Star Wars: Why no news was good news on Disney Plus Day
The biggest day for the streaming service ignored the series that started it all, but perhaps that was wise.
Disney+ Day was meant to hail all the streaming service’s content. After two years of spinoffs, announcements, and new frontiers, we were finally allotted a day to celebrate the platform’s future.
So why did the event utterly ignore Star Wars?
The Mandalorian was the very first Disney+ original series, responsible from driving up its subscriber count from zero; that Disney+ reached 100 million subscribers in 16 months is largely thanks to the adventures of Din Djarin. Two seasons of the series aired before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched its first Disney+ streaming series in WandaVision. But The Mandalorian was scarcely mentioned among an onslaught of reboots, sequels, spinoffs, and remakes, many Marvel-related.
Why didn’t we see any new Star Wars content or get any major reveals besides a 20-minute documentary and a sizzle reel that had already leaked? The answer might surprise you.
Star Wars fans had looked forward to Disney+ Day, presuming it would feature new looks at upcoming series like The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, or The Mandalorian Season 3.
Instead, the service released a paltry 20-minute retrospective look at Boba Fett’s legacy ahead of his spinoff series’ release next month, then a look at Obi-Wan Kenobi that was markedly less exciting for having leaked online a day earlier.
So, for the savvy Star Wars fan, there was nothing new to report. While Marvel recapped its upcoming series and fleshed out these reveals with first looks, the many Star Wars projects in development were not addressed.
Why is that? All the projects pictured above — from Andor to Lando — were announced during Disney’s Investor Day presentation last year; since then, a number of projects set in the galaxy far, far away appear to have collapsed. Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron was delayed indefinitely, and calling Obi-Wan Kenobi’s production “fraught” would be an understatement based on reports emerging that famously exacting Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was unhappy with its early scripts.
As such, it’s easy to read Lucasfilm’s silence during Disney+ Day as an effort not to further tempt fate by announcing additionally projects. And who can blame them, given that projects they may have announced prematurely have met with such unfortunate ends?
Consider Rangers of the New Republic, a series announced last year that — at least on the basis of Mandalorian Season 2 — was planned at one point as a spinoff that would star Cara Dune, played by Gina Carano. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau were at one point at the head of that project, alongside The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka.
The series was announced during Investor Day, though Carano was not confirmed to be attached to it, Mere months later, following a social-media controversy in which she conflated being a Republican today with being Jewish during the Holocaust, Carano was fired by Lucasfilm, which said in a statement that her “social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”
Buried in a press release earlier this year, Lucasfilm revealed that Rangers of the New Republic was “not in active development,” meaning it was likely dead in the water. And yet, having jumped the shark in announcing Rangers, Lucasfilm executives were likely not thrilled to confirm it had been canned. Perhaps what Disney+ Day really showed, given this history, was Lucasfilm learning from last year’s mistakes.
Marvel, on the other hand, could find itself in a similarly precarious position should any of the series it’s just announced hit snags in development. By announcing so many series in quick succession, the studio has raised the stakes — and with audience’s expectations for the future. Each of those projects, especially the ones early in development, are in danger of ending before they even get a chance to start. Lucasfilm, meanwhile, is taking the time necessary to plot out the future of the galaxy far, far away before entering warp speed.