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Unread 2016-01-03, 09:53 PM   #1
JDLM
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Default The LucasFilm/Disney release schedule






Star Wars: The Force Awakens is on the way to breaking box office records, but it's got something different about it than other, another recent attempt to bring franchises past and present together.


Unlike X-Men: Days of Future Past, the future of Star Wars will still retain the cast and continuity of the original trilogy. And there's already plenty of new movies planned, with two more Episode/trilogy films in the offing and three more spinoff films set in the world of Star Wars over the next five years.
So...what's coming up?


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16, 2016) will take us to a time before Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first met on Tattoine, giving a behind-the-scenes look at how Princess Leia, R2-D2 and company came to possess the Death Star plans. Described as a "heist" movie, it will be directed by Godzilla's Gareth Edwards and star Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker and more.


Star Wars Episode VIII (May 26, 2017) will continue the story of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Rey, Finn and company as they battle the First Order, comprised of the remnants of the shattered Empire and led by Supreme Leader Snoke with a little help from Kylo Ren. The film is as-yet-untitled, although that may change soon as Rian Johnson is expected to begin principal photography this month.


Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo (May 25, 201 is the as-yet-untitled solo film set to explore the backstory of everyone's favorite scoundrel and smuggler. Since the Star Wars Expanded Universe has been rendered non-canonical with the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm, this will be the first "official" glimpse into the character's backstory in the newly-reworked timeline. Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Han Solo will reportedly be the final Star Wars movie written by The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens' Lawrence Kasdan.


Star Wars Episode IX (2019) will be directed by Colin Trevorrow from a script by Rian Johnson. The film will likely close out the story of the battle with Kylo Ren and Snoke, as the earliest comments from Disney were that they were planning a new Star Wars trilogy. Whichever members of the The Force Awakens cast are still alive (their characters, not the actors, although presumably that too) will return for the film.


Star Wars Anthology: Boba Fett (2020) is still not officially confirmed, and no creatives are officially on board, although there have been rumors for a while that the bounty hunter would have his own film. This one would also, plausibly, allow them to tie into Han Solo and/or Rogue One, creating a second, distinct timeline of Star Wars movies being released at the same time as the Episode films -- although that's pure speculation and has not been confirmed or even rumored up to now.


The plan, as far as anyone knows, is to continue releasing Star Wars films once a year, with the years alternating between stories that do and do not (because there is no try) feature the Skywalker clan.
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Unread 2018-08-03, 10:51 AM   #2
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Back in 2016, a few years after Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the studio sold the television rights to all of the Star Warsmovies, from the original trilogy to the most recent sequels and spin-offs, to AT&Tís recently acquired Turner Broadcasting. At that time, Disney hadnít yet finalized plans for their own subscription service. Now that the studio is looking to launch their exclusive streaming service in 2019, they want all those movies back. But if Disney wants the Star Wars movies back, theyíre gonna have to pay.
Bloomberg has word on Disney trying to get the Star Wars TV rights back from airing on Turnerís cable networks like TNT and TBS. However, Turnerís deal for the Star Wars films cost them $237 million and lasts until 2024. And if Disney wants the Star Wars movies in the library of their upcoming streaming service, they want to be financially compensated, and they also want programming to replace those films if they were to give them up.
As of now, the talks havenít advanced beyond a preliminary inquiry, especially since that initial request was met with some resistance by Turner Broadcasting. Who can blame them? Star Wars is one of those movies that people watch whenever itís on television, even when they own all the movies on Blu-ray, DVD or digital download. If thereís a holiday weekend or a new Star Wars movie coming out, fans are tuning in to TNT and TBS to catch one of the Star Wars movies whenever theyíre on.
Whatís even more frustrating is that aforementioned $237 million deal for the Star Wars TV rights also included the newer titles like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Itís not clear how far the deal spans as far as the more recent Star Wars titles are concerned. Disney is trying to round up all their content from various content providers, including bringing their deal with Netflix to an end once their contract is up at the end of this year.
It remains to be seen if Disney will come back with some sort of offer for the Star Wars TV rights in order to secure them for their streaming service by the time it launches in 2019. However, even if Disney doesnít have those movies back as part of their library, I donít think itís going to make or break the service. The Star Wars movies have been bought and re-bought by fans plenty of times over the years, and I sincerely doubt anyone will choose to subscribe or not subscribe based on the lack of Star Wars movies in the library. Stay tuned to see how this pans out.
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Unread 2018-08-11, 01:05 PM   #3
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Star Wars Rights Explained: What Disney Does (And Doesn't) Own



Star Wars has been a part of Disney's ever-expanding media empire for the past several years, but that's not the only company with their hands in the lucrative pie. Ever since Lucasfilm was acquired by the Mouse House in 2012, there have been questions about who owns what. For instance, Paramount still gets a cut of any future Indiana Jones films, despite Disney being the distributor. Film rights can be a complicated issue, and are rarely as simple as they appear to be at first glance.

