The future of 'Star Wars' will be on TV for 'the next few years', confirms Disney boss

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

After the box office performance of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ended with a whimper rather than a bang, it appears that the future of the franchise will be on the small screen.

For the near future, at least.

Speaking to investors yesterday, Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, confirmed: “The priority in the next few years is television.”

Read more: Those Star Wars: Duel of the Fates leaks are real

The confirmation sits with comments he made in a similar earnings call in November last year, about the franchise going 'into a hiatus' after the release of the ninth movie.

Iger then added in an interview with The New York Times that he regretted releasing so many movies in such short order.

There have been some mixed fortunes for the reinvigoration of the space saga, following the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012.

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens made over $2 billion at the worldwide box office, sequel The Last Jedi, helmed by Rian Johnson, made substantially less at $1.3 billion, coupled with grumbling from fans about the movie's direction which only grew louder with time.

The Rise of Skywalker, meanwhile, the finale of the current trilogy, only just crossed the $1 billion mark, and made less than spin-off movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made in the UK.

The Mandalorian (Credit: Disney)

It made £58.7 million over here, compared to Rogue One's £66 million.

Meanwhile Lucasfilm's other spin-off movie Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018, which fleshed out the origin of Han Solo, actually lost money, the first movie in the franchise ever to do so.

The future of the movies now seems more vague than ever after Iger's comments.

Read more: Everything coming to Disney+ UK at launch

Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff signed up to create their own trilogy of movies, but parted ways with Lucasfilm just a few months later.

Rian Johnson is also said to be working on a potential trilogy, but there's been no firm news on that either.

Meanwhile, Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian, which debuted on new streaming platform Disney+, has been notably more lauded – both critically and among fans – than either Johnson or J.J. Abrams' movies.

Iger announced that a second series will arrive in October, less than a year after the first aired in the US, suggesting that Lucasfilm is very much aware of where its strengths currently lie.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (credit: LucasFilm)

Two other Star Wars universe series are planned too – one with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, set after the events of Revenge of the Sith, when the Jedi Knight is in exile on Tatooine.

It will be overseen by director Deborah Chow, who helmed episodes of The Mandalorian, while the other will be based on the adventures of Diego Luna's character from Rogue One, Cassian Andor, though there's no current timescale on these projects.

The Mandalorian will arrive in the UK on 24 March, when Disney+ launches on this side of the pond.