Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed he doesn’t believe Star Wars has a storytelling problem.
In a lengthy subject piece on Iger in the New York Times, Iger tells them:
“I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company, and the talent we have at the company is better than it’s ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.”
Many Star Wars fans would vehemently disagree with Iger’s assessment on that mark especially after Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. The film received a 44% Rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes from the audience. It has a similar user score on Metacritic with a 4.4.
Not only did The Last Jedi get overwhelmingly poor audience scores, but other Star Wars initiatives are also struggling on the storytelling front. Disney cancelled their latest animated series Star Wars Resistance. The show was only being watched by an average audience of 300,000 people. It’s a sharp decline from Star Wars Rebels which saw average viewership between 500,000 and 700,000 an episode. (Related: Disney Cancels Star Wars Resistance as Kylo Ren Appears in Season 2 Trailer)
Disney would also reveal that their Star Wars merchandise sales have also been declining, meaning consumers are not interested in investing in the current crop of characters that have been featured in the Star Wars sequels.
They also are struggling to get people into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which features a storyline based on the sequel trilogies.
Nevertheless, Iger would go on to compare Disney’s new Disney Plus streaming initiative with Netflix:
“What Netflix is doing is making content to support a platform. We’re making content to tell great stories. It’s very different.”
Not only did Iger state that he doesn’t think Star Wars has a storytelling problem, but he blamed the franchises current string of failures on the timing and pace of the release of the films.
Iger stated, “I just think that we might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast.”
Iger has previously used this talking point in the past to explain away the current struggles with the Star Wars franchise.
About a year ago, Iger made similar remarks about Star Wars. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast.” He added, “But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.” (Related: Disney CEO Bob Iger Reveals Mistake Made with Star Wars)
But as I noted, last year, Disney’s Marvel Studios is having no problem churning out multiple films a year, and plan on ramping it up with not only movies, but a plethora of Disney Plus television shows. In fact, Pixar films also release every year and have had great success at the box office. And they are dropping these live-action remakes of their classic animated films multiple times a year.
What do you make of Iger’s comments regarding Star Wars? Do you think Iger is right in asserting there is no storytelling problem? Do you think the problem with Star Wars is how quickly the movies were released?