Why Star Wars needs two films a year.
This month has seen the release of the second film under the ‘Star Wars Story’ which have so far alternated years with the Episode movies. Where Solo has differed this month however is that it has been released in May where the other films have occupied December. Solo also doesn’t follow the same story beats as other films in the saga and sacrifices some of the grand scale for a more character focussed story. It’s this different approach which has convinced me that Disney and Lucasfilm should push for two films a year going forward, especially when looking at the films they apparently have in development.
Officially announced projects include Episode 9 which is set for release in 2019, a trilogy of films from Rian Johnson which currently don’t have release dates, then there are the announced series of films from Game of Thrones creators Benioff and Weiss. Along with the rumoured Story films of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan we are looking at at least 9 Star Wars films in active development right now.
If they continue to release only 1 movie a year they will have blocked out all their releases until 2027. This likely doesn’t include any more Episode films either and with the popularity of Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn, I think they are going to want to capitalise on their success with more sequels.
Many people have had apprehensions about a two films a year schedule based on the scale and impact that the previous films have had. Star Wars are traditionally these epic event films that consume media attention and have months of build up and speculation. With Solo this year however the marketing campaign has been shorter, they hype has been less and the film itself is a smaller, tighter story. Something I think Lucasfilm was looking towards when they introduced the ‘Star Wars Story’ banner.
If they are looking at making more films with focused character stories then I think they can certainly look at releasing two films a year. This strategy would allow for them to build the galaxy out further with deeper dives into certain characters along side the larger films that move the whole narrative forward.
If they do want to take a break away from the Episode films them Benioff and Weiss’s suspected Old Republic films could certainly fill the December slot for the bigger films. Then the Johnson trilogy could either alternate years or fill in the other annual slot along side other character focused movies such as Obi-Wan.
An example of how they could schedule their films going forward is.
December — Episode 9
May — Obi-Wan
December — Benioff + Weiss 1
May — Johnson 1
December — Benioff and Weiss 2
May — Boba Fett
December — Benioff and Weiss 3
May — Johnson 2
December — Benioff and Weiss 4
May — Johnson 3
December — Episode 10
This way Lucasfilm can push on with their new concepts and ideas as well as delivering on classic characters before revisiting Episode 10 five years after Episode 9.
There are so many stories that deserve to be told on the big screen that Star Wars needs to expand and deliver new experiences for people, especially with how diversifying Episode 8 was. Moving to two films a year allows those that don’t fully love a film to have something else just around the corner to look forward to.
Marvel is a perfect example to follow as all of their films have a slightly different themes and genres while all still feeling like Marvel films. Hopefully Star Wars can capitalise on its potential and dominate the big screen in the coming years.