Even in the middle of a global pandemic, awards season must go on. So on Tuesday, the Television Academy announced the nominees for the 2020 Emmy awards, and the loser was... Star Wars movies.
Well, not literally, but when you consider how The Mandalorian performed (especially when compared to the last big Star Wars movie) it's clear that Disney and Lucasfilm would be stupid not to put all their Porg eggs in the television basket and forget about movies for the time being.
It might be an uncomfortable truth for a generation of fans who grew up reciting lines from The Empire Strikes Back, but the difference between accolades for Star Wars TV and Star Wars movies is as stark as the Tatooine desert.
The Mandalorian earned 15 Emmy nominations, including expected categories like best costumes, music, and visual effects, along with more prestigious nominations like best drama, best guest actor, and best editing. By comparison, The Rise of Skywalker was only nominated for three awards: original score, sound editing, and visual effects.
Of course, you can't just compare those two numbers and walk into the Tatooine sunset, but even when you consider that the Emmys gives out more awards than the Oscars, it still doesn't like good for The Rise of Skywalker. The overall winner of the Emmy nominations this year is HBO's Watchmen at 26. By comparison, The Joker earned the most Oscar noms last year with 11. So even when you consider the bigger picture, it doesn't look good for Star Wars movies.
Beyond award season, Lucasfilm and Disney already seem to be pivoting away from movies and towards TV — or, more specifically, towards Disney+ shows. Three upcoming and unnamed Star Wars movies were recently delayed until at least December 2023. Meanwhile, we've got The Mandalorian Season 2 coming this October to Disney+, followed by a spinoff to the animated Clone Wars in 2021.
Beyond that, Disney has already confirmed plans for shows about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor and something else from Russia Doll co-creator Leslye Headland. There's also rumors of a Solo spinoff series with Alden Ehrenreich and another starring Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Even if some of these shows don't actually happen (or take a very long time to happen), that's still a much more ambitious plan than three unconfirmed movies that could evaporate tomorrow.
The future of Star Wars (at least for the next few years) was already clear to the fans who were paying attention. But to the rest of the industry, the 2020 Emmy nominations are the final proof that TV, and not movies, are the most important thing in the Star Wars galaxy right now.