The trick of late for studio execs has been how to make Star Wars movies that simultaneously move the story forward while also catering to loyal fans’ nostalgic needs.
Looking ahead, Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that he wants the next set of movies to be more accessible to common moviegoers unburdened by decades of Star Wars memories.
“You can’t make everyone happy,” noted Iger in what could be an indication of a strategy shift. There’s some speculation that the new Stars Wars movies tentatively scheduled for 2022, 2024 and 2026 could go in new directions untethered to the existing mythology. The positive reception to streaming series The Mandalorian has been encouraging in that sense.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 19, two years after The Last Jedi brought in $620M at the U.S. box office and four years after The Force Awakens churned up $937M. Together, the last two films generated over $3.3B globally, which isn’t that far off from the $4.0B that Disney paid for Lucasfilm.