Right now, well, not necessarily right now, but you know what I mean.
So, at this point in time I am watching “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, listening to the audiobook version of Phasma, and reading all of the Star Wars comics. There is a lot of canonical content out there aside from the movies.
In the last couple of years alone there has been more than 10 novels released – not counting the young adult books. These stories are official canon, telling stories of what took place between the films such as how the whole galaxy learned that Darth Vader was Leia’s father or how Tarkin rose to power and eventually command the Death Star or Captain Phasma’s backstory. And these are all good, highly enjoyable books. The Aftermath trilogy is a must-read for Star Wars fans.
And the comics? Some of those are even better than some of the books. The first run of Darth Vader was so good they not only started a second but also a spin-off. The regular Star Wars comic is good, but I’m getting more enjoyment out of the steady release of mini-series of four to six issues each. Of course these are also canon and fill in a heck of a lot story. Oh, and the Poe Dameron comic is not only good it fills that itch missing from the old Rogue Squadron novels.
Star Wars came out just as I was about to turn 10. To say it blew me away would be an understatement. I dove headfirst into Star Wars fandom and over the years it waned (Ewoks, prequels, etc.) and other times it rose to the forefront (“Droids”, many of the older Star Wars novels) but about 10 years ago it sort of petered our and I had stopped being interested for the most part.
When the animated Star Wars film came out I wasn’t interested. Then the series came out and I passingly caught a couple of episodes but was only mildly interested, but not enough to actually watch the series.
Then Disney bought Lucasfilm.
My attention and interest were reawakened. Disney simply wouldn’t buy Lucasfilm without some plan to capitalize on the brands and turn a profit. New films were announced, and everything from the “expanded universe” was going away to be replaced with new content that would be deliberate and canon.
That announcement really had me interested.
May of 2015 I picked up my first Star Wars purchase in many years. Sampling them got me hooked. These were not only official stories but captured the feel of the original trilogy as well.The trailers for the upcoming film looked good. I was, cautiously, getting excited to be a Star Wars fan again.
Of course Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out and really kicked things into high gear.
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” was cancelled and replaced with “Star Wars: Rebels” which felt like a mistake, but understandable because of the new ownership. Then the books started coming and I started picking them up either in physical form or audiobook. Reading and listening to these helped feed my affection for the Star Wars universe. Everything being released was not only official, it was pretty darn good. Alright, some of the books and comics have not been great but nothing has been on the level of the prequel trilogy. Even the mediocre offerings have been enjoyable.
Now, a couple of years later, as the third Star Wars movie is about to be released in as many years I am beginning to be a bit overwhelmed with everything being released.
Disney has done a good job of monetizing on their investment. Perhaps a bit too well.
When the original and prequel trilogies came out there was a three year gap between releases. One could argue there is a two year gap between “official” episodes, but really there are Star Wars movies coming out every year, starting in 2015 and on through at least 2019 and perhaps even beyond that. Each year there have been four or five novels released and of course every month approximately the same number of comic books.
There is a bit of Star Wars fatigue setting in.
No longer is there any anticipation of what the next release will be or when it will come out. Instead we have a near constant stream of content. And don’t get me wrong – for the most part this is all quality material that is being released. Yes, the galaxy is big and there are a lot of stories to be told, but it almost feels as if Disney is trying to tell all the stories now before interest wanes again rather than pacing things out.
My fear is that we will get to the end of the current sequel trilogy of films in a couple of years, there will be a small gap, and then more content produced. With the rush to put out as much as possible right now and then afterwards, the quality will begin to suffer and then interest will drop and Disney will stop producing Star Wars content altogether.
That would be a real shame, because there are a lot of stories to be told, but if Disney chases after the profit margin too much, there could be a loss of focus and when the income drops it is conceivable the company would move on to whatever lucrative flavor of the month it is championing.
Striking while the iron is hot, metaphorically, is a good thing. I am not faulting Disney for that. I am finding fault, however, for the company to not pace out the releases better giving even the more ardent of fans fatigue. The company needs to spread things out more to build in some anticipation. This will ensure that, if the quality is up to expectations, things will be received in the way they should.
When it comes to Star Wars, I think we are getting too much of a good thing. And it scares me because Disney might be running this franchise into the ground in a way that George Lucas couldn’t.