The galaxy far, far away is no different, of course, and that's why we're here to help. In this space, we'll detail not only the theatrical and home distribution of the movies, but also the television rights - which have popped up in the news recently as Disney prepares to launch their own streaming service.

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Star Wars Movie Distribution

George Lucas was a maverick filmmaker who longed to work outside the studio system, so he independently produced his movies and looked for a distributor. Fox was the only studio willing to take a chance on Star Wars, a decision that handsomely paid off for several years. The first six installments of the live-action film series were released under their umbrella, raking copious amounts of cash via box office runs and home media releases, including multiple special edition releases on various platforms. Many people celebrated Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm, but Fox was surely sad to see Star Wars go elsewhere.

However, the transaction didn't immediately move over all Star Wars rights to Disney. While the Mouse House obviously owns everything post-merger (beginning with The Force Awakens), they still have to wait to get their hands on most of the pre-Disney catalog. Fox owns the rights to The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the entire prequel trilogy until May 2020. Because they were partners with Lucas on the seminal 1977 original, they will own A New Hope in perpetuity, which would make it somewhat difficult for Disney to release the inevitable "complete Skywalker saga" Blu-ray collection after Episode IX comes out. Of course, there's a development making plenty of headlines that will change all that in the near future.




Disney, of course, is in the process of acquiring Fox's entertainment properties, after shareholders agreed to the groundbreaking merger. In the wake of this news, most of the discussion has been in regards to the integration of the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the deal has ramifications for Star Wars as well. With Disney buying Fox, it means they'll secure those precious New Hope rights and own all of the Star Wars movies. This may not exactly be what people had in mind when they said Disney and Fox needed to come to an agreement to settle the New Hope rights, but it'll get the job done.

What this doesn't do, however, is change anything concerning the much-theorized (but never official) release of the unaltered original trilogy on Blu-ray. That is Lucasfilm's call to make, and there are no signs to indicate they're going to change their stance on that matter. The 2011 versions (and all the alterations that came with them) are considered official franchise canon, and Kathleen Kennedy is of the mind to leave Lucas' films alone while she concentrates on building Star Wars' future. Perhaps one day this will change, but for now audiences will have to make do with what's available. Disney would happily rake in the revenue such a box set would bring in, though they're certainly in good shape with the new movies they're releasing.



Star Wars Movie Television Rights


A lot of fans own their own copies of the movies in their Blu-ray collections, but television networks are keen on acquiring the broadcast rights for the popular franchise. In the case of the first six Star Wars movies, those are currently owned by Turner, meaning they can air on TNT and TBS. The deal runs until 2024, which explains why Disney was looking to acquire the rights from Turner. However, it isn't going to be easy. Per the reports, Turner wants significant compensation, including money and programming. Discussions between the two parties haven't gone far, and it remains to be seen if anything becomes of this.

The post-merger Star Wars films were not part of Lucasfilm's deal with Turner, and instead are on Netflix as part of the Mouse House's arrangement with the streaming giant that went into effect beginning with 2016 theatrical releases. As of this writing, both Rogue One and The Last Jedi are available for viewing. Since all Disney-era Star Wars films are part of this, it stands reason to believe Solo will hit Netflix at some point, perhaps after it hits digital and Blu-ray this fall. However, this practice is coming to an end very soon.



Disney is in the process of launching their own streaming service, which will include original movies and TV shows, like Jon Favreau's Star Wars series. Of course, the studio will also pull from their extensive vault of popular titles to populate the service's library, but there will be a shortage on Star Wars content in the beginning. Bob Iger has confirmed no Star Wars movie released prior to 2019 will be included at launch, and they'll be clear about that in marketing. This means J.J. Abrams' Episode IX (which should be available on home media in spring 2020) should be the first entry from the franchise on it. From the sound of things, all subsequent Star Wars films (Rian Johnson's trilogy, David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series) will follow suit and only be available on Disney streaming.

The Disney/Netflix deal (covering theatrical releases up to 201 runs through the end of 2019, and Disney obviously has no plans to renew it. In all likelihood, all of their Star Wars films will make the jump to their streaming service after that. Disney streaming should become a one-stop shop not just for Lucasfilm, but other subsidiaries like Pixar and Marvel. This is a big blow to Netflix, who barely had an opportunity to reap the benefits of their Disney deal before it expired. Disney's service isn't meant to be a Netflix killer, though there's no denying it limits the latter's appeal. Netflix has their own fan-favorite programming that'll keep subscribers happy, but some may choose to just ride with Disney.

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There will come a point in time when Disney has the entirety of the Star Wars series to themselves, but for now, they have to share with other parties. The current situation isn't all that complex, though fans do need to be mindful of who has their hands in what jar when discussing the franchise. Hopefully, things are clearer now for people who were uncertain or curious about learning more.
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