If you're suddenly feeling overwhelmed and maybe even a little burnt out by the barrage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers, TV spots, commercials, photos and other marketing items that have flooded in over these last two weeks, you better splash your face with some cold water and get over it. Quick. Because Disney and LucasFilm have made it clear that they are, as reported in the past, sticking with their plan to deliver one new Star Wars movie every year. Only now, they are calling this an indefinite plan with no end in sight. In fact, Wired claims, in a new report about the studios' plan, that anyone who was born in the 70s and enjoyed the first three movies as a kid when they first debuted in theaters, probably won't live to see the final Star Wars movie. That hurts, don't it?
"The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets. Let me put it another way: If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one. It's the forever franchise."
Forever is a long time. And it might make sense if these movies were coming at the speed they've been delivered thus far. The original trilogy ended in 1983, a little over thirty years ago. The prequel trilogy finished in 2005, just a decade ago. Ten years is a long time to wait for a new movie, but it certainly has upped the anticipation and enthusiasm for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Will that same excitement still be in play next year, when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters December 2016? The window between Star Wars movies shrinks, with Star Wars: Episode VIII coming just 6 months later in 2017. If some fans are already feeling fatigued by the amount of marketing currently flooding airwaves and store shelves, imagine how they will feel in the summer of 2017, when the next chapter in the new trilogy rolls around. And that's not even considering what happens if Star Wars: The Force Awakens pulls a Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, and fails to connect with audiences and critics as intended.
While excitement is high, there is no guarantee that the movie will be any good. Add to that, everyone had to wait in three year intervals for both previous trilogies to deliver new chapters. Right now, Lucasfilm and Disney have their Star Wars slate lined up through 2020. In 2018 we will get Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie and in 2019 we will get the trilogy ending Star Wars: Episode IX. That will be followed by the Third Star Wars Spin-Off Movie, which is believed to be following the further adventures of Boba Fett. And even if the upcoming new movie isn't what fans have been expecting, it will still pull in untold billions. There are endless possibilities for this franchise, and Disney and LucasFilm plan to milk it all the way to a dry udder. And, when you look at it in the right light, it is really no different than what Marvel is doing with their movies. Though, they currently release two a year, and will start releasing three movies a year in 2018. Writer Lawrence Kasdan, who co-penned Star Wars: The Force Awakens with director J.J. Abrams, and is in charge of the Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie had this to say about why this one movie a year forever plan works.
"Star Wars is its own genre. Like all genre, it can hold a million different kinds of artists and stories. They say 'Buddha is what you do to it.' And that's Star Wars. It can be anything you want it to be."
While fans and the studios alike have high hopes, it all could fall apart fairly quickly. While we'll for certain get these next six movies, the 'indefinte' plan could always be stalled by poor box office. And it might be another decade or two before the engine gets revved up again, however unlikely that seems at the moment. This past summer has seen other big franchises with longterm plans come crashing to a halt. Terminator Genisys was said to be the first in a new trilogy, with the second two films coming before 2020. The movie bombed in the states, though, and those plans were halted. And 20th Century Fox had already given The Fantastic Four 2 a 2017 release date before the reboot crashed and burned this past August. The studio still hasn't announced how they plan to rectify that franchise blunder.
Star Wars has, perhaps, a larger presence in all forms of media than any other franchise. Disney can do anything it wants with the property. And they will, considering the ungodly amount of money they paid to buy it from George Lucas. Even if the movies did peter out, the series is sure to keep going in books, comics, TV, and streaming venues. There will never be another moment in the foreseeable future where there isn't some new form of Star Wars being unleashed upon the buying public. Producer Kathleen Kennedy is aware that there could be burnout. And she doesn't want to plan too far in advance, so anything can happen, and anything can change. And, hey, it all needs to get set in motion before she can even think about reviving Indiana Jones. She stated the following.
"I've talked about it with everybody at Disney. Alan [Horn, chair of Walt Disney Studios] is very supportive of it. But at the same time, he's right when he says we've got a lot on our plate. And then I'll be working with them on Indiana Jones."
Indiana Jones 5 is definitely happening sometime in the future, and if all goes according to plan, it will happen with Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg. But for now, Disney and Lucasfilm are solely concentrating on these next 6 Star Wars installments, the final one of which still doesn't have a director in place since Fantastic Four director Josh Trank was fired. What do you think? Are you happy that we'll be getting an indefinite amount of Star Wars movies starting this year? Or are you already burnt out?