‘Star Wars’: Can Disney’s TV Shows Make Up for Their Controversial Sequels?

While the Star Wars saga is rightfully labeled as a film franchise, Disney has expanded its reach well beyond where it had been for the first four decades of existence.

While Star Wars and television weren’t necessarily strangers before the Disney acquisition, fans never got a definitive live-action Star Wars experience outside of the infamous holiday special.

With Season 2 of The Mandalorian streaming now, however, fans are hoping that the up-and-coming television universe can change these fortunes not just for television, but the movies, too. 

‘Star Wars’ TV

Star Wars was always bigger than Hollywood. After storming the international film community in 1977, it immediately changed the way that Hollywood worked forever. With the high-budget appeal of a blockbuster movie and mythology typically saved for literary works, Star Wars was tailor-made to inspire future projects like the MCU. 

While the franchise has a lucrative canon that now stretches through toys, music, video games, books, comics, and any other medium that one can think of, its most significant projects have always been the movies.

There were several specials in the 1980s and 1990s and several animated films that helped expand on the established canon, but nothing close to the movies ever hit the television screens. 

When The Mandalorian premiered in 2019, however, everything changed. Taking a page from the MCU, the series offered a different look at the Star Wars universe that many saw as a refreshing departure. While there have now been 11 Star Wars movies, everything past the original trilogy is divisive among its loyal fanbase. Compare that to beloved series like The Mandalorian and Clone Wars, however, and there’s a clear divide.

However, with Hollywood budgets in a small-screen medium, many see the potential of The Mandalorian and future series as a saving grace for the franchise. 

What do ‘Star Wars’ fans want?

'Star Wars: Rebels'
‘Star Wars: Rebels’ | Disney XD via Getty Images

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Part of the divisiveness that comes with being in the Star Wars community has to do with the sheer size. Now, there are over forty years of fans that range from old to young. To some, the initial trilogy is the only true one.

For a younger audience, they appreciate the full experience. The prequel trilogy showed that fans are not always on board with the galaxy far, far away, and the most recent trilogy, as well as its offshoots, helped confirm. 

What some Star Wars fans want is what other fans don’t want. Some love the new trilogy as a reinvigoration of everything they love about the franchise, while others see it as a pointless rehash. The last two episodes of the Skywalker saga prove this.

After all, many people loved The Last Jedi and hated The Rise of Skywalker, while others had the opposite opinion. 

With more and more services offering cinematic quality on television now, fans on Reddit believe that this could help make up for the sequel movies and help bring Star Wars back to its purest, most beloved form. 

The fans chime in 

Many fans spoke about this same divisive nature on Reddit. Some talked about their love for all things Star Wars, while others let it be known that they only like the originals. However, one Redditor, u/bdiremci, noticed a pattern in between the polarizing movies. 

“I love every single one of them and i am a sequel fan. But even as a sequel fan i know how Disney messed up star wars but dont forget they made a great series between Episode 6-7 finished a great story that between Episode 2-3, made a great animation series between Episode 3-7, made 2 films between 3-4. So they like making stories between movies i think, filling gaps.”

With much of the Star Wars universe up in the air, many see these television series as a chance to right what was wronged. People don’t want prequels like Solo that bear little resemblance to the source material past name. They want a material that expands on the mythology while feeling right in line with it. 

The Mandalorian does this indirectly by allowing people to see the layman’s view of the galaxy far away. Series like Rebels and Clone Wars also helped to fill in the blanks between the prequels. 

With rumored shows about Lando, Obi-Wan, and several other Star Wars staples, many see television as the key to bringing Star Wars back and uniting the fanbase behind a beloved property. Now, they just have to wait and see where the galaxy far away will take them, now.