Bingkai Karya – In a galaxy not so far away, Star Wars continues to reign supreme as the top film franchise of 2023, according to Fandom, the world’s largest platform for entertainment fans. Despite the absence of a theatrical release since 2019, Disney’s strategic shift in rebuilding the iconic franchise has proven successful, with a focus on long-form television content, streaming platforms, video games, comics, novels, virtual reality, and innovative experiences like the short-lived Star Wars hotel in Florida.
After acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney initially pursued a rapid release schedule for theatrical Star Wars films. However, the sequel trilogy faced criticism for lacking a cohesive narrative thread and improvisation in storytelling, leading to a mixed reception among fans and critics. The turning point came with the success of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, demonstrating that Star Wars could thrive outside the traditional cinema format.
Disney’s revitalization strategy shifted towards television content, introducing a lineup of live-action Star Wars series like “The Mandalorian,” “The Book of Boba Fett,” “Andor,” “Kenobi,” and “Ahsoka.” These series, well-received by both critics and fans, explore various aspects of the Star Wars universe, offering cohesion and quality storytelling. Disney also delved into animation with series like “Clone Wars” and “The Bad Batch,” providing diverse content for different age groups and preferences.
To maintain interest and cater to a broader audience, Disney expanded the Star Wars universe through various storytelling mediums. These include “Tales of the Jedi,” exploring character backstories; “Young Jedi Adventures” for a preschool demographic, and “Visions,” a collection of animated shorts spanning different genres and maturity levels.
Disney’s successful revitalization of Star Wars offers valuable lessons for other struggling franchises, such as Marvel and Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC and Harry Potter universes. The importance of a strategic release schedule, a balance between nostalgia and innovation, and the ability to build anticipation for major events are crucial takeaways.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe faces challenges post-“Avengers: Endgame,” marked by inconsistency and uncertainty, affecting box office returns. Disney’s need for selectivity in sequel films and fresh storytelling aligns with lessons learned from Star Wars. Similarly, DC Studios, under new leadership, is embarking on a 10-year plan to reinvigorate its franchises across TV and film.
Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter franchise, after the success of the original films, faced challenges with the “Fantastic Beasts” series. Diminishing returns and critical reception issues led to a reevaluation, with plans to remake the original novels into a 10-season television series.
As Star Wars prepares for its cinematic return in 2026, Disney’s revitalization strategy serves as a blueprint for other franchises seeking to navigate the evolving landscape of entertainment consumption. The balance between traditional cinema releases and diverse, high-quality content across multiple platforms has proven to be a winning formula, ensuring the Force remains strong with Star Wars in the years to come.