Oh my: Disney to release new “Star Wars” movie every summer starting in 2015

posted at 8:01 pm on April 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

What’s Marvel taking in with its endless “Avengers” franchise? A few billion a year?

Time for Disney to build its own solid-gold conveyor belt:

Confirming a strategy of aggressive franchise expansion, Disney announced today at CinemaCon that they are planning to release a new Star Wars movie every year, starting with the J.J. Abrams-powered Episode VII in summer 2015. The plan is to release a standalone spinoff the following year — probably one of the projects focusing on Boba Fett or Young Han Solo — and alternate between numerals and spinoffs from there.

Assuming the films are successful, this means the total number of Star Wars films will nearly double by summer 2019. Presumably, Disney is hoping that each of the spinoffs will form their own franchises, much like X-Men and The Avengers.

The good news: The more darts you throw, the more likely you are to hit the target. Some of these flicks will be good, if only as a reversion to the mean, and it’s been a long, long time since we’ve had a truly good Star Wars movie. The bad news: What is it that makes a “Star Wars movie” a “Star Wars movie”? Is there any reason to think the standalone movies will achieve that? One of the things I liked about “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was how it retained some of the sensibility of the original series without any overlapping characters. It felt like “Star Trek” beyond the set and uniforms. The “Star Wars” prequels were the opposite — lots and lots of character overlap but no magic. What do these standalone spinoffs need to do to get it back? I have the feeling that most of the Star Wars-ness will be purely cosmetic, like Young Han inevitably meeting a younger, fluffier, cuddlier Chewie for the requisite glint of audience recognition. What’s left of “Star Wars” once you remove the overthrowing the Empire/blowing up the Death Star framework? We tried that in the first three movies and it didn’t work out. Now comes … lots and lots of Jedi ritualism, I take it. What else?

Then again, haven’t there been a few million “Star Wars” books written spinning off from the universe created by the original trilogy? With that many darts, there are bound to be a few strong, Star Wars-y plots translatable to the movies that hit the target too. Hopefully we’ll get a few good years out of the series before it enters its inevitable period of Palpatine-speecifying-about-trade-agreements decadence.


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Expect awfulness to be taken to a new level.

Bruno Strozek on April 17, 2013 at 8:05 PM

The Thrawn trilogy . . . need i say more

Imrahil on April 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

All they have to do is keep George away and it will be fine. It can’t in any way be worse than the prequels. That’s just not possible

johnnyboy on April 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Yeah, because you can never have enough crappy Star Wars movies.

Pork-Chop on April 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

All the speculation is just that until we know who’s writing these things and how the overall vision will play out. Is it going to be a cash cow just beat to death or will it be handled with care like a goldmine franchise should.

Seeing how Disney’s allowed Pixar to flourish creatively I hold out hope right now that Star Wars will be cared for in similar fashion. I’ll wait to be proven wrong and hope that it’s as awesome as I dream it can be for now.

MikeknaJ on April 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

This is so lame it would be the height of lameness to make a lame comment on it.

Dusty on April 17, 2013 at 8:14 PM

The only way I’d watch those movies is if they have topless women on flying motorcycles. Otherwise, forget it.

Curtiss on April 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM

This is so lame it would be the height of lameness to make a lame comment on it.

Dusty on April 17, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Now you tell me.

Curtiss on April 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Aw hell, I guess I will, anyway,

If they have Moe, Larry, and Curly Joe lookalikes I’ll probably catch one or two of these comebacks.

Dusty on April 17, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Then again, haven’t there been a few million “Star Wars” books written spinning off from the universe created by the original trilogy?

I never read any of the paperbacks, but if they did movies out of Zahn’s “Heir to the Empire” trilogy they could be pretty good.

malclave on April 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM

The good news: The more darts you throw, the more likely you are to hit the target. Some of these flicks will be good, if only as a reversion to the mean

I’m looking on the other side: the worse these movies are, the more we can just accept that Star Wars was a movie trilogy and then some other movies were made to cash in on it much later, and then we can just move on.

