Lucasfilm Is Copying Marvel Studios’ Formula to Restore the Appeal of Star Wars

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Image: Lucasfilm

The Star Wars franchise is still reeling from J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson’s soulless sequel trilogy, but Lucasfilm is slowly winning fans back with authentic productions such as The Mandalorian. One way that the Disney subsidiary is attempting to rebuild the franchise’s appeal is by copying Marvel Studios’ tremendously lucrative playbook, which has leveraged consistent, rapid-fire releases and interlinked stories to retain audiences and ensure long-time success.

Lucasfilm’s new business plan should be painfully obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to recent events. As Variety points out in its article about how Disney is remaking Star Wars in the image of Marvel, Lucasfilm recently announced more than ten new productions, which include shows and features such as Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, and Rogue Squadron.

“If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a franchise-building tactic that’s been used for over a decade to astronomically lucrative effect by Lucasfilm’s corporate sibling, Marvel Studios,” Variety wrote, noting that this is actually the second time that Lucasfilm has attempted to copy it.

If you’ll remember, the studio tried to expand the franchise with Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story, but the critical failure of The Last Jedi set off a chain reaction of disappointment that bled over to other productions and deterred the performance of Han’s origin at the box office.

Despite that setback, Disney and Lucasfilm are trying to Marvel-ize Star Wars again, but this time, in the streaming segment. The Mandalorian showrunner and Iron Man director Jon Favreau even attested to that in a recent interview, talking up his ability to tie smaller stories and characters into a grander narrative.

“I learned a lot from my experience over at Marvel, where it was very organic, how it would evolve,” Favreau said. “You’re paying attention to a larger story arcs and characters that could come together, but also smaller stories of individual characters that could go off [on their own thing].”

“The key here is keep maintaining the quality and never scaling to the point that we’re losing sight of what’s important to us and what people like about the show.”

What we’re wondering is whether Disney and Lucasfilm’s Marvel-ization of the Star Wars franchise will lead to audience fatigue. Seeing the Lucasfilm logo appear on the silver screen used to send chills down your spine because they preceded event films that were few and far between, but that magic is being completely erased.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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