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Star Wars has recommitted to giving fans what they want

Disney’s stewardship of the Star Wars brand has been tumultuous, but one thing it has generally been good at—whether or not you think this is a Good thing to be good at—is giving fans exactly what they want (or what it is they think they want). That was essentially the whole premise for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was as dedicated to the old Star Wars movies as those movies were to Westerns and World War II and samurai films. Though the plans didn’t exactly work out after the divided reaction to The Last Jedi, it makes sense that Disney and Lucasfilm’s first thoughts were to make Han Solo, Boba Fett, and Death Star movies. Everyone likes those things! No need to overthink it.

Daniel Radcliffe is a dad now

But maybe they should’ve overthought it a little bit, because, again, it didn’t work out too well. Solo and The Rise Of Skywalker got rather cold responses from audiences, forcing Disney to give Star Wars a little time out—during which Lucasfilm focused primarily on streaming shows like The Mandalorian and Andor, which had lower stakes for the company than the movies and allowed Lucasfilm to recalibrate what it thinks people want out of this franchise.

And now, with Celebration 2023, Disney and Lucasfilm have fully emerged from hiding and are ready to announce the bold new plan for Star Wars’ future: going back to giving fans exactly what they want. It’s noteworthy that there was no proper Episode X in Disney’s announcements this weekend, and nothing that might therefore dramatically impact the canon of this series. Yes, Daisy Ridley is reprising her role as Rey in a movie that takes place after the Sequel Trilogy, but the implication is that it’s just another Star Wars movie, not The Next Star Wars movie.

The same goes for the other new movies announced this weekend, which give fans more of things they already like without necessarily feeling the need to live up to the originals. James Mangold is making a movie about Jedi that takes place in the distant past, giving the real lore nerds something new to analyze and unpack even if it won’t have a tangible impact on what happened to Luke Skywalker and his family. Regular Star Wars shepherd Dave Filoni is getting called up to the big leagues after working on Star Wars TV shows forever with a movie that promises to tie together everything that has happened on The Mandalorian, The Book Of Boba Fett, and the upcoming Ahsoka. Both of these seem like slam dunks on paper: Everyone likes Jedi, everyone likes Din Djarin and Grogu, everyone is excited to see more from fan-favorite her Ahsoka.

Ahsoka | Teaser Trailer | Disney+

Speaking of, that show is also pulling in some fan-demanded content in the form of beloved Star Wars villain Grand Admiral Thrawn—one of the few things to survive from the old Expanded Universe after Disney jettisoned preexisting Star Wars novels and comics and games from the canon. Thrawn was a big villain on the Star Wars Rebels animated series, which Ahsoka will serve as sort of a sequel to, and it was also revealed during Celebration that voice actor Lars Mikkelsen will be reprising his role for the live-action series. So not only is the villain who everyone likes coming back, but he’ll be played by a guy who did a good job the last time around and (no offense) already looks and acts pretty scary even when he doesn’t have blue skin and red eyes.

That’s all exciting stuff, but it’s exciting in the way that the TV shows have been exciting and not in the way that a whole brand new entry in the Star Wars saga would be exciting. The latter comes with an infinitely crushing amount of pressure and will never, ever satisfy the amount of people it would need to satisfy. The former just has to be more Star Wars. If they’re good, that’s great! If they’re bad, then whatever. You can ignore them.

What matters at this point is that Lucasfilm took the temperature of the fanbase and decided that what people need isn’t some new concept we’ve never thought of before, it’s more Rey, more Jedi, and more Thrawn. It’s too early to say if this plan will work out this time, but it is at least undeniably a plan. That’s more than what they had before.

Le texte ci-dessus est une traduction automatique. Source: https://www.avclub.com/star-wars-celebration-2023-giving-fans-what-they-want-1850317436?rand=21409

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