Rogue One has shown that there’s a promising future for the Star Wars franchise in the wealthy hands of Disney. It’s received widespread acclaim and has certainly been rewarded financially for its efforts. However, it has also raised some interesting questions about the nature of modern cinema franchises. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the original example of a sprawling continuity that interlinks films over many years, but the recent success of the new Star Wars films shows that this success isn’t an anomaly; cinematic universes can work for non-marvel films.
Some have decried this recent trend, believing that it leads to a stagnated sense of innovation and formulaic, mass-produced films. After all, why would filmmakers try something new when they can copy-paste the format of their last movie and quadruple their investment? While these criticisms certainly apply to the Marvel franchise, I think it’s a bit too early in the game to call out Star Wars. We’ve only seen the first two modern installments in the franchise, and they’ve both been well-executed mainstream films. Similar in some ways? Absolutely. Indicative of a diluted, braggadocious juggernaut of repetition? Absolutely not.
We need to give the budding franchise a chance to come into its own. We simply don’t have enough information to make substantial claims about the series as a whole. Give it a few more movies. Unfounded negativity only serves to shake the confidence of filmmakers. We can’t claim that this is a repeat of Marvel until we can be reasonably sure that it really is. If that day comes, you can be sure that I’ll be complaining alongside everyone else.