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Disney+ has done a lot more for Star Wars than for Marvel

Disney+ has done a lot more for Star Wars than for Marvel

The Disney+ platform changed how both share Star Wars and the MCU release content, but original streaming shows have done more for Star Wars than for Marvel. While Star Wars and Marvel’s television history began way before Disney+, as exemplified by Star Wars: The Clone Wars or The Incredible Hulk, the way Disney’s streaming platform changed how major franchises incorporate the television format cannot be ignored. For example, it was only after Disney+ that Marvel released an undoubtedly canon MCU show and that Star Wars released a live-action TV series. Still, given the status of both franchises, Disney+ has been a better tool for Star Wars than for Marvel.

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In terms of number of releases, Marvel surpasses Disney+ output Star Wars. Lucasfilm has released six canons Star Wars shows, seven reviews Clone Wars‘ last season. Marvel Studios, on the other hand, has so far released ten canon MCU titles on Disney+ – with many more on the way. As taken into account, the impact The Mandalorian and other Disney+ programs have been on Star Wars is bigger than the Marvel series had on the MCU. That’s not to say that Marvel’s Disney+ content hasn’t had an impact, just that the streaming platform has helped shape the future of Star Wars more than that has helped the already consolidated MCU.

Related: The Mandalorian Season 3 Has a Book of Boba Fett Problem


Table of Contents

Star Wars Needed a Major Refresh (Marvel Didn’t)

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy poster featuring Din Djarin holding Grogu in The Mandalorian

Disney+ launched on November 12, 2019, exactly one week before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at the cinema. As the final film in the Skywalker saga and the conclusion of three trilogies, The Rise of Skywalker was already expected to be a closing chapter for the franchise. Considering how divisive Star Wars sequels had become at that point, plus The Rise of Skywalker‘s underwhelming box office compared to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars found himself in a difficult situation. The galaxy far, far away had become synonymous with the big screen, but made what was to come next Star Wars film will prove to be a difficult task.

Continuing Star Wars after Episode IX was never going to be easy, but the sequel trilogy’s divisive reception made it far more challenging. After re-lighting Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakensa film that almost ignored Star Wars prequels and trying to recapture the feel of the original trilogy, Lucasfilm didn’t seem sure what Star Wars should be after Rian Johnson’s controversial Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Simply emulating the original trilogy and appealing to nostalgia didn’t work long term after The Force Awakensbut trying to reinvent the saga that way The Last Jedi did not work either. After Episode IX, Star Wars needed a refresher.

At the same time, the MCU was on top with Avengers: Endgame. The fourth Avengers film, which is currently the second highest grossing film of all time, premiered a few months before the launch of Disney+. Therefore, in contrast to Star Wars, Marvel didn’t need to focus on Disney+ as a “new hope” for the franchise. Instead, with Disney+, Marvel had the chance to expand the MCU through releases that would add to an already large and established universe. In other words, Disney+ original Marvel shows were an extension of the MCU while shows like The Mandalorian was a new beginning for Star Wars.

The Mandalorian gave Star Wars a major cultural hit

Grogu and the Mandalorian

Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ impact on pop culture cannot be denied. The first Star Wars film of more than 10 years, The Force Awakens successfully played the nostalgia element and earned $2 billion at the worldwide box office. Having said that, neither The Last Jedi nor The Rise of Skywalker able to replicate the success of The Force Awakens. Less than five years after Star Warsback to the big screen, the franchise was already in a difficult position. Despite the importance of IP, recently Star Wars films struggled to have the same cultural impact as the MCU, Disney’s other major IP.

Related: The Force Awakens’ genius marketing hurt the Star Wars sequel trilogy

Although Star Wars will always have a consolidated audience. Bringing in new fans was something the franchise also failed at. While the MCU could rely on a plethora of Marvel characters to engage audiences, Disney’s Lucasfilm only had the sequel trilogy, two spinoffs and a couple of animated series to offer. Star Wars needed another big cultural hit after The Force Awakensand Disney+ made it happen. The Mandaloriana project envisioned by Jon Favreau that combined the prequel and original trilogies in a way that no live-action could Star Wars the film had done, was exactly what both Star Wars franchise and Disney+ required.

Star Wars has taken bigger Disney+ swings than Marvel

The Mandalorian Wandavision

While the Disney+ Marvel shows are important to those who want to follow the MCU in its entirety, the MCU’s massive scale from Phase 4 make it so that not every new TV show or special feels like a must-see. As the extension of an existing cinematic universe, the Disney+ MCU shows can often feel like small events compared to the movies. Marvel has used the Disney+ series to better develop characters that didn’t get much screen time in the Avengers movie, like Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, as well as introducing characters that could have a significant role in the future.

The Mandalorian and other Disney+ Star Wars shows, on the other hand, are mainly independent adventures that give new audiences the chance to get to know Star Wars. The Mandalorian can contain a lot of Star Wars cameos, but the journey of a bounty hunter and his adopted son speaks to audiences worldwide in a way that the twisted The Rise of Skywalker plot never did. The Mandalorian made itself an event – something that has long been the case Star Wars audiences and newcomers could watch and be excited. Obviously shows that Obi-Wan Kenobi are more canon limited than “Mandoverse”, but that was thanks The Mandalorian that they became possible.

Star Wars’ future is on Disney+ (for now)

Star Wars Darth Vader Ahsoka Tano

As important as the Disney+ platform is to Marvel Studios, the future of the MCU remains on the big screen. After having the highest grossing movie of all time for a few months, Marvel Studios will now try to surpass it Avengers: Endgame with Avengers: Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, both of which have the potential to be even more ambitious than Avengers vs. The Thanos story. In a way, the many Disney+ MCU series released per year, some of which have had pacing issues, have made the MCU movies feel like even bigger events by comparison. Simultaneous, Star Wars hasn’t released a movie since 2019.

Related: The Last Jedi is more like the Empire striking back than it admits

Star Wars has been away from the big screen for three years, and there is currently no indication of what will happen next Star Wars the movie will be. Rogue Squadron was originally intended to be released in 2023, but Patty Jenkins Star Wars the film is now on hold. Several other projects have either been announced or reported, including but not limited to a Kevin Feige-produced one Star Wars movie, a Taika Waititi Star Wars movie, and a Demon Lindelof Star Wars film. However, none of these represent a plan that is as consistent as star wars’ list of upcoming Disney+ shows. Between the “Mandoverse” series and new stories like The acolyte, Star Wars‘ The future is on Disney+.

Next: Star Wars’ new film schedule pays off for a Ryan Reynolds trend

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