Disney had a huge investors meeting today, where they shared the official details behind the launch of their upcoming streaming service Disney+. Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the entire Star Wars movie franchise will arrive on the platform within a year of its launch.
It was believed that there would be a long wait for Star Wars to hit the streaming upstart, as the rights to broadcast the first two trilogies were housed at TNT and TBS. But apparently a deal was worked out to get the prequel and original trilogies ready for streaming under Disney's new roof. The original trilogy consists of A New Hope, released in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980 and Return of the Jedi, which hit theaters in 1983. The prequel trilogy kicked off with The Phantom Menace in 1999, followed by Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
All six of these movies will be streaming on Disney+ after having been at Turner. Also coming to Disney+ will be the first entry in the new trilogy, J.J. Abrams' 2015 The Force Awakens and 2017's The Last Jedi. Disney+ will also get the first spin-off Rogue One and this year's still untitled Star Wars 9. There was no mention of the franchise's first real stumble, with last year's Solo going unmentioned. Though it is assumed that will also be included.
Solo lost Disney and Lucasfilm a good chunk of money, so they may just be staying quiet as to not call any attention to that during their big announcement, keeping things on the positive side. Solo did already premiere on Netflix. Though it will be leaving as all Disney content is removed from that streaming giant.
News that the entire Star Wars movie franchise would premiere on Disney+ within the first year of its launch was surrounded by a ton of other exciting news for the streaming platform. At the time she spoke, the price and date for Disney+ had not been revealed. Now we know that Disney+ will drop on November 12th for $6.99 a month. Which is a steal compared to Netflix recently raising their prices to $12.99 for basic subscribers just this month.
This news comes as somewhat of a surprise. Turner has long been in control of the broadcast rights for Star Wars. They closed a deal in 2016 that included all basic-cable rights for seven years at a cost of $250 million. That put the movies at TNT and TBS until at least 2023. Many believed the deal would cause a stumbling block in the launch of Disney+. But that doesn't appear to be the case. No one is quite sure how this all shook out at this time, as Turner and WarnerMedia reps did not respond for comment. Kathleen Kennedy said this in her speech.
"It's remarkable to think that Episode IX will represent the culmination of what George Lucas began 40 years ago with the Skywalker saga. [Characters from the franchise] populate a mythology that has impacted audiences throughout multiple generations."
While an exact release date for the Star Wars movies premiering on Disney+ was not announced, it seems clear that they will all be available to stream by November 2020. It's believed that the newer movies may arrive sooner than the prequel and original trilogy. This news comes from Deadline.