There have been plenty of criticisms about the Star Wars franchise ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm nearly five years ago. Even though the franchise has made billions of dollars at the box office, dominated home video sales, produced fan-favorite animated series, and is set to expand into live-action shows with the creation of Disney+, the disappointing box office of Solo: A Star Wars Story along with the divisive response to Star Wars: The Last Jedi has caused some vitriol from fans. And with the lackluster response to the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge expansion at Disneyland this year, it seems like Disney chairman Bob Iger agrees.
During an interview with the New York Times released this weekend, Iger admitted that they might have overextended with the Star Wars franchise, possibly getting too ambitious after the Lucasfilm purchase was finalized.
"I just think that we might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast," explained Iger. "I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company, and the talent we have at the company is better than it’s ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox."
Lucasfilm's initial plan for the franchise included finishing the Skywalker Saga with new installments of a trilogy released every other year, while the anthology films under the banner of "A Star Wars Story" would premiere in between. But after Rogue One and Solo, Disney backed off of that frequency and instead shifted their focus to new live-action shows coming to the Disney+ streaming service.
Earlier this year, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy expressed a need for a different approach, revealing their strategy would shift with the upcoming release of The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
"I think there is a larger expectation that Disney has, Kennedy said to Vanity Fair. "On the other hand, though, I think that Disney is very respectful of what this is, and right from the beginning we talked 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."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters on December 20th.