It was just over a month today that Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Iger, revealed in their quarterly financial call that there is now a live action Star Wars TV series in the works. Absolutely nothing was revealed about it except that it was going to be aired in 2019, and it is to be on Disney’s new streaming service, launching next year. We speculate what it could be about and whether it’s a good idea.
Disney’s new streaming service, in hindsight, was always going to happen. Netflix continues to grow and many companies are trying to mimic their success such as Amazon and Hulu. It made sense that Disney were going to dip their toe in the water, considering the huge variety of content that they create and develop. The issue I believe is whether consumers want to fork out for another streaming service. Yes the likes of Netflix is ‘only’ around 7.99 a month but if you want to subscribe to them all, it adds up quickly. If Disney wanted subscribers, they needed a pull, they needed something that’s high in demand and what people want. It was a good start when Disney announced they would be pulling all their content off Netflix to put on their service, with the likes of the Marvel TV shows being a huge success on Netflix, but it was this news that has probably nearly guaranteed millions of subscribers. Even on the basis of curiosity, a potential Star Wars live action TV series is something we have all wanted to see.
A TV series for Star Wars is always going to hinge on the story and whether it is going to be ‘connected’. Are we going to see a Skywalker show up, most definitely not, but nods here and there is always exciting to see. For this to happen, they need to pick a time period rich with stories to tell. This has been a key success in the animated series, the likes of the Clone Wars set between II and III showed the adventures of Anakin and Obi Wan and was cancelled during its 6th season, an unpopular decision. The Rebel Wars, which is currently on it’s 4th season, fills in the gaps between III and IV of the movies so could this be a trend the live action TV series follows. Could the TV series fill in the years between VI and VII? Although this could be cool, the answers that the fans want such as what drove Luke to isolate himself, just could not be answered in the TV series, mainly because I can’t see Mark Hamill committing to that much work. This doesn’t mean however we couldn’t get an awesome story between these movies to give us some context.
Another concern that I have is that a movie budget and a TV budget are, usually, very different. Nothing has been announced in terms of budget just yet, but you would have to assume it’s going to be significantly lower than the movies are afforded. In animation terms, it’s easy to capture the locations and creatures that are part of the Star Wars universe, but when it comes to live action it could be expensive. In terms of quality it could be very hard to replicate and get the same feel the movies give, especially since we will be getting Rian Johnson’s new trilogy relatively at the same time. It’s definitely going to be a challenge but it’s a challenge Disney will make sure they succeed in.
In terms of Rian Johnson’s new trilogy, he recently spoke to Mashable at a Last Jedi press event, that it will not be based on the Knights of the Old Republic. Could this be the subject of the new TV series? It would be an incredible platform to tell the story and be able to fully delve into the characters with it. Whatever the subject may be, you can guarantee that the curiosity will be on par with that of one of the movies. I can pretty much guarantee that Disney can be sure they’ll get pretty high subscription numbers to find out exactly what it’s going to be about.
What do you guys think it will be about? What do you guys want it to be about? Continue the conversation and let’s get speculating!