Star Wars TV: Why television should be the new home for the franchise after Episode IX

Star Wars fatigue is on the rise. Since Disney coughed up $4 billion in 2012 to milk the Star Wars universe dry, they have been doing just that. Episodes 7 and 8 have come and gone. Rogue One was the first standalone, and Solo is due out in a matter of months. Star Wars on TV is about to bring the franchise to saturation point.

The Last Jedi has already revealed deep divisions in the Star Wars fan base. It unsurprisingly still made a killing at the box office, but nowhere near the $2 billion take of The Force Awakens. Will Episode IX make even less?

More films

Disney and Lucasfilm will obviously be hoping not. They already have Last Jedi director Rian Johnson lined up for a new trilogy of films. Then came news that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be creating another new trilogy of Star Wars films. That’s at least six more films guaranteed after Episode IX. Feeling tired yet? Concerned the beloved saga might be stretched to breaking point?

Star Wars TV

Well then look away now. Because not only are we getting a Death Star full of films, but Disney CEO Bob Iger has also revealed that the company are developing “not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Iger added that they are close to revealing further details about at least one of these series and that he thinks we’ll all be impressed by “the level of talent … on the television front”.

We’ve had two animated Star Wars series already, but this will be the first time the franchise has gone live action on television. In these days of endlessly brilliant long form and complex storytelling on TV, might this just be the perfect place for further adventures in a galaxy far, far away.

Benioff and Weiss

Benioff and Weiss may not be interested in returning to TV after their years in Westeros, but it’s a shame as if the Star Wars galaxy really is as big as it seems, then their marshalling of hundreds of morally complex characters and intertwining storylines would be right at home on the small screen again. It might be an unpopular opinion but imagine if the Star Wars prequels had been a TV series instead of three films that seemed to rush key parts of Anakin’s turn to the dark side.

The only worry is that these series will all be on the family-friendly Disney streaming service. That means that we’re unlikely to get anything too dark or too complex. Well, maybe that’s what Star Wars is all about after all.

What do you think? Does Star Wars belong on the big or small screen going forward? Or should Episode IX be the end of all things Star Wars?

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