Iger takes full responsibility. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he says:
"I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not gonna make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven't been specific about. And we are just at the point where we're gonna start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.'s. But I think we're gonna be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that."
The new series from Weiss and Benioff, along with Rian Johnson's trilogy, are still on the table, but taking a bit of a break would be to its benefit. Star Wars can't really be 'Marvelised', and Disney have learned that the hard way. With the Fox acquisition set to go through they'll have Avatar to lighten the burden in terms of tentpole Christmas releases, meaning they could feasibly release one every two years, rather than one a year, at the very least. It's too big to simply stop making Star Wars movies, but no longer going at lightspeed is a good thing.
Do you want Star Wars to take a break? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.