After issuing a Star Wars slowdown and putting the feature film side of the franchise on carbonite until 2022, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger says television will serve as a big component of Star Wars moving forward through live-action and animated original programming to premiere on the Disney+ streaming service. Already home to the debut season of The Mandalorian, the first live-action series set in a galaxy far, far away, Disney+ is part of Disney’s plans to be “agnostic” with its platforms, says Iger, allowing Disney to convert movies into television — as it will with its Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spinoff — and, conversely, creates potential for television shows to become movies.
“Yes. I don’t look at it as just television, I look at it as an extension of Star Wars storytelling,” Iger told The Star Wars Show when asked if television is a big part of the Star Wars brand moving forward. “What Disney+ has given us the ability to do is to do just that, is to bring Star Wars to people in new ways, and to bring new Star Wars to people.”
Iger continued, “It’s not the same places or the same characters. Just look at Mandalorian. While, obviously, there’s a lot shared, there’s a lot that’s really fresh, and I love that.”
The Jon Favreau-created series most famously introduced the world to its breakout character, colloquially referred to as “Baby Yoda,” as well as a slew of other original fan-favorites, including its titular armored bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal), former Rebel shock trooper Cara Dune (Gina Carano), bounty hunter guild head Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Ugnaught Kuiil (Nick Nolte).
Because the Star Wars galaxy is wide and its library of characters near limitless, The Mandalorian and other Disney+ shows have the potential to transition into feature films.
“I love the ability to really be agnostic in terms of what platform it’s being made for,” Iger said. “And so it could be, down the road, that a TV show becomes a movie and a movie becomes a TV series. I’m not making any announcements here or not, but I think it’s important for us to be agnostic.”
Asked what’s next for Star Wars over the next 40 years following the arrival of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final entry in the episodic saga started in 1977, Iger notes Lucasfilm will determine what “makes the most sense” for its film slate post-Skywalker.
“The beauty of all this is that we’ll continue to tell stories between now and whenever the next film is, and while we’re doing that, we will work to find what makes the most sense to be released as a big screen experience,” he said. “And there are a number of choices, there are a number of discussions, there are a number of very talented people, and that to me is very exciting. In the meantime, fans of Star Wars are being well-served, I believe, with The Mandalorian and with what’s to come with the prequel to Rogue One and with Obi-Wan and with Clone Wars.”
Disney+ is now developing an untitled Rogue One spinoff centered around Diego Luna's Cassian Andor and an Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor as the exiled Jedi.
All episodes of The Mandalorian Season 1 are now streaming on Disney+. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.
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