Star Wars fever is starting all over again. Because this December will see the release of The Rise of Skywalker — the final film in the story of the Skywalker family — it seems understanding that beloved faraway galaxy just got super important again. But, as one part of the Star Wars saga ends, people hungry for more might wonder why there aren’t more Star Wars movies instead of fewer. Your kid might even ask you: “Daddy, why can’t Star Wars be like Marvel? Why can’t there be like three Star Wars movies a year?”
Turns out, there’s an answer. And it’s basically this: Star Wars is too fragile.
On Wednesday, Vanity Fair published a huge cover story previewing The Rise of Skywalker, and though the photos offered some tantalizing hints, there was also one very interesting detail from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. For busy parents, Disney and Lucasfilm probably seem like the same thing, just like Marvel and Disney also seem identical. But, in practice, Disney funds Lucasfilm, but they don’t control the future of the studio that created Star Wars.
“I think there is a larger expectation that Disney has,” Kennedy said in the Lev Grossman-penned article. “… Right from the beginning, we talked [with Disney] about the fragility of this form of storytelling. Because it’s something that means so much to fans that you can’t turn this into some kind of factory approach. You can’t even do what Marvel does, necessarily, where you pick characters and build new franchises around those characters. This needs to evolve differently.”
So, in essence, the reason why there won’t be a ton of Star Wars movies building a complicated movie universe is that Star Wars stories are, for lack of a better word, more special than that. This sentiment from Kennedy echoes what many parents told me last year; families try to keep the viewing and discussion of Star Wars to special events, meaning, if there were 30 movies, instead of, around 10, the uniqueness of Star Wars would be permanently wounded. Just like the Jedi in the movies, its cooler when their are only a few of them, or sometimes, only one.
From 2015 until now, there has been a new Star Wars movie every single year, but after this year, there will be a three-year gap until the next Star Wars movie comes out in 2022. By that time, the number of new Marvel superheroes movies could have tripled. But, it sounds like in order to survive, the Jedi and Force will have to remain something we always want more of, but will never actually get too much of.
That is, until we do.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out at the end of the year, on December 20, 2019.