When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, many expected Star Wars to be its biggest money maker yet. With a new trilogy of movies planned as well as multiple spin-offs, how could one of the most popular franchises of all time not dominate the box office?
Well, Star Wars did dominate the box office, just not as much as other Disney properties. Despite being commendable in its own right, the franchise doesn’t hold a candle in sheer revenue to the monster that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Will Star Wars copy Marvel?
With Marvel being such a colossal success for Disney, many have believed that the phase-based release structure of the MCU would slip into other projects. However, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is adamant that the company will not be bringing that approach to a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kennedy explained that Marvel is a unique beast. While Star Wars currently has a “roadmap” for the future, it’s not as integrated as MCU projects are.
"I wouldn’t go so far. Kevin is an anomaly—an amazing one,” she said. “But [the goal is] definitely having somebody make more of a commitment. I hesitate to use the word trilogies anymore because Star Wars is much more about persistent storytelling."
The future of movies in Lucasfilm’s beloved franchise appears to be getting away from trilogies. Instead, individual projects are in the works that are wholly separate from each other. This means that the company won’t have a repeat of Rise of Skywalker, which killed the franchise for many fans. She continued:
"We have a road map. I would say that Taika’s story fits more specifically into that. Rogue Squadron…we kind of pushed off to the side for the moment. Patty is developing the script further. Then we will talk about how that connects to the central spine that we’re working on."
Rian Johnson is still going to make a trilogy
While Lucasfilm is distracting itself from trilogies of movies, it does still have one trilogy in the works. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will be returning to the franchise for his own trilogy in the future. However, that series of movies is still a while away.
Johnson’s trilogy won’t happen until after the director is finished with his trilogy for Knives Out. However, Kennedy is adamant that the director will return to Star Wars.
“Rian has been unbelievably busy with Knives Out and the deal that he made at Netflix for multiple movies,” she said. “I’ve had meetings with Rian; he’s somebody that’s come in as part of our little brain trust discussions along the way. He remains very committed to what it is we’re trying to do. He just literally hasn’t had the time to devote."
While a particularly loud audience of fans may revolt at the idea of Johnson’s return, the director made one of the most critically acclaimed Star Wars movies of all time. That’s a success that Lucasfilm is surely chasing, especially after the critical blunder of Episode 9.