star wars is one of the biggest movie franchises on the planet. Since 1977, it’s been one of the most recognizable and time-tested franchises in Hollywood history, having earned a special place in the hearts and minds of viewers around the world. While many thought the series ended in 2005 with the release of Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and would continue primarily in animated series, in 2012 Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney. The purchase meant more star wars movies.
However, instead of a trilogy with a new episode released every three years like the previous ones, Disney had a much bigger plan. They wanted to release a new movie in the main trilogy every two years, and in between those installments release anthology movies. The goal was to have a star wars movie every year for the foreseeable future. However, when Solo: A Star Wars Story opened in theaters and disappointed at the box office, Disney began to reassess its entire plan for the brand it spent $4 billion to acquire. This is how Solo: A Star Wars Story the box office bombing impacted Disney and Lucasfilm’s original plans for star wars.
What was Lucasfilm’s original plan
Disney acquired Lucasfilm on October 30, 2012 and that day confirmed that they were developing star wars Episodes VII, VIIand IX. Then in February 2013, it was confirmed that in addition to star wars sequels, the series would also develop spin-off films focusing on different characters and in-universe concepts. These were anthology films intended to be one-off stories, but with room for growth and would be released every year between episodes of the main story.
The first standing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a massive box office success grossing $1 billion worldwide and was the highest-grossing film of 2016 domestically. The solid performance at the box office, as well as the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed that not only star wars return but the franchise dominated. Lucasfilm already had Solo: A Star Wars Story developing when A thug was scheduled for release and would be released between Episode VIII and IX.
Solo was a box office flop
In the summer of 2017, after shooting more than half of Solo: A Star Wars Story original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the film due to creative differences with Lucasfilm. Ron Howard became a director soon after, and the film went through massive reshoots. Disney refused to delay the film from its summer release date to the holiday season which star wars had met with great success. Part of the reason was that they wanted the movie to come out on May 25, which would be the anniversary of the release of star warsbut also they already had Mary Poppins Returns defined as their big holiday movie.
Solo’s budget soared to between $275-$300 million, making it the most expensive star wars film. The film eventually opened and earned just $393.2 million worldwide, making it the first star wars film as a box office bomb and one of the series’ lowest-grossing live-action entries. Solo: A Star Wars Story The box office underperformance almost immediately rewrote Lucasfilm’s plans overnight.
Boba Fett movie canceled
One of the first planned spin-off movies centered on fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett. In 2014, Josh Trank was hired to direct, however, the director left the project a year later due to creative differences. Then the day Solo: A Star Wars Story came out, it was announced that James Mangold was set to direct the Boba Fett movie.
However, after Solo: A Star Wars Story bombarded, the studio opted out of a Boba Fett movie and instead decided to focus on an original character who morphed into The Mandalorian TV shows. This series proved to be so successful that Boba Fett appeared in the second season of the series and the character eventually got his own series, The Boba Fett Book, which premiered on December 29, 2021.
Obi-Wan Kenobi movie canceled
Another planned spin-off movie centered around a popular Star Wars character was Obi-Wan Kenobi. The film gained traction in 2017, a few months before the release of Star Wars: The Last Jediand Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry signed on as director. Contrary to A thug, Obi Wan Kenobi during its development was planned as a potential trilogy, likely slated to take over as a collateral star wars trilogy after the Skywalker series ended in 2019.
The film was to be titled Obi-Wan: A Star Wars Storynd was to focus on the Jedi Master protecting a young Luke Skywalker and getting involved in the tensions between local farmers and the Tusken Raiders. Yet after the Solo bombing, the film was scrapped and attention shifted to making a Disney+ series. McGregor stayed on board the project, which eventually became the Disney+ series Obi Wan Kenobi which premiered on May 27, 2022.
Star Wars moves from movies to TV series
As mentioned above, the box office disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story saw the Boba Fett and Obi-Wan movies reworked into streaming series. Yet it was more than that. Other films, such as the planned trilogy of game of thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss, was scrapped and all attention for the films was put on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Meanwhile, just three months before Solo: A Star Wars Story opened, Lucasfilm announced the development of The Mandalorian for Disney+. The massive mainstream appeal of this series combined with the box office disappointment of Solo seemed to indicate that, in the meantime, star wars‘future as a franchise was as a television series. The Mandalorian is set to premiere its third season in 2023, in addition to Ahsokaa series centered around the popular character from the animated series. Andora prequel derived from A thug was released as a series instead of a movie. Two new star wars projects, The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew, are in development at Disney+.
Instead of a Solo continuation, there is a chance that a continuation will occur in the form of the project lando Disney+ series. With the planned film Thieves Squadron being removed from the release schedule, it’s unclear when this famous franchise will return to the big screen and how it will stand out as a big-screen experience when audiences have had three years of star wars home and will continue in the future.