Star Wars; Too Much of a Good Thing?

A Star Wars movie a year for the next four, Boba Fett Movie in 2020

I think Star Wars is like a very rich desert. It's great if you eat a little but begins to get a bit much if too much is consumed. – Richard

I recently had dinner with someone last week who is a major Star Wars fan. I asked him if he was planning to see the new "Rogue One" movie and his response startled me.: "I am so tired of having Star Wars shoved down my throat. Every year there's a new movie."

When I thought about it, it hit me that he had a point. Look at the gaps between movie releases as time has gone on:

1977    Star Wars

1980    The Empire Strikes Back

1983    Return of the Jedi

1999    The Phantom Menace

2002    Attack of the Clones

2005    Revenge of the Sith

2008    The Clone Wars

2015    The Force Awakens

2016    Rogue One

2017    Episode VII

2018    Young Hans Solo

2019    Episode IX

2020    A Boba Fett Movie

As you will notice there were healthy three year gaps between the first three movies which created a great amount of anticipation. Even longer gaps occurred in subsequent years with fans waiting a full eleven years between The Phantom Menace and the Attack of the Clones.

My friend seemed to feel that having two Star Wars movies over two years time and one more each year for the next four was just too much. Is he right? He may be. Here is what I think:

Its hard to tell from the box office for the latest movie, Rogue One. It is about half of what last year's The Force Awakens took in but Rogue One is not seen as a typical Star Wars movie. Sales of Star Wars product tie-ins, however, have definitely tailed off. Here is how BMO Capital's Toy Industry Analyst Gerrick Johnson put it in his latest Toy Scout Report on retail: "Star Wars, however, continues to look disappointing and like a potential source of underperformance relative to expectations. Shelf space has been cut back from last year, yet there is still plenty of inventory."

I think Star Wars is like a very rich dessert. It's great if you eat a little but begins to make you queasy if you eat too much. Any of us who have eaten a little too much Molten Chocolate Lava Cake can certainly attest (yes, yes, I did it…and the guilt, oh God, the guilt). 

In my opinion, in the case of Star Wars, history has proved that less is indeed more. A Star Wars movie every year for five years in a row is going to tell us if consumers are going to continue to eat up the franchise or a gag reflex is going to kick in. Stay tuned.

2 thoughts

  1. Richard, I suspect you may be right about the ‘gag reflex’ kicking in. We need time to digest all that magic.
    I attended a 3 day boot camp on “story” with Robert McKee back in 2000. We had just begun to hear about the possibility of a new Star Wars movie “The attack of the clones”. The anticipation was already huge. McKee made us all write down the importance of this from a “movie marketing” perspective.
    One of my class mates was Peter Jackson. I guess he wasn’t entirely convinced considering the close spacing of “Lord Of The Rings” series.

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