HitNRun on April 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Episode MLXXVII Jus’ Plain Tired

A FEW MONTHS AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY…

rihar on April 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Four Pirates movies and the only one really worth anything was the one Disney was afraid of given Depp’s performance.

And then thy franchised it and each successive one has been less worthwhile and more merchandised. Disney has a pattern to these things…

Betenoire on April 17, 2013 at 8:31 PM

More Star Wars > less Star Wars. I’ll toss my lot here with Disney and Abrams.

LaughterJones on April 17, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Just as a note, Disney owns Marvel.

Publius24 on April 17, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Well at the least the first 3 movies were good.

Oil Can on April 17, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Disney owns Marvel, Star Wars is just piling on now.

Iblis on April 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM

Yes! The potential for a movie about Jar Jar Binks Meets the Ewoks!

What could go wrong?

parke on April 17, 2013 at 8:47 PM

George Lucas killed the series with his dumbing-down of the later movies and his constant dumbing-down revision of the earlier movies. I don’t even own the Blu-rays.

This, for me, is a NO.

clayj on April 17, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Star Wars Twilight Saga looms.

Warner Todd Huston on April 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The first few Rogue Squadron books were decent before they became a serial series.

njrob on April 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Please Mother Gaia let this be so. I need to sell all the Star Wars “collectible” junk one of my boys insisted on piling up for years. I need a sucke…er…a respected collector to buy it all up.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Can they are at least change the prequel crap. Get rid of the baby Jedi’s. You go to Jedi school at 18. Get rid of the no marriage crap. Do a new Dark Vader back story. New clone war back story.

Oil Can on April 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM

If Disney owned Hot Air, there would be a ride at the park called Hot Mountain with so much snark, everyone would leave saying, “Dude?”

Greek Fire on April 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Disney, do us all a favor and look at Timothy’s Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, just follow those books word for word and we’ll have at least three decent films.

NerwenAldarion on April 17, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Yes! The potential for a movie about Jar Jar Binks Meets the Ewoks!

What could go wrong?

parke on April 17, 2013 at 8:47 PM

The universe could finally say, “Screw it!” and collapse in a fit of disgust. Who wants to take that risk?

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on April 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Mel Brooks said it best in SpaceBalls
“We’ll all meet back here in Space Balls II: The Quest for More Money”

dentalque on April 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Apparently I am more optimistic than the norm.

1. Disney owns Marvel, so Marvel’s success could be an argument FOR potentially good Star Wars movies.
2. Abrams is directing. Personally I like his movies, so there is hope.
3. This… well it can go both ways. Personally I liked the prequels more than I dislike certain unmentionable characters, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy whatever it is they put out.

Movies outrank Books as far as Star Wars canon is concerned, so while some of the EU books are fabulous, most of it is OMGNO, and they don’t have to follow it. YMMV.

kirazy on April 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

EVERY Star Wars film has sucked since Empire Strikes Back. I have no desire to watch a series of crappy movies having wasted my time watching the last 4 lame films.

AYNBLAND on April 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Only the first Star Wars film (or the euphemistically named IV) was any good.

And Lucas had to go puke on that one by adding more storm troopers and digital scenery.

Maybe the kiddies will bite — and Disney can have Pixar do it so there’s no real actors and no residuals.

unclesmrgol on April 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Hey you got some Reddit in my Hot Air.

rndmusrnm on April 17, 2013 at 9:20 PM

SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE, PLEEEEEEEASE.

And maybe consider bringing Karen Traviss on board. She may have made some crappy Star Wars books, but she’d probably raise the average on the franchise, considering the last three movies.

mintycrys on April 17, 2013 at 9:28 PM

It’s had 40 years of staying power so far.

Sign me up for a new movie every summer.

The Thrawn trilogy . . . need i say more

Imrahil on April 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Seconded!

hatespam on April 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

It’s had 40 years of staying power so far.

Sign me up for a new movie every summer.

The Thrawn trilogy . . . need i say more

Imrahil on April 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Seconded!

hatespam on April 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM

I agree on the Thrawn trilogy. I also liked the Wraith squadron.

Rose on April 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

May the ‘B’ movie script be with you.

locomotivebreath1901 on April 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

The good news: The more darts you throw, the more likely you are to hit the target

Hard to think of a crappier approach to storytelling. Diluting the originals even more. Yeesh.

Dongemaharu on April 17, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Supershadow.com!!!

This character supposedly has “an insider’s view” of Lucas’s outlines for VII, VIII, and IX.

VII Supposedly starts 25 years after “jedi” with Bespin getting raided by a new generation of stormtrooper, but they’re all black wearing Darth Vader-esque masks.

Not kidding.

I read his “script” he had posted for Episode III, about 6 years before the movie came out. He sounds like a loon, but the script actually was fairly close, as I recall, much to my surprise.

johnnymozart on April 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Partial to the Jedi Academy Trilogy myself.

johnnymozart on April 17, 2013 at 10:00 PM

The Thrawn trilogy . . . need i say more

Imrahil on April 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Disney, do us all a favor and look at Timothy’s Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, just follow those books word for word and we’ll have at least three decent films.

NerwenAldarion on April 17, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Basically anything written by Zahn would make excellent movies, Heir to the Empire trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duology and Outbound Flight prequel are among the best of the Expanded Universe novels.

The first few Rogue Squadron books were decent before they became a serial series.

njrob on April 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Given that Wedge Antilles is my favorite character (i.e. the screen name here) the Rogue & Wraith novels are probably my favorite, with The Bacta War and Starfighters of Adumar being the best.

Rogue on April 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM

The ONLY thing these new SW films need to achieve is that original. sense. of. wonder.

thedude on April 17, 2013 at 11:27 PM

starting with the J.J. Abrams-powered Episode VII in summer 2015.

I had low expectations for his Star Trek reboot, and it was great. I am optimistic.

Now that they got Lucas out of the way, and have the blueprints, it could be really awesome.

Moesart on April 18, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Screw the force, as stated by others here Zahn and the Thrawn book series, you’re our only hope.

saus on April 18, 2013 at 3:06 AM

The Thrawn trilogy . . . need i say more

Imrahil on April 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Only if we get Angelina Jolie as Mara Jade. And somebody else to play Luke. Hamil is WAY too old. Anyone know of any good Hamil look-alikes that could be cast?

wearyman on April 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Well, I hope they give a better future to Princess Leia than the Expanded Universe ever did.

She was a fantastic female character that was totally overshadowed by Mara Jade, etc.

Ridiculous and sad failed future for an iconic female character.

IMO

hrh40 on April 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Only if we get Angelina Jolie as Mara Jade.

Exhibit A illustrating my previous comment:

This person speaks of casting Mara Jade and rejecting Mark Hamill as Luke … yet never even mentions Princess Leia or her casting.

Really, really sad neglect of a great character.

hrh40 on April 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Of course they are going to sky walker had no parents, anakin had a single parent, disney lives stories with single or not parents

Conservative4ev on April 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM

You know that Disney owns Marvel, right?

somnicide on April 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Stars Wars vs. Godzilla
Stars Wars Meets The Martians
Star Wars Meets Santa Claus

etc., etc.

Ward Cleaver on April 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Given that Wedge Antilles is my favorite character (i.e. the screen name here) the Rogue & Wraith novels are probably my favorite, with The Bacta War and Starfighters of Adumar being the best.

Rogue on April 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Yub Yub, Commander.

That said, even if they did the heresy of neglecting the Heir to the Empire Trillogy/Hand of Thrawn Duology, I think the key is to *expand* the universe. Like how Allahpundit mentioned TNG, a movie dealing with ‘heretic Jedi’ appearing (Asohka and Ventriss teaching?), or flash forward 20 years to see a young republic dealing with the imperial remnant gives a lot of potential. You can do space movies, espionage movies, etc etc.

The_Livewire on April 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

The first few Rogue Squadron books were decent before they became a serial series. when Michael Stackpole was writing them.

njrob on April 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM

FTFY

Magson on April 